I joined Citrix six months ago, amid a period of massive transformation, and was tasked with helping to transition our customers and products from a perpetual licensing model to subscription-based cloud services offering far more flexibility, simplicity, and scale.

I’m proud of what the UK and Ireland region has achieved in the space of just a few months. Customers have really embraced the opportunity that cloud offers, and this has allowed us to achieve strong year-on-year growth. Networking has delivered an equally impressive performance, driven in part by the demand for newly emerging technologies, such as SD-WAN. Our 2017 results highlight the positive strategy Citrix is executing both globally and at regional level, and sets the pace for the innovation and conversions possible in 2018.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers and partners who supported us in 2017. Every one of our customers is extremely important to us, but I want to share with you one story that we’re particularly proud of which showcases some of the benefits we are hearing about from our early cloud customers.

Specialist insurance company Beazley writes $2.2 billion of premiums each year and prides itself on its customer-centric approach. Since deploying Citrix Workspace on a hybrid platform of Microsoft Azure and on-premises servers last year, Beazley’s end user technical lead, Dale Steggles, claims he has been able to futureproof the business and deliver an IT user experience for employees and customers alike, which is “one of the best they’ve seen”. Above all, the transformation has enabled a BYOD culture, and made work entirely portable, which has helped the business to retain the best talent while also aiding international expansion.

“We want to provide the right tools … and the right mind-set, because it’s not just about now,” explains Steggles. “Before long, a generation that has been brought up with a touch-only interface will join the workforce. We need to build a platform now for future generations. We need to deliver an adaptive, digital workspace experience, and that’s exactly what we saw with Citrix.”

Overall, what we’re seeing among our customers is a desire for new, more flexible ways of buying into Citrix technology, and this will continue to drive the move to the cloud in 2018. The transition allows us to remove complexity, while also dramatically increasing our agility and the speed at which we can deliver innovation. Our early cloud customers have found that they are able to deploy in one third (or less) of the time as with perpetual licenses, and from there we continue to be with them every step of the way.

In 2018, we will continue to help our customers to innovate, while also exploring new and emerging markets. My goal for this year is to inspire a pioneering spirit within my team which will ensure that we embrace change and sit at the cutting edge, finding new ways of working. The cloud market in the UK and Ireland represents a massive opportunity and I want to be sure that we grab it with both hands.