Jon Cook, Sales Manager, Citrix UK
Organisations used to set the technology agenda. Most of us got our first experience of technology in an office, university or school. We used the tools that were put in front of us. That’s how it worked.
Well, it no longer works like that. Consumers set the pace, and, unless you’re happy to become a low margin, commodity business, then it’s probably time to accept it.
It’s not going to be easy. Even progressive organisations are struggling to match the breakneck pace of employees. But it’s essential. All across the world we’re seeing IT teams accept the new order and challenge.
They are building a technology environment around their people. Giving them the power to work, innovate and collaborate where and when they want.
It’s a bit of a paradox, surrendering control to maintain strategic relevance, but that’s the brief.
This isn’t a new phenomenon. But there’s no doubt we’ve crossed the chasm from early adoption to the majority. There are four interlinked patterns driving changes to the role, shape and make-up of technology teams.
The speed of innovation has transformed. Organisations need to move quicker than ever before. The structure of innovation has changed. Organisations need to involve more people than ever before. Innovation can’t be owned. It can only be facilitated.
Necessity is the mother of invention. People talk big in the good times and act big in the bad times. Building a technology around users (wherever they may be) drives innovation and reduces major costs like expensive office space.
King Cnut couldn’t hold back the tide. And organisations can’t stop employees working the way that suits them. Let them work where they want and with the applications and hardware they need. Or they’ll find somewhere that does.
Organisations are trimming their payrolls. Yet more people work for them than ever before. They need to open the door to freelancers, contractors and consultants who come, go and come back again.
Citrix tackle these issues for clients every day. And the traditional ‘one user, one desktop’ model is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
So what are the alternatives? How do IT teams build an open cost effective infrastructure around their users?
It’s about uniting users (on their terms) with what makes them productive: applications and other people.
- Virtualisation – Virtualising desktops and servers makes it easier to serve up what users need, where they need it, while keeping redundant capacity to the lowest possible level.
- Cloud – Going to the cloud (public or private) enables users to ramp up their technology infrastructure, platform or software to support any project capacity.
- Mobile – Aligning mobile applications (in terms of optimisation, analysis and performance) is the next major step for uniting people and applications in harmony.
- Collaboration – Adding social networking or groupware tools to applications ensures innovative projects bring maximum expertise together.
Users – Applications – Collaboration
In many ways the technology challenge has never been simpler. Understand users, give them applications and link them together.
The problem is legacy. Most organisations have loads of applications and hardly any idea how they work or who is using them. That’s not sustainable in the new order. And your clients don’t want to buy, deploy or support applications that are not ready for a new era.
A lean, rationalised application portfolio (across virtual, cloud or mobile) is a key asset of any modern enterprise. That’s what users want.
Sorting the apps out is probably the biggest step towards the future you can take today.