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2022: The Year Technology and New Work Models Come Together To Enable Continuous Innovation

Dana Gardner
Dana Gardner
Dana GardnerHybrid IT Productivity Analyst and Social Media Producer at Interarbor Solutions

Transcript of a discussion on how technology will improve the ways businesses operate and enable employees to remain productive and content in the coming year.

2022: The Year Technology and New Work Models Come Together To Enable Continuous Innovation

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2022: The Year Technology and New
Work Models Come Together
To Enable Continuous Innovation
Transcript of a discussion on how technology will improve the ways businesses operate and
enable employees to remain productive and content in the coming year.
Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Citrix.
Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and
you’re listening to BriefingsDirect.
Predicting the future took on a whole new degree of difficulty the past two years. And
while we can’t always know what Mother Nature will throw our way, we can learn from
what worked -- and what didn’t work -- in 2021.
Clearly, adjusting swiftly to persistent change and leveraging digital -- and often virtual --
tools, environments, and processes were major benefits. Now, how will 2022 shape up
as we extrapolate on the trends around shifting work models?
How will technology, both tactically and strategically, improve the ways businesses
operate and enable employees to remain productive and content, regardless of where
they are?
Stay with us now as we explore the ways work continues to be reinvented while -- at the
same time -- digital technologies enhance and disrupt the means through which we all
collaborate and operate in our jobs.
To learn more about the ways that 2022 will set the stage for the next decade of
innovation and work adaptation, please join me now in welcoming Christian Reilly, Vice
President and Head of Technology Strategy at Citrix. Welcome, Christian.
Christian Reilly: Thank you for having me.
Gardner: We’re also here with Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President of Business
Strategy at Citrix. Welcome back, Tim.
Tim Minahan: Thanks, Dana. It’s great to be here.
Gardner: Tim, do you see the speed in how work models are evolving and maturing
slowing at all in 2022? Have we reached some sort of plateau yet?
Page 2 of 16
Minahan: Not at all, Dana. In fact, the old adage that
necessity is the mother of innovation is certainly
holding true. All of the unplanned investments that
organizations have made over the past two years to
accommodate secure remote work have torn down
barriers. That has led to new ways of operating that
are going to continue to fuel unprecedented innovation
and growth in the year -- and years -- ahead.
If you think about it, when the pandemic hit,
companies had to find new ways to operate. They had
to invest in new technologies that took them decades
worth of steps forward. They not only innovated on
how they work internally, but in how they engage with
their customers through new digital channels.
And the technologies they used to digitize their businesses to survive have now provided
new business models and a new pace of innovation across every industry -- from a
dramatic increase in the role of telemedicine and remote clinics to virtual learning and,
as we’re hearing now, to the metaverse -- that will enable them to thrive in the new year
ahead and beyond.
Gardner: Tim, what have we learned over the past two years as the reinvention of work
solutions accelerated? What worked – and what didn’t?
Work, reworked – post-pandemic possibilities
Minahan: Well, companies have been forced to do two things. Number one, they were
forced to accelerate the digitization of their business. In financial services industries, for
example, that meant increasing remote and digital financial advisory and trading
services. For retail, it meant further accelerating the use of digital channels. And in
healthcare, they found new ways to engage with patients and provide patient care.
But the second thing is it also caused both
employers and employees to rethink work, to
break down the old taboos that work can only
happen while in the office. Employers have
recognized the benefits that remote work
plays -- not only in keeping their existing
employees engaged, but in being able to reach new talent pools well beyond commuting
distance to their work hubs or offices.
And employees have recognized that, “Hey, I can actually do creative and innovative
work when not in the office. In fact, I may even be able to be more creative and
innovative because I have uninterrupted time to focus on solving business problems and
not having to deal with all the other headaches and distractions that come with long
Minahan
Both employers and employees
have had to rethink work, to break
down the old taboos that work can
only happen while in the office.
Page 3 of 16
commutes and travel. I can now make better use of technology to foster more efficient
work execution and collaboration wherever work needs to get done.”
