Amid the hustle, bustle, and buzz of Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2017, innovative technologies were pervasive with announcements covering everything from new smartphones to claims that 5G is just over the horizon.

While MWC’s roots are as an event focused on mobile operators, over the years it has morphed into the marquee event of the mobile industry, taking its pulse and showcasing the innovations that will propel it through the year.

With attendance topping 100K for the second year in a row, MWC is an event of massive scope that brings together – from all corners of the globe – all major players in the mobility. Some of the major themes this year were predictable – 5G, IoT, Networks, Devices & Apps – while others spanned Innovative Tech, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) and Security. This year’s event was replete with news about IoT-enabled phones and even the normalization of Artificial Intelligence, as companies made their case that great opportunity lies in machine-learning, or putting an intelligent assistant to work.


This all gives rise to the question of how innovative technology and trends are impacting enterprises and employees who are clamoring to adopt new technology and use it to improve business and productivity.

During the event, Christian Reilly, Citrix Vice President of Global Product and Strategy, participated in a lively GSMA Panel Session entitled “The Digital Enterprise & Employees.” The panel, which was moderated by Nick McQuire of CCS Insight, also included Art King of Spidercloud Wireless, Andy Zmolsk of Google, Didier Duriez of Orange Business Service, and Isabelle Droll of TUI Group.


The room was packed as the group discussed how companies are embracing digital transformation. These enterprises taking steps to understand the latest in software technology are regarded by many as being digitally mature, which will have a positive impact on business performance.

With digital transformation, there are structural changes that occur within organizations; there is also a demographic shift as millennials come into the workspace and there is a rise in the workforce. More than half of the workforce comes is made up by contractors who – along with pretty much everyone else – want to work and conduct their life on their terms and on the devices of their choosing. That’s why it’s important for employers to take this into consideration.

According to CCS Insight, the usage of apps by employees is growing rapidly with more than 86 percent using apps for work; the average total number of connected devices that employees use for either business or personal purposes has risen to 4.6, up from 4.1 in 2015.

It’s clear that mobility plays an important role in the digital enterprise, as both usage and IT maturity takes rise in enterprise mobility. 

The panel mulled the question of whether new technology is actually productive or if new enterprise apps, such as Slack, are distractions for employees. “Slack could be the next operating system. The amount of work getting done at Citrix as the result of its implementation is faster and output heavy with it,” Reilly countered.

Another CCS Insight survey cites that 80 percent of employees say that mobile technology is now critical to getting their job done. However, the panelists discussed that 70 percent of employees complained technology at their workplace does not meet their current needs. This leads to employees bringing in their own devices and working with apps with which they are personally familiar.

One thing is crystal clear: employees are finding ways to use the technology they need and want to get their work done.

At Citrix we say that work is a verb, not a noun. People are changing the way they want to work. — Christian Reilly

“Companies need to respond to the needs of their employees and close app gaps,” Reilly noted, adding that within all the digital transformation efforts, organizations need to keep a focus on business productivity. He continued, “the current challenge is that everyone data rich and information poor. As an IT industry, we still do not have an adequate vision to see what is right for us and what we can do with data, especially in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine communication (M2M). Wouldn’t it be great if we could combine artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning with the enterprise data?”


During the panel, a live survey showed that the audience sees AI and assistants as the most important new future technologies around the workplace.

Learn more about Citrix and our recent news at Mobile World Congress.