How Citrix Workspace Cloud is Adding to IT’s Business Value

The role of the CIO – indeed for of all of IT – is changing. Jobs that used to be tactical engineering and integration of technology are morphing into strategic positions that instead integrate external services. As I’ve observed in the past, CIOs are transforming IT supply chain managers, and it’s happening now more than ever.

This is one of the basic assumptions we made when developing Citrix Workspace Cloud. Unlike monolithic IaaS or PaaS clouds, Workspace Cloud is designed to be a services integration and management platform. It focuses on simplifying the integration across a number of infrastructure and workspace services, each of which may reside in different locations and/or clouds. The result is a new IT integration platform that focuses on providing business (not technology) outcomes.

While thinking about this in the context of Workspace Cloud, I’ve noticed a number of generalizable principles across a number use cases, as well as some specific principles for creating secure mobile workspaces:

General Principles – for IT supply chain integration

  1. Assemble, don’t build – Now more than ever, IT must ask itself the classic buy-versus-build question: Should they be in the business of building/operating any software at all? If so, what compelling business or competitive need (i.e. data sovereignty, security) is driving the decision? If a driver does not exist, , IT needs to let vendors operate noncritical services.
  1. Consume services, don’t generate applications – IT should be adopting a consumption model for services, not be in the business of running applications. Their time should be spent on higher-value activities like integration and workflow for services, not creating the services themselves.
  1. Think hybrid first, think SaaS first – no single cloud or outsourcing approach fits all. Any modern strategy for service management and outsourcing has to assume hybrid cloud and has to assume multiple SaaS providers. Like any other vendor strategy, IT has to assume changes will happen over time, and therefore keep vendor options open.
  1. IT’s job is to focus on business outcomes, not technology – Today, IT outcomes must be additive to the business – not simply play a support role. In the past, IT often focused on cost reduction, but today they should be more focused on strategic enablement of the business. So, when thinking about sourcing and integrating services, the aim should be to enable lines-of-business — not to shave expenses.

Specific Principles – for workspace integration

In building a workspace supply chain, we here at Citrix applied these principles to developed tools to help companies leverage them. The following design principles for Workspace Cloud extended the four above principles into a platform that’s fast, simple and flexible to use:

  1. Enable assembly of core services – For the average information worker, a digital workspace is comprised of different services that may be sourced from different locations, e.g. desktops, applications, storage, device control, access control. The core of any workspace supply chain ought to consist of most/all of these.   Some may inherently be SaaS cloud services — others might be local. It all depends upon constraints such as security, compliance, technology “bench strength,” and of course economics.
  1. Anticipate the need for multiple services and multiple workspaces – The average information worker may use many applications and services, and each worker type may well require different amounts and combinations of these. Therefore, anticipate integrating dozens if not hundreds of apps into different families of workspaces – one for each worker type.
  1. Enable choice – As a supply chain manager, IT will need to ensure that vendor choice is preserved. This principle extends beyond where SaaS services are sourced from, and continues on to where IaaS resources reside as well. You’ll want to maintain control of where data, IP, and other sensitive information resides. For example, locking-into using a single cloud for service execution may not give you the long-term flexibility you’ll need or require.
  1. Evaluate technology on driving value up and less on driving cost down – As a strategic enabler, the IT supply chain manager should understand line-of-business needs today and anticipate them for tomorrow. For example, rather than focusing on driving cost out of managing desktop hardware, IT needs to focus more energy on driving in more value – such as making desktop access more mobile, more accessible, and more secure. Focus on assemblingin value-add services such as file synch and share, mobility applications and/or unified communications.
  1. Don’t Forget: your chief outcome must be employee productivity – In the end, IT’s goal should enable workers to do their jobs better. Focus on productivity, user satisfaction, flexibility. Tools like Workspace Cloud are designed around these principles:
  • Speed – responding to employee needs or competitive pressures
  • Simplicity – the ease of selecting and instantly integrating new services or capabilities
  • Choice – the ability to source services from any cloud

How Citrix Helps

Citrix Workspace Cloud is more than a new delivery mechanism for Citrix technologies. It’s a platform that helps IT speed and simplify high-value service assembly.  In the coming months, you’ll see Citrix add even more service types — increasing the breadth of control IT will have when delivering high-quality workspace services that will absolutely delight your employees.