Gardner: Tim, some people seem to think that the best-case scenario is that we get
back to the way things were in 2019. Why is that not likely to happen when it comes to
how we work?
Minahan: Because of the two dynamics that we just mentioned. One is we’ve broken
down the taboos about where work happens, what constitutes work, and who does the
work. Many employees have recognized they can be selective about the jobs they take
and for which organizations.
Similarly, many companies are beginning to evolve to much more of a blend between
full-time employees (FTEs) and contractors, especially for those hard-to-find skill sets
that are required to digitize and modernize their businesses.
Skills such as for artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, cloud, and security are often hard
to find on a full-time employee basis. But when the contract between employers and
employees shifts, and employees are looking to select those jobs that they want --
looking to hone their skills and be an independent -- that really opens up new
opportunities both for employers and employees.
Gardner: Christian, if we’re entering into this bold new era of work and there’s no going
back, why is the timing good from a technology standpoint? Why is technology in a
better position than ever to support such a work-model-adaptation-shift?
Reilly: There’s just so much more choice. If we look
around the technology sphere, there’s also more speed in
how technology finds its way into organizations -- and
that’s not always by IT, a lot comes in by demand from end
users and employees.
Just step back and recall how quickly were we able to
apply technology to what I lovingly call the world’s greatest
semi-coordinated remote work experiment. I don’t use the
word pandemic anymore. If you really think about it, every
organization on the planet was challenged from day one of
the lockdown to say, “Okay, well, the technology that we
had and we then deployed really wasn’t intended to
support this kind of remote work.”
That is the very work that Tim was talking about as being forced upon us. It wasn’t really
by choice. It was a mandate due to the global lockdown. When you recall how quickly we
were able to respond to that with a variety of different technologies, that proved that
remote work really does work.
Reilly
Page 4 of 16
So, I think it’s a great time to be in tech. It’s a great time for organizations to step back
and think about what has been achieved. Now, what else can we achieve, knowing that
our traditional barriers -- and the Department of No that most IT organizations have been
historically -- have been turned on their heads? The ways that these technologies have
arrived has given us a huge opportunity to change the way that we think about supply
and demand across every industry.
Gardner: if there is no such thing as the new normal, and we can just get rid of “normal,”
what’s the new new, Christian?
The new now is a great time for IT
Reilly: I call it the new now. If you go back just a few months, the world was slowly
coming out of the pandemic and offices and countries were beginning to reopen. If you
use the word normal in that context, I don’t think it treats us equally.
The pandemic affected everybody around the world differently. Referring to that as
normal doesn’t reflect those differences. It doesn’t do enough to reflect the differences
because normal doesn’t reflect what we’ve been through in the last couple of years.
Need Some Good Reasons to Innovate?
Citrix Research Uncovers Half a Trillion
But if we think about it as now, that puts us in a different mindset. Most companies that
have been successful through the pandemic have had agility. They were able to shape-
shift, to put their resources to work in different ways quickly to address different work
challenges. If we suggest that that’s normal, it puts us in a box that might limit our
thinking and creativity.
I like to think about things in a fluid way. We
haven’t seen a strategy from a single
company that’s going to be the blueprint for
everybody going forward. So, treating every
day as a new now leads us humans in
organizations to be open to the things we do
really well, which are creativity, innovation,
and thinking outside the box.
I prefer to think about it in terms of various phases of evolution post-pandemic, which
has accelerated many things -- whether that be technology or business change, which is
all very positive.
I think normal is probably a little bit too harsh a word for what we’ve been through and
what we can expect for the next few years.
Treating every day as a new
now leads us humans in
organizations to be open to the
things we do really well, which
are creativity, innovation, and
thinking outside the box.
Page 5 of 16
Gardner: Christian, if technology is foundational to making this new era vibrant and
innovative, has there ever been a better time to be in the IT business?
