citrix / digital

Citrix study reveals the must-haves for digital cooperation

By 2018, half of all businesses in Germany will already be working from the cloud. Digital working methods will undergo rapid growth accordingly. Now, a cloud study from Citrix shows the factors that decision-makers in the new professional world should consider and which features will shape the digital workplace.  

One classic case of digitalization is ride-sourcing service Uber. The US company is already regularly invoked as the textbook example of a successful and disruptive business model within the field of digitalization. Justifiably so, as in the space of just a few years, Uber has challenged the traditional business model of taxi companies all over the world.


Furthermore: Uber has held its ground – in the USA, the company “born in the cloud” achieved a market share of 87% in 2016. In terms of working methods, the business model is based on two main digital elements – virtual workplaces and flexible external labor. All employees at the corporation have their working environment on their smartphones – commission invoicing, scheduling and communication take place in a single application.


Aside from Uber, however, digitalization – whether of workplaces, business models or collaborations – can happen at any workshop, hair salon, bakery chain or start-up. Appropriate, standardized digital solutions are available on the market and are ever more in demand.


To put it another way: Have the courage to bring your work to the cloud – your business will reap the benefits. Exactly how it works is something that you can quite easily try for yourself. Readers of MyBusinessFuture can enjoy a no-obligation trial of the Citrix ShareFile collaboration solution for 30 days – sign up for free here.


“Digital collaboration” is becoming essential

Large companies in particular are increasingly turning to cloud platforms to enable them to launch new products and innovative services in the shortest possible time. That much is evident from a new study conducted by software company Citrix. According to the study, as many as eight out of ten companies believe that the option to work from any location will be a major factor in their success in achieving all manner of business objectives in the years to come.


One fundamental prerequisite for this: Companies wishing to make use of virtual workplaces need to be able to rely on secure data synchronization and sharing. However, not all solutions in the collaboration environment offer these capabilities.


MyBusinessFuture summarizes the key results of the study into “Secure, flexible working environments through the cloud.”

Skilled personnel just a click away

Companies in all industries are desperately seeking skilled personnel. In particular, they are looking for workers who are not only experts in their respective fields but also have the necessary expertise in IT solutions. This is demonstrated by studies such as the recent skills shortage analysis carried out by the German Federal Employment Agency.


The study by Citrix corroborates these findings. The vast majority of companies surveyed (83%) are responding to the skills shortage with measures such as flexible working environments that motivate employees and external specialists and present the opportunity of achieving a better work/life balance.

The focus here is on flexibility and the ability to respond to last-minute changes and requirements in real time. In its study, Citrix presents a persuasive case for exactly how digital workplace strategies make that a possibility.


With a modern concept known as “workplace as a service,” companies of all sizes can make new workplaces available to internal and external specialists within minutes.


For example, companies can allocate pre-configured workplaces with all the necessary applications to new specialists and, in the case of global enterprises, enable the solution in the employee’s native language. Via central data storage in the cloud, specialists can thereby work on projects with those responsible as if they were in the same place at the same time – see here for further details.

Under the microscope – the Citrix ShareFile collaboration solution explained in one minute:


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The top benefits of flexible working environments for companies:

✘ Effective and accelerated processes

✘ Better customer support and shorter response times

✘ Optimized flexibility for external service providers, external employees and sales employees

Global protection of enterprise data 

A smartphone, a computer, a desk and a permanent place in the office – that’s probably what the standard workplace looks like at your company as well.


That is likely to change in the near future, irrespective of whether you are currently introducing a complete cloud solution or merely digitizing sub-areas for certain specialist departments. After all, your employees will increasingly want to work from home or while traveling and external service providers will need access to the relevant files and applications for projects assigned to them.


This means that IT security will become more important than ever. You can probably already guess one of the main reasons. In the future, you will no longer use computers to carry out only certain parts of your work; in fact, in many cases, your entire company will go digital, including product development, contracts and sensitive ERP databases.


With regard to digital workplaces, companies should therefore be putting IT security right at the top of the agenda. This is shown, for example, by another Bitkom survey on the most significant high-tech topics and trends in 2017. In this survey, seven out of ten companies surveyed regarded IT security as the number-one priority.


Let us compare that with the Citrix study. In that, too, those responsible for IT at the companies questioned appear to have grasped the relevance of digital security mechanisms. In 54% of all cases, larger companies that employee people all over the world encrypt their digital workplaces by means of VPN connections. Other security solutions such as external firewalls or desktop firewalls follow in second and third places.


However, more and more IT decision-makers are not choosing to take isolated action but are using central management software to administer the solutions used, as the study concludes.

The majority of the survey's companies are using a central management software to manage virtual workstations and to monitor aceess to company's IT. (Image: Citrix/techconsult)
The majority of the survey's companies are using a central management software to manage virtual workstations and to monitor aceess to company's IT. (Image: Citrix/techconsult)

The most popular devices for the mobile workplace

In their day-to-day work, employees are generally interested in functionality, user-friendliness and stability, as the latest Citrix study shows. In many cases, cloud solutions are more convenient ways of meeting these requirements than conventional software on a workplace computer.


It would seem that many employees see it that way as well, and the changes in the ways in which work devices are used in recent years make a persuasive case for this.

Overview  from the lastest study by Citrix:  The top working tools of the survey's companies. (Image: Citrix/technconsult)
Overview  from the lastest study by Citrix:  The top working tools of the survey's companies. (Image: Citrix/technconsult)

Laptops and desktop PCs in particular are still in use at many companies. That may come as no surprise at first, but the growth in other devices shows clearly where the future may lead for work devices.


The rising share of work carried out on smartphones and tablets is a major factor here. Although these devices offer fewer technical functions than conventional desktops in some cases, they can offset this deficit through excellent portability and user-friendliness.


No wonder, when you consider the external specialists mentioned above. Like permanent staff, external personnel also need to be incorporated into the existing company IT if they are to work effectively and successfully. With tablets and smartphones, it is possible to access enterprise data from the outside within a few minutes. All IT managers have to do is to assign the relevant authorizations and enable the appropriate applications for the new specialists and the workers can get on with their work right away.


Source for title image: vgajic / iStock