Now is the time to plan how to support customer and workers’ technology demands.
What will the workspace look like in 2020? Disruptive technology is changing everything – and changing it quickly. What new technology demands will the IT team see in the next few years – or even the next few months?
How will artificial intelligence like Microsoft Cortana or the Amazon Echo change customer expectations? How soon will someone in your firm ask IT to support virtual reality technology? When will the cloud be a “must have” rather than a “nice to have” for your environment?
Two weeks ago, I would have said you had some time to plan. Then something eye-opening happened.
Unique Perspectives on the Workspace 2020
Two weeks ago, a large, vocal crowd enjoyed the Citrix Synergy session “CTO Perspectives on the Workspace 2020” — a creative session designed to share how users and technology will change in the next 4 years. The highly respected presenters and Citrix Technology Professionals (CTPs), Ruben Spruijt, CTO, Atlantis Computing, and Jeroen van de Kamp, CTO, Login VSI, outlined how the IT environment is rapidly evolving.
Watch the full Workspace 2020 presentation here, but a few insights stand out:
- Identity – will Microsoft Active Directory always be your corporate identity source, or will workers ask to use their Facebook login to access corporate information? If technology can support this, should IT allow it? Should a social media login be used for access to enterprise data?
- Software-as-a-Service – more line-of-business owners choose SaaS options and never notify IT. What does this mean to your corporate data strategy?
- Data Center – we’re moving from a world of all on-premises and “build your own” to a data center strategy that includes hybrid and hyperconverged approaches. What is your data center plan?
- Virtual Reality – how will your organization embrace virtual reality for business purposes, not just in the employee break room?
Virtual Reality: Not Just for Gaming in 2016
At Citrix Synergy, the audience somewhat chuckled when virtual reality was suggested as a disruptive technology affecting the 2020 workspace. A week later at a marketing conference, I learned how many organizations are already experimenting with virtual reality – or producing virtual reality content today.
At the marketing conference, the New York Times explained their virtual reality strategy in front of thousands of marketers – and generated a lot of ideas. With a simple smartphone app, the New York Times lets anyone immerse into a virtual reality experience of the U.S. campaign trail, a refugee food drop, or an underwater dolphin adventure.
Marketing is one of the leading culprits for shadow IT and technology purchases that happen without IT’s knowledge. Sometimes these non-IT technology implementations don’t adhere to corporate data security policies and could be the opening for hackers.
Providing a secure method for app delivery and management is a priority for IT. With thousands of marketers now brainstorming how to attract new customers using virtual reality, IT needs to start planning for the latest disruptive technologies and align a strategy for app and data delivery.
Will your 2020 workspace – or 2016 workspace – need to support new technology like virtual reality? It is already being used in broad industries, as outlined by the New York Times presenter:
- Real estate – to walk through homes
- Movies – to promote the latest blockbuster film
- Military – for training simulations
- Education – for field trips (see Google Expeditions)
- Healthcare- to train doctors on difficult procedures and for patient care
Have you already been asked to support virtual reality? Are your line of business teams moving ahead without IT input?
How to Plan for Workspace 2020
Maybe you already have a 3-year plan that outlines how IT is preparing for disruptive technology. Maybe you just laughed at that sentence.
In the past 3 months I’ve seen 2 Blackberry smartphones in use, learned of IBM OS/2 supporting an organization’s leading app, and met someone who runs more than 1,000 active Windows XP machines.
I know it’s sometimes hard to upgrade, but it is fun to think about the future.
This week, I recommend you block off a few hours for your IT team to order lunch, watch the amazing Citrix Synergy Workspace 2020 session as a group, and whiteboard what new technologies will be in your organization yet this year.
While you’re brainstorming, plan the upgrades that enable secure access to business apps and data:
- Windows 10 – deliver immediate app access from Windows 10 devices with Citrix
- XenApp and XenDesktop 7.9 – expand on security, user experience and flexible management features
- XenMobile 10 – enhance user experience and security on BYO or corporate devices
- ShareFile – enable enterprise file sync and sharing (EFSS) built for mobile users
- NetScaler – provide outstanding delivery of business applications with unmatched security
Simplify the complete workspace strategy with Citrix Workspace Suite. Allow the workforce to easily and securely access apps, desktops, data and services from any device, over any network with a single solution for IT to manage.
Consider the security benefits of new technology. New security threats emerge every day; the tools and processes implemented in the past are often too general in scope to fully defend an organization.
Today, I’m saying yes to the free Windows 10 upgrade on my BYOD PC, exploring more features of my Amazon Echo and checking out a friend’s Oculus Rift.
How will you prepare for new technology?
Share your comments here or tweet me @virtualpenny – I look forward to your workspace ideas.
Photo credit: Nick Moulson