Reilly: From the changes we saw before the pandemic -- with organizations moving to
cloud, changing their application portfolios, and in how work gets done -- there’s always
been a technology underpinning of that. And if you’re in the technology industry, you
have to be pretty happy with the opportunity for more change.
For many years, it was difficult for people in organizations to drive change and to
challenge the status quo in organizations large and small. But as technologists, we
always like to look out and try to invent the future. It was difficult to do that when the rest
of the business was in catch-up mode or didn’t see the value of technology as an
investment to drive the business, as opposed to being a necessary evil.
Now we’ve leveled the playing
field, both in the choices we have
in technology as well as in the time
it takes to invent technology and
the short time to get a return from
that investment.
It’s great, and we see examples in our customers around the world, of organizations that
put technology strategies at the forefront of their business strategy. In my nearly 30
years in this industry, I can’t remember a time when it’s been more exciting to combine
the technology with the business opportunity and to drive some really great outcomes
going forward.
Gardner: Tim, for the business leaders out there who are also responding to this sea
change, what does your research tell you? Are they as optimistic as the technologists
are for 2022?
Business leaders favor flexible work future
Minahan: Yes, business leaders are viewing this moment, and the investments they’ve
made to support advanced digitization and engagement with their customers and in
remote or hybrid work models, as a platform for driving new levels of innovation.
In fact, Citrix recently conducted a research project in partnership with Coleman Parkes
Research interviewing some 1,200 business leaders across the US and Europe. And on
average, these leaders attribute almost half of their growth over the past year to new
innovations, new products, new service lines, and new ways of working fueled by the
adoption of new technologies and the work models we’ve been talking about here.
In fact, according to the study, investments in new technology and flexible work models
over the past several years have fueled $678 billion in new revenues across these
We’ve leveled the playing field, both in the
choices we have in technology as well as
in the time it takes to invent technology.
Page 6 of 16
industries. Furthermore, 69 percent of those business leaders around the world say
they’re going to increase investment in research and development (R&D) over the next
12 months to sustain this growth.
Because part of that growth had been
constrained by our biases in thinking, as
Christian just said, those longer journeys to
the cloud are no more. Companies are
accelerating digitization of their businesses -
- including the shift to cloud. They now are taking a three-year cloud transformation
project and doing it in three months because they need the agility. They see the benefits
that are available to them.
The same thing goes for work models. Business leaders are removing the traditional
taboos associated with working remotely and using that to rethink their entire work
model. Where work gets done is certainly part of the dialogue we’re having in the
market. Should employees go back to the office or work remotely continually?
But it’s more than that, it’s about how work gets done. Are we fostering these workers
with a digital workspace environment that allows them to work anywhere and be as
productive and as secure -- whether they’re in an office building or on the road?
And then there’s more innovation around who does the work. This is the most exciting
part. Businesses are now able to access new talent pools and drive greater equitable
and responsible hiring practices because they’re no longer constrained by where their
office buildings are.
For example, the healthcare sector has
been advancing not just telemedicine but
new remote clinics that are closer to the
patients. A great example is Mass General
Brigham in your hometown there, Dana, in
Boston. Just before the COVID crisis, they
had transitioned to the cloud, which not only ensured that 70,000 physicians, clinicians,
and administrators could work safely and remotely, it allowed them to be much more
responsive to the needs that have arisen during the pandemic.
For example, they opened up a remote clinic at the Boston Convention Center, literally in
three days, per order of the governor. Because they were using the same technology
platform, they were able to do that very, very quickly. It has also allowed them to
increase their telemedicine visits by more than 27 times. And they don’t see that going
fully back to the way it was before.
And, finally, using such a cloud platform delivers greater access to experts at colleges,
for example, in Minnesota. They don’t necessarily need to live in the Boston area to be
able to sustain this. That’s just one great example of an industry and a leader in that
industry that’s not going back.
Companies are accelerating the
digitization of their businesses –
including the shift to cloud.
The healthcare sector has been
advancing not just telemedicine
but new remote clinics that are
closer to the patients.

