It’s time to calm the chaos. Don’t get me wrong; we love digital communication and what it has done for the world. However, there is undoubtedly some non-trivial collateral damage that organisations are having to battle with.
Too many emails, too many notifications, too many passwords, too many decisions to make. Too many apps to install, too many authentication codes, too many user profiles to create and maintain. Too many helpdesk tickets, too many leave requests, too many password resets, too many files.
Too. Much. Stuff. Don’t you just wish somebody would make it stop?
What’s needed is, quite simply, a single place to consolidate ‘work’, whatever that means. Now, in order for this to be a realistic goal, we need to let go of the notion that any one company is going to invent the perfect work platform and then persuade everyone to migrate to it. Instead, we need a tool that acknowledges and embraces the fact that there will always be the need for disparate, specialist software; yet can in some way harmonise how we access and use it all.
With all this in mind, I think we now understand why Citrix moved to acquire stop-the-madness startup Sapho at the end of 2018. In doing so, and combining it with their evolving Workplace platform, they might – just might – have created the near-perfect solution. According to the Product VP (and Sapho Co-founder), Fouad ElNaggar, Workspace aims to be ‘the preferred place to work for a billion people’. Although this is a lofty goal, there’s some compelling evidence that they’re focusing on the right things to make this happen. For us, some of the most alluring end user benefits are…
Only having to log in once, for all of your enterprise and SaaS applications
That’s a major user headache solved, right there.
Being able to execute important tasks from right in your inbox/work stream
So rather than dragging users off to other applications, clicking into a workspace feed item surfaces just enough information to make a decision, along with the appropriate action, such as an ‘approve’ button. No need to move from the spot.
Being able to search multiple enterprise tools, with the simplicity and familiarity of consumer search tools
So what if you have Office 365, a network drive, Dropbox, Sharefile, or other, multiple places to store files? Removing the need to make people think about where to find stuff, creates a win.
Not getting lost in your email inbox. Working in a spam-free environment
Only solicited, important updates appear in the workstream, eliminating any productivity loss due to spam or distractions.
Being able to raise leave requests, helpdesk tickets or expense claims, in situ
Core fields can be presented in ‘micro applications’, making the process simple, yet tightly integrated with the underlying platform.
Having a single place to get work done
No longer needing to open yet another application or tab, to get to grips with work.
All of which means a much less stressful and more efficient experience. There’s less time spent switching context, if there is only one context.
So the workforce should love Citrix Workspace, but so too should IT. With a tightly controlled single secure place to access the company’s digital environment, the ability to integrate both SaaS and on premise apps and the ability to monitor, detect and stop external threats, what’s not to like? Plus, nothing more than a web browser is required for end users!
Given that Workspace is designed to work with, not against your existing IT estate, it should evolve to be a ‘must have’ solution for many organisations. How this pans out in reality, will be tempered by how comprehensively Workspace can provide connectors for the vast ecosystem of enterprise applications out there. Connectors currently exist for some of the most prolific applications, including Salesforce, Jira, Slack, Oracle, Workday and even IBM Domino. But there are some notable absences too.
The base product is already making a great case for itself. In our view, the best way for the Workspace product development squad to add value, would be to accelerate the benefits of AI, specifically machine learning, to understand individual usage patterns to improve the experience over time.
For a quick taste of what Citrix Workspace is bringing to the party, check out this marketing video showing the pre-acquisition Sapho product (1.36).
For a head-on look at the product, why not let the product’s VP walk you through it here.