It is almost impossible to believe that 12 months have passed since last year’s Citrix Synergy, but the palpable buzz, excitement, and anticipation around our global offices signal that we’re reaching the final stages of planning for what promises to be an incredible 2019 event.

As CTO, I am lucky to be involved in the preparations for the keynote and also for my increasingly popular Future of Work session, which gives a sneak peek into what might come next from Citrix. But where does the inspiration come from, and how do we know that what we show is going to excite our attendees?

Let me share a few insights.

Since Citrix Synergy 2018, the folks in the Office of the CTO have met with customer CIOs and CTOs on hundreds of separate occasions all around the globe. During these meetings, we gain incredibly deep knowledge of our customers, their challenges, and their aspirations. Armed with that rich information, we are able to advocate for them and their industries with our amazingly talented product and engineering teams.

It is through these engagements that we create customer trust and intimacy, while at all times maintaining an open-mindedness that is critical to being relevant today and tomorrow — across multiple industries — especially in times of disruption and transformation.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

— Marcel Proust

Personally, I’ve taken around 130 flights and met with a similar number of CIOs and CTOs over the last 12 months. The majority of the time, I am there to learn, to actively listen, to advise (when asked), and to satisfy my ongoing curiosity into the real challenges of business — and how our current and future solutions can play a part in solving them. I am also often asked for my opinions, thoughts and visions for the future, most of which customers can relate to, even if they are a few years away from the reality of the vision. It makes for stimulating conversation on both sides of the table.

The sheer number of interactions generates a lot of data points, from which I am able to pull themes and piece them together (usually in my head) like a giant business-process-and-enabling technology jigsaw puzzle.

Over time, some obvious patterns emerge — the most common of which I now call “shifting dynamics” — and feature in every industry we serve, including healthcare, banking, insurance, retail, manufacturing, and others.

It’s essential to understand and appreciate that there is very rarely a “clean break” between the FROM and TO for any of the categories above. No enterprise CIO or CTO on the planet is afforded the luxury of starting with a blank canvas. This is why you’ll often hear us talk about “meeting the customer at the point on their journey.” Simply put, the enterprise IT landscape is getting more complex as organizations have to balance the needs of today with the increasing demands of tomorrow.

Let’s take a closer look.

The Citrix iron triangle concepts of experience, choice, and security continue to be a foundational construct to help us deliver industry-leading products and cloud services for customers to address these “shifting dynamics.” You’re sure to hear a whole lot more about how we achieve this, via our innovations and future vision, at Citrix Synergy 2019, May 21-23 in Atlanta.

I am looking forward to a great event, and it would be great to continue this discussion in person. Feel free to grab me during the show. I’d love to hear about your thoughts, experiences and feedback.

Enjoy Citrix Synergy!