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2022: The Year Technology and New Work Models Come Together To Enable Continuous Innovation

  • 1. Page 1 of 16 2022: The Year Technology and New Work Models Come Together To Enable Continuous Innovation Transcript of a discussion on how technology will improve the ways businesses operate and enable employees to remain productive and content in the coming year. Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Citrix. Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BriefingsDirect. Predicting the future took on a whole new degree of difficulty the past two years. And while we can’t always know what Mother Nature will throw our way, we can learn from what worked -- and what didn’t work -- in 2021. Clearly, adjusting swiftly to persistent change and leveraging digital -- and often virtual -- tools, environments, and processes were major benefits. Now, how will 2022 shape up as we extrapolate on the trends around shifting work models? How will technology, both tactically and strategically, improve the ways businesses operate and enable employees to remain productive and content, regardless of where they are? Stay with us now as we explore the ways work continues to be reinvented while -- at the same time -- digital technologies enhance and disrupt the means through which we all collaborate and operate in our jobs. To learn more about the ways that 2022 will set the stage for the next decade of innovation and work adaptation, please join me now in welcoming Christian Reilly, Vice President and Head of Technology Strategy at Citrix. Welcome, Christian. Christian Reilly: Thank you for having me. Gardner: We’re also here with Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President of Business Strategy at Citrix. Welcome back, Tim. Tim Minahan: Thanks, Dana. It’s great to be here. Gardner: Tim, do you see the speed in how work models are evolving and maturing slowing at all in 2022? Have we reached some sort of plateau yet?
  • 2. Page 2 of 16 Minahan: Not at all, Dana. In fact, the old adage that necessity is the mother of innovation is certainly holding true. All of the unplanned investments that organizations have made over the past two years to accommodate secure remote work have torn down barriers. That has led to new ways of operating that are going to continue to fuel unprecedented innovation and growth in the year -- and years -- ahead. If you think about it, when the pandemic hit, companies had to find new ways to operate. They had to invest in new technologies that took them decades worth of steps forward. They not only innovated on how they work internally, but in how they engage with their customers through new digital channels. And the technologies they used to digitize their businesses to survive have now provided new business models and a new pace of innovation across every industry -- from a dramatic increase in the role of telemedicine and remote clinics to virtual learning and, as we’re hearing now, to the metaverse -- that will enable them to thrive in the new year ahead and beyond. Gardner: Tim, what have we learned over the past two years as the reinvention of work solutions accelerated? What worked – and what didn’t? Work, reworked – post-pandemic possibilities Minahan: Well, companies have been forced to do two things. Number one, they were forced to accelerate the digitization of their business. In financial services industries, for example, that meant increasing remote and digital financial advisory and trading services. For retail, it meant further accelerating the use of digital channels. And in healthcare, they found new ways to engage with patients and provide patient care. But the second thing is it also caused both employers and employees to rethink work, to break down the old taboos that work can only happen while in the office. Employers have recognized the benefits that remote work plays -- not only in keeping their existing employees engaged, but in being able to reach new talent pools well beyond commuting distance to their work hubs or offices. And employees have recognized that, “Hey, I can actually do creative and innovative work when not in the office. In fact, I may even be able to be more creative and innovative because I have uninterrupted time to focus on solving business problems and not having to deal with all the other headaches and distractions that come with long Minahan Both employers and employees have had to rethink work, to break down the old taboos that work can only happen while in the office.
