He grew up in Silicon Valley, landed his first job at Apple Computer, was introduced to Nobel Prize winners by his dad, and, today, he takes a self-driving car to work so that he can squeeze in a few morning conference calls with the U.S. east coast team. Is this George Jetson? No. It’s just a normal day for Steve Wilson, VP of Products for Cloud at Citrix

A Silicon Valley native, Steve grew up around high tech. From a job at Apple, a business degree from the University of San Diego, and joining a start-up after graduation, he seemed headed to a lucrative career with one of the technology giants. That path, however, took a detour when he started working for Citrix. So after getting tired of his 45-minute commute to the Citrix west coast office, he became the George Jetson of Citrix.

Since futurism is an everyday thing for this Citrix VP, being responsible for the company’s “Workplace of the Future” strategy really makes sense. This was the topic of discussion when Steve discussed his vision with Dez Blanchfield on Conversations with Dez.

According to Steve, his job involves bringing together a company’s physical workplace with their digital workspace — optimizing both for today’s mobile-first world. This means enabling them to access the multiple digital workspace assets from different places and with different classes of devices that are also secure. In his vision, Steve sees a merger of different kinds of applications on the server, as well as the differing clients. The top question in this quest is, ”How do organizations enable the secure use of these different computing device classes?”

“And so really, what we see is an interesting merger going on, where we’re starting to see traditional computing devices like your laptops and your desktops being supplemented, obviously, with things like phones and tablets,” he said. “But the next generation is bringing in new sets of devices into the enterprise, where we’re seeing people bring in things like Amazon Alexa for business and Apple TV, and making them enterprise devices and saying, ‘How do I bring this into my enterprise infrastructure?’”

As the overall compute footprint expands, and the nature of workplaces change, Citrix is also changing its focus.

As a trusted, 30-year old company, Citrix today has approximately 100 million people depending on its capabilities and services to do their jobs every day. As the number of workers expands tremendously, they are going to take advantage of next-generation workspace technologies. In order to continue delivering on their well-earned trust, the company is now focused on delivering the next generation of applications.

This focus certainly includes web applications, but more and more it also includes SaaS and mobile. This is actually seen as a new application type that they call micro applications. These micro applications don’t live only in the data center anymore. They are also provided through multiple services, from multiple clouds provided by multiple vendors.

Another significant shift is that people no longer go to work as a place or location. They expect to be able to work from anywhere. To address this shift, Citrix is leveraging technology to drive productivity. Doing so helps organizations look at workers holistically by knowing:

  • What they do every day
  • What tasks they do
  • What applications they use
  • What kind of data they need

Studies of software developers have shown that a simple change of operational context can lower an individual’s behavioral IQ by 20 points. Since all of these questions establish worker context, technology can improve productivity by avoiding any behavioral IQ deficit. Their goal is to use artificial intelligence-driven product features to avoid arbitrary context switching. This improves worker collaboration and productivity by enabling a more natural clearing of the work needed to move the organization forward.

For more on how Citrix can help improve productivity in your organization, register for Citrix Synergy, May 21-23, in Atlanta..

Kevin Jackson is a world-renowned cloud computing expert and founder of the consultancy GovCloud. He has been recognized as a “Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand” by Onalytica, a Huffington Post “Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter,” a “Top 50 Cloud Computing Blogger for IT Integrators” by CRN, and a “Top 5 Must Read Cloud Blog” by BMC Software.