If you were at Citrix Synergy this year, chances are you are thinking about Citrix a little differently now.
That’s because Citrix itself is thinking about you a little differently. And in the process, the company has reshaped itself.
Instead of offering point solutions that add more complexity, Citrix Synergy showed that the company has put human beings and how they work — including contextual awareness — at the heart of its strategy.
That strategy, broadly speaking, is to “deliver the experiences that your business and your teams demand, the flexibility and choice that you need, and, of course, the means to secure it all, end to end,” as CEO David Henshall noted in his opening keynote.
This isn’t just a rosy picture of what Citrix might offer some day; everything the company announced is available now or will be within the next 90 days.
Henshall noted that the forces changing business today have reached “the point of no return” — an analogy he drew to his learning to fly airplanes. It’s when you no longer have enough fuel to turn back. You have to go forward.
Henshall argued that “going forward” means balancing technology with an awareness of how people actually use it, and cutting through complexity so that whatever apps a user needs to be productive follow him or her, on any device, instead of the other way around. All while still managing risk — but unobtrusively, protecting apps and content in the background rather than blocking a device, so that users can still get work done.
The principles of experience, choice, flexibility, and security — in the context of individual human workstyles and context — are at the heart of the new, more powerful and more comprehensive Citrix.
“First, we are unifying our portfolio to deliver complete solutions in addition to amazing point products. Second, we are accelerating to the cloud to allow you the flexibility to embrace the cloud on your terms. And third, we are expanding the perimeter, expanding to analytics and the secure digital perimeter so that you are committed to receiving the right level of experience, choice, and security across the board.“
Citrix found its way forward to unprecedented productivity and growth by embracing digital transformation and people-centric computing in its own halls — and wherever its employees, contractors, and partners happen to be.
As buzzwords du jour, “people-centric computing” and “digital transformation” are pleasingly vague. But Henshall did the tech world a solid by showing what those terms really mean and why they are needed. Turns out, they look like the daily lives of employees across the world: how we navigate increasing complexity with increasing options, and ever-more exposure to risk as content and users are distributed across billions of devices in the cloud and on-premises.
“Nobody is going to argue that data isn’t everywhere,” Henshall said, noting that in 2018 we will have more data at our fingertips than in the entire history of the human race combined. “But harnessing it, securing it, and turning it into useful information — it just continues to be really hard. “
That’s the problem Citrix set out to solve.
Solving Complexity: Put User Experience First
“The average customer here with us today is delivering 100 independent apps, forcing your users to navigate between different performance outcomes, different environments, different credentials. We hear that people are just overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it all: apps, data, notifications, texts, and so on.
We’ve got more tools than ever before that are supposed to make work so much easier. There are many apps now that are purpose-built around a specific task. But we keep layering them on top of each other, creating more complexity,” he added.
“We did a little digging, and found that managing complexity isn’t just time-consuming; it’s expensive. It costs between $800-$1000 per user per year, and that’s not counting onboarding or the costs of managing what you already have,” Henshall said.
“In general, we hear that the user experience is down. Risk and complexity are up,” he added. “It takes up human RAM. It forces us into context switching. And it’s just reducing our overall output. Employees are just having a hard time finding what they need, when they need it to be able to get things done. “
Risk is increased because data and app security is now distributed — distributed out of the enterprise to myriad various endpoints, distributed out to clouds, distributed out in other areas. But complexity adds cost and slows us down along the way.
The solution? Digital transformation. “To really unlock new levels of innovation, new levels of growth, will require us to transform how we do business and, of course, transform the types of tools that we’re giving our teams and our people throughout the entire organization,” Henshall said, adding that “People are dynamic. People are creative. And giving them the right tools can allow them to produce just incredible, amazing results. So we’re focused on delivering a superior experience, making sure everything is at your fingertips as you need it with a strict set of security requirements across the board…You need to spend less time managing technology and more time focused on harnessing it for innovation.”
Citrix delivered breakthrough technologies at Synergy — available now or in the next 90 days, and you can read about them here.
Perhaps alone among its competitors, Citrix has built solutions that offer unprecedented choice and security with a unified experience platform that truly adapts to how actual human beings work today — and in the future.
That’s people-centric computing. That’s digital transformation. That’s Citrix.