  • 3. Page 3 of 16 commutes and travel. I can now make better use of technology to foster more efficient work execution and collaboration wherever work needs to get done.” Gardner: Tim, some people seem to think that the best-case scenario is that we get back to the way things were in 2019. Why is that not likely to happen when it comes to how we work? Minahan: Because of the two dynamics that we just mentioned. One is we’ve broken down the taboos about where work happens, what constitutes work, and who does the work. Many employees have recognized they can be selective about the jobs they take and for which organizations. Similarly, many companies are beginning to evolve to much more of a blend between full-time employees (FTEs) and contractors, especially for those hard-to-find skill sets that are required to digitize and modernize their businesses. Skills such as for artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, cloud, and security are often hard to find on a full-time employee basis. But when the contract between employers and employees shifts, and employees are looking to select those jobs that they want -- looking to hone their skills and be an independent -- that really opens up new opportunities both for employers and employees. Gardner: Christian, if we’re entering into this bold new era of work and there’s no going back, why is the timing good from a technology standpoint? Why is technology in a better position than ever to support such a work-model-adaptation-shift? Reilly: There’s just so much more choice. If we look around the technology sphere, there’s also more speed in how technology finds its way into organizations -- and that’s not always by IT, a lot comes in by demand from end users and employees. Just step back and recall how quickly were we able to apply technology to what I lovingly call the world’s greatest semi-coordinated remote work experiment. I don’t use the word pandemic anymore. If you really think about it, every organization on the planet was challenged from day one of the lockdown to say, “Okay, well, the technology that we had and we then deployed really wasn’t intended to support this kind of remote work.” That is the very work that Tim was talking about as being forced upon us. It wasn’t really by choice. It was a mandate due to the global lockdown. When you recall how quickly we were able to respond to that with a variety of different technologies, that proved that remote work really does work. Reilly
  • 4. Page 4 of 16 So, I think it’s a great time to be in tech. It’s a great time for organizations to step back and think about what has been achieved. Now, what else can we achieve, knowing that our traditional barriers -- and the Department of No that most IT organizations have been historically -- have been turned on their heads? The ways that these technologies have arrived has given us a huge opportunity to change the way that we think about supply and demand across every industry. Gardner: if there is no such thing as the new normal, and we can just get rid of “normal,” what’s the new new, Christian? The new now is a great time for IT Reilly: I call it the new now. If you go back just a few months, the world was slowly coming out of the pandemic and offices and countries were beginning to reopen. If you use the word normal in that context, I don’t think it treats us equally. The pandemic affected everybody around the world differently. Referring to that as normal doesn’t reflect those differences. It doesn’t do enough to reflect the differences because normal doesn’t reflect what we’ve been through in the last couple of years. Need Some Good Reasons to Innovate? Citrix Research Uncovers Half a Trillion But if we think about it as now, that puts us in a different mindset. Most companies that have been successful through the pandemic have had agility. They were able to shape- shift, to put their resources to work in different ways quickly to address different work challenges. If we suggest that that’s normal, it puts us in a box that might limit our thinking and creativity. I like to think about things in a fluid way. We haven’t seen a strategy from a single company that’s going to be the blueprint for everybody going forward. So, treating every day as a new now leads us humans in organizations to be open to the things we do really well, which are creativity, innovation, and thinking outside the box. I prefer to think about it in terms of various phases of evolution post-pandemic, which has accelerated many things -- whether that be technology or business change, which is all very positive. I think normal is probably a little bit too harsh a word for what we’ve been through and what we can expect for the next few years. Treating every day as a new now leads us humans in organizations to be open to the things we do really well, which are creativity, innovation, and thinking outside the box.
