Technology is visible in all parts of a business and it is important that leaders empower their employees to use new technologies to be digitally ahead. As the workplace continues to evolve, organisations that do not embrace the digital workplace will risk falling behind.
Many organisations fear the shift toward digital because of the perception that it is an expensive exercise. Although this may often be true, there are a number of benefits that come with transforming digitally. The digital workplace breaks down communication barriers, it optimizes business operation and helps organisations attract the right talent amongst other things.
More organisations are committing IT budget on supporting digital workplace strategies that promise to deliver measurable returns. A comprehensive digital workplace strategy will move an organisation towards the future workspace.
In an interview with IT News Africa, George Prinsloo, Regional Sales Manager – Networking Citrix Systems South Africa shared what the workspace of the future looks like, how organisations can prepare and how Citix has had to reinvent itself over the years.
1. It is clear that modern workspace is more digital than before, what does the future workspace look like?
From our perspective we see the workspace becoming increasingly digital, as IT leaders are asked not only to deliver IT services, but also to improve business outcomes. According to the 2018 IPSOS research study commissioned by Citrix, currently 51% of South African businesses have moved to the cloud, enabling an environment where employees’ demands of working anytime and from anywhere has become a reality.
That said, organisations must remember that, in order to truly drive innovation and agility, careful orchestration of hybrid and multi-cloud environments is essential. Globally we are seeing our clients increasingly adopt a single unified platform that centrally manages users, devices, data, workloads, and networks can optimally leverage global resources and comply with data governance restrictions.
With data centres available in numerous locations worldwide, IT can store workloads near the people who use them to minimise WAN latency. This geographic flexibility also allows IT to keep data inside national borders as required, simplifying regulatory compliance.
2. How can businesses prepare for the workspace of the future?
It is integral for businesses to understand that the workspace of the future concept is being driven by cloud adoption! With hyperscalers like Microsoft and AWS bringing data centres to the African continent, there has been an acceleration of Cloud adoption, especially into public cloud.
The challenge for customers has primarily been the realisation that migrating to the cloud is never going to be a simple lift and shift; rather they will have to navigate their way through a hybrid, multi-cloud approach to meet their desired business goals and end state. The reality of a hybrid, multi-cloud environment is that it becomes difficult for IT to gain complete visibility, management and control. Customers are also concerned about user experience as applications are being accessed from multiple locations across multiple networks (LAN, WAN and internet).
So in short organisations need to plan their cloud migration journey properly and partner with technology vendors that understand the hybrid multi-cloud world and how to navigate their customers through it successfully to help them get to their desired end state quicker.
3. How does Citrix help their customers forge ahead with their digital transformation initiatives?
For 30 years, Citrix has been delivering applications to end users over different networks, giving us the credibility to partner with our customers and provide them with pro-active management, control and visibility across all these various cloud environments. Our solutions allow them the agility and ability to migrate workloads between on-premise and different cloud environments seamlessly.
Further to this, we ensure that the user experience is enhanced in a cloud-based world by providing them with the ability to securely access and deliver any application from any data location, across any network, from any device.
4. Why is it important that a business spends more time on a strategy when they are digitally transforming?
Organisations need agility, and one of the big reasons for organisations moving to the cloud is to reduce operational overhead and to allow IT to drive business agility and innovation instead of spending all their time on ‘simply keeping the lights on’.
Control over users, the applications they use and the data they consume becomes very important. Over and above this I think it’s more than just thinking about how to effectively move systems to the cloud. The performance and reliability of an organisation’s network also becomes crucial in a hybrid multi-cloud world. An application is only as good as the network it’s consumed over regardless of whether that’s a LAN, WAN or the internet.
So it’s important for organisations to ensure they have a proper business strategy in place to make sure that their network is cloud-ready, modernised and software-defined in order to be able to fully embrace the workspace of the future.
5. How does Citrix provide their channel customers with the workspace of the future?
Through a combination of our solutions like Citrix Workspace, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Citrix Application Delivery Controllers and Citrix SD-WAN, we are able to truly partner with our customers to provide an integrated and holistic Digital Workspace Experience in a Hybrid Multi-cloud World.
6. How has the journey been?
It’s been great, we have been seeing a massive uptake in cloud adoption locally and therefore the adoption of concepts like the Workspace of the Future and SD-WAN networking especially has been very positive for Citrix. For me personally, it’s a great feeling to wake up and know that I am part of something bigger; to be able to actually contribute to implementing and driving change on a daily basis in South Africa and Africa specifically is a special feeling.