It took consumers to teach enterprise IT what we should have known all along: experience matters. A lot.
Think of the markets that have been transformed or created in recent years by business models based on delivering a better experience. Uber and Zipcar make it easier for people to get around. Apple and Spotify make it easier for people to listen to their favorite music and make new discoveries. Fitbit lets people integrate their fitness goals and regimens more naturally into their daily lives. Amazon continues to shrink the window between desire and fulfillment for products of all kinds.
Everywhere you turn, you see companies thriving by giving people simpler, more seamless ways of doing things.
As we’re always hearing, all this consumerization has led people to expect a better experience from IT. The best employees will demand the best workplace, so if you want to harness their talent and creativity for your business, you’d better deliver it. But it’s not just a matter of pleasing employees—a great experience is much more than just a perk. It also has a real and important impact on productivity, efficiency and business agility.
People do their best work when they can access everything they need more quickly and easily, and spend more time driving business value instead of navigating outdated IT processes, applications or struggling with other technical barriers. On-demand IT translates into on-demand productivity, which in turn enables on-demand business results, from opening a new office or integrating a new acquisition, to responding more quickly to a business opportunity, to generating employee empowerment and satisfaction, to driving innovation at the speed of thought.
People have been talking about consumerization for a few years now, and both enterprises and their vendors now understand—for the most part—how important it is to adapt accordingly. But recognizing the importance of a great experience isn’t the same thing as delivering it. If it’s not part of your company’s DNA, you can end up making marginal improvements to workflows or interfaces without achieving the fundamental transformation that’s really required. It’s also a question of scope.
A great experience for an individual service or app is all well and good, but as the saying goes, “One swallow does not a summer make.”
An island of quality doesn’t help if it’s surrounded by the swampy mire of IT business as usual. Experience has to be thought of holistically–as a guiding principle across all of IT–and supported through an equally comprehensive technology strategy.
At Citrix, a great experience is woven into our design process from the earliest stages of product development to ensure that everything we do makes IT easier, more seamless and more satisfying for everyone involved—IT and line-of-business employees alike. A well-designed-and-deployed consumerization approach engages current process workers in new ways, as well as bringing in new information for workers who had typically been kept on the outside.
Workspaces – You’ve heard a lot about our vision for the modern workspace at Synergy and elsewhere. This is the definition of a great experience—people can access everything they need, everywhere they go, on every device they use. In essence, we’ve made technology completely transparent, with no user-facing network or security settings to worry about, no need to transfer files or re-download apps, and an experience that’s automatically optimized and personalized for the individual.
Apps – People who need to get work done shouldn’t have to stop to think about whether a given app is available on the device they’re using or how to go about finding it. There’s a lot more to mobility than mobile apps—people need on-demand access to any kind of app, anywhere, including mobile, web, Windows and SaaS. Simply said, a mobility driven business approach is not distribution of smart phones and tablets. We help IT provide a single app store where people can find every app they need, optimized for their respective devices. Whether they’re full-time employees or contractors, and wherever they’re working, they can get to work quickly with a seamless, intuitive and consumer-like experience regardless of the choice of hardware.
Data – The need for any-device access to data has driven the explosion of consumer services like Dropbox and Box—why wouldn’t we provide similar tools within the enterprise? That’s why our workspace solutions include integrated file sync and sharing. People can work and collaborate whenever inspiration strikes, driving more value for the business while achieving greater personal satisfaction
Mobility management – Enterprise mobility is so often a matter of compromises—device and application restrictions that make it harder to get work done, manual settings that annoy and delay users, limited functionality that turns productivity into frustration. Our latest enterprise mobility management (EMM) technologies advancements, coupled with integrations and an expanded partner ecosystem, combine strong security with a better user experience and greater flexibility for the business.
Networking – Everyone knows how frustrating it can be to fight with a network connection that’s just not up to the demands of the app you’re using. We’ve made application delivery and network optimization a key area of focus to help IT deliver a great experience no matter where people work, how they connect or what kind of apps they’re using—even demanding 3D graphics and multimedia.
IT itself – IT professionals deserve a great experience too. We’ve designed our workspace solutions to make it easy for IT to deliver the right mix of services to each employee so they can empower the workforce more quickly and efficiently than ever. Integrated remote support tools help them keep users productive wherever they’re working. Feeling like a hero to the business is the best kind of experience for an IT person.
What it comes down to is this: when competitiveness depends on helping your workforce do more for the business, more quickly and easily, a great experience wins. We’re dedicated to helping our customers win every day of the week.