Helping Customers Find their Way on the Digital Transformation Journey

Digital transformation: it’s a concept that went from nonexistent a few years ago to top of every tech blogger’s mind. But it’s much more than just a buzzword, and leaders in C-suites around the globe are taking it seriously.

We all know that traditional ways of working are changing, and that the workforce of the future must become more mobile, flexible, and dynamic. According to the study “Building the Digital Workplace” from Oxford Economics, employees working at companies with mature digital strategies do a better job at problem-solving, collaborating, managing stress levels, managing time, delivering quality work, and more.

As a global leader in digital workspaces, Citrix is very much on the cutting edge of this trend. We spend a lot of time thinking about what digital transformation can mean and how our solutions can help facilitate it. (For example, see this blog from our own Calvin Hsu on the three traits that modern digital workspace leaders share.)

But what does digital transformation look like on the ground to the companies that are actually doing it? And how are Citrix partners helping our customers empower their workers and transform their businesses? We spoke with several to find out.

Rethinking what matters to businesses

At first blush, you might be tempted to dismiss digital transformation as marketing hype, but CIOs, HR leaders, and others setting strategic direction at organizations worldwide don’t see it that way. Two of our most successful partners noted that digital transformation—and empowering more mobile workforces—were top of mind with their clients.

“When we speak to CIOs and other customers, digital transformation is way up near the top of their priority lists,” says Chong-Win Lee, CEO of Logicalis’ Asia organization, based in Singapore. “They’re focused on bringing in impactful applications that will disrupt the way they’re currently conducting business.”

“A lot of the customers we work with understand the importance of digital transformation,” adds James Lee, owner of Asiasoft Solutions Pte, Ltd, also based in Singapore. “They believe that the very survival of their business will depend on whether they can transform fast enough in the digital world.”

If it sounds like these partners are talking about more than flexible workspaces and mobility, they are. Out on the front lines, the customers most interested in digital transformation view it as a path to reimagine business processes, business models, in some cases, the organization itself.

“I see myself as a consultant,” says Christian Boellert, board member at msg services and responsible for IT technology consulting within msg group. “If I’m talking with C-level management, my goal is to help give them a way to overcome obstacles they’re facing in their staff, their processes, their own thinking. I don’t talk about technology. I talk about bigger questions: Where are you today? Where is your market going? What do you need to change, and how fast can we change it?”

Empowering people

One key principle that we heard again and again: transformation starts with people. Our partners are still selling technology, of course, but they don’t start with technology and look for ways to insert it into the business. Rather, they focus on the needs and desires of human end users and work backwards from there.

“Digital transformation can mean any one of a million things, but the conversations we’re having with our customers focus on the way people consume services within a business,” says Rob Mattlin, national practice manager for Thomas Duryea Logicalis (TDL), based in Melbourne, Australia. “The entire IT industry has shifted away from this very regimented, top-down approach. People coming into the workforce nowadays have grown up with access a vast amount of technology, and they no longer accept being told how to consume IT. They expect to be able to go to the local store, buy a laptop, connect to cloud-based services, and work where they want.”

This basic idea—giving people more freedom and flexibility in how they work—resonates with many of our customers. And it falls on our partners to identify the best ways to use new cloud, SaaS, and other digital technologies to equip their people for success in the modern marketplace.

“When I speak with customers about digital transformation, they’re mostly focused on enabling all of their employees to be able to access core business applications anywhere, so their work isn’t locked into a specific place and time,” says Joko Gunawan, Director, Mastersystem Infotama (MSI), located in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“People have realised the traditional way of doing business and IT is coming to an end, and they need to evolve,” adds Mattlin. “What’s driving that is staff retention, being able to attract quality people. You’re not going to get the best young talent coming into the workplace today if you offer them an experience that was state-of-the-art back in the late 90s. You need to evolve the technology offering, because a business’ biggest capital investment is its people. If you don’t have the right people, your business is going to fail.”

Transformation in action

So how are Citrix partners helping our customers reimagine their businesses? Here are just a few examples:

  • Driving out paper: TDL worked with a large, very conservative law firm that was almost entirely paper-based, with attorneys literally taking hand trolleys to court to carry all their documents. “We took them on a complete transformation journey and helped digitise all of their case documents,” says Mattlin.” Now, they just take a laptop or iPad to court, and they can access all of the information they need to do their work using Citrix or other cloud offerings. Everything is now wireless. Everything is portable. They can consume information and work effectively on any device, anywhere.”
  • Streamlining clinical applications: Envision IT was working with a large Midwestern hospital system that suffered from a seemingly small, but hugely disruptive challenge: on the multi-user caregiver workstations throughout the hospital, it could take three minutes for clinicians to log in and bring up their applications. Envision replaced the aging workstations with a Citrix-based application environment. “Just by optimizing the login times, we were able to return over 500 hours per day of employee time back to the care providers,” says Brad Nelson, senior account manager. “We helped drive a seven-figure savings for the hospital over five years, and reduced help desk calls by 80 percent”
  • Reimagining business models: msg group works with a customer that handles logistics for all the major global shipping companies in Switzerland. Initially, the company was focused solely on moving their IT to the cloud. But as msg reviewed their business challenges and goals, they realized the company wasn’t doing anything with the huge amounts of customer data they possessed. For example, knowing when a product someone had ordered was about to reach end of life could be hugely valuable to marketers and retailers. “The company could still do logistics, transporting goods, call center, everything else they had done in the past,” says Boellert. “But in addition, you start to do data mining. And now you’ve transformed of your business model. So here, digital transformation was all about cloud technology when we started talking but had become a completely new way of doing business by the time we finished.”

Embracing change

Digital transformation will look very different for different customers. But they all have one thing in common: they’re all trying to look at their business processes, and even basic business models, with fresh eyes. And they’re trying to get more comfortable with the faster pace of change in a digital world.

“It’s easy to focus on all the possible obstacles and risks, but if you do that too much, you never start the journey,” says Boellert. “We try to help our customers think more like startups: you just get started. And when you find an obstacle, you learn from it and change direction.”

Accelerate progress

For a fresh take on how work really gets done in the modern era and how technology can enable this new approach, watch the “Accelerating Productivity w/o Compromise through Immersive Digital Workspaces,” webinar from Director of Solutions Marketing at Citrix, Matt Crawford, in partnership with 451 Research.

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