  • 5. Page 5 of 16 Gardner: Christian, if technology is foundational to making this new era vibrant and innovative, has there ever been a better time to be in the IT business? Reilly: From the changes we saw before the pandemic -- with organizations moving to cloud, changing their application portfolios, and in how work gets done -- there’s always been a technology underpinning of that. And if you’re in the technology industry, you have to be pretty happy with the opportunity for more change. For many years, it was difficult for people in organizations to drive change and to challenge the status quo in organizations large and small. But as technologists, we always like to look out and try to invent the future. It was difficult to do that when the rest of the business was in catch-up mode or didn’t see the value of technology as an investment to drive the business, as opposed to being a necessary evil. Now we’ve leveled the playing field, both in the choices we have in technology as well as in the time it takes to invent technology and the short time to get a return from that investment. It’s great, and we see examples in our customers around the world, of organizations that put technology strategies at the forefront of their business strategy. In my nearly 30 years in this industry, I can’t remember a time when it’s been more exciting to combine the technology with the business opportunity and to drive some really great outcomes going forward. Gardner: Tim, for the business leaders out there who are also responding to this sea change, what does your research tell you? Are they as optimistic as the technologists are for 2022? Business leaders favor flexible work future Minahan: Yes, business leaders are viewing this moment, and the investments they’ve made to support advanced digitization and engagement with their customers and in remote or hybrid work models, as a platform for driving new levels of innovation. In fact, Citrix recently conducted a research project in partnership with Coleman Parkes Research interviewing some 1,200 business leaders across the US and Europe. And on average, these leaders attribute almost half of their growth over the past year to new innovations, new products, new service lines, and new ways of working fueled by the adoption of new technologies and the work models we’ve been talking about here. In fact, according to the study, investments in new technology and flexible work models over the past several years have fueled $678 billion in new revenues across these We’ve leveled the playing field, both in the choices we have in technology as well as in the time it takes to invent technology.
  • 6. Page 6 of 16 industries. Furthermore, 69 percent of those business leaders around the world say they’re going to increase investment in research and development (R&D) over the next 12 months to sustain this growth. Because part of that growth had been constrained by our biases in thinking, as Christian just said, those longer journeys to the cloud are no more. Companies are accelerating digitization of their businesses - - including the shift to cloud. They now are taking a three-year cloud transformation project and doing it in three months because they need the agility. They see the benefits that are available to them. The same thing goes for work models. Business leaders are removing the traditional taboos associated with working remotely and using that to rethink their entire work model. Where work gets done is certainly part of the dialogue we’re having in the market. Should employees go back to the office or work remotely continually? But it’s more than that, it’s about how work gets done. Are we fostering these workers with a digital workspace environment that allows them to work anywhere and be as productive and as secure -- whether they’re in an office building or on the road? And then there’s more innovation around who does the work. This is the most exciting part. Businesses are now able to access new talent pools and drive greater equitable and responsible hiring practices because they’re no longer constrained by where their office buildings are. For example, the healthcare sector has been advancing not just telemedicine but new remote clinics that are closer to the patients. A great example is Mass General Brigham in your hometown there, Dana, in Boston. Just before the COVID crisis, they had transitioned to the cloud, which not only ensured that 70,000 physicians, clinicians, and administrators could work safely and remotely, it allowed them to be much more responsive to the needs that have arisen during the pandemic. For example, they opened up a remote clinic at the Boston Convention Center, literally in three days, per order of the governor. Because they were using the same technology platform, they were able to do that very, very quickly. It has also allowed them to increase their telemedicine visits by more than 27 times. And they don’t see that going fully back to the way it was before. And, finally, using such a cloud platform delivers greater access to experts at colleges, for example, in Minnesota. They don’t necessarily need to live in the Boston area to be able to sustain this. That’s just one great example of an industry and a leader in that industry that’s not going back. Companies are accelerating the digitization of their businesses – including the shift to cloud. The healthcare sector has been advancing not just telemedicine but new remote clinics that are closer to the patients.
  • 7. Page 7 of 16 They’re using the investments they made in technology. And they’re using the investments they made in work models to fuel new ways of patient care and new innovations for their businesses. Gardner: Christian, as we move past the previous work shackles using hybrid and remote models, how will recent technology trends – such as 5G connectivity, edge computing, AI, and parallel internets -- further enhance this process of reinventing work in 2022? Hyperconnectivity here, there, and everywhere Reilly: To your point about networking, I think it’s the unsung hero of what we saw during the pandemic. With the number of people being asked to work remotely, locked out of their physical locations, the demands for bandwidth were essentially catered to around the world. That speaks a lot to the underpinning of the infrastructure. And if you think about this world of hyperconnectivity, of always-on, and advancements in 5G technology, the speed and capacity that comes with that … It’s incredible. I don’t think we would have been able to do what we’ve done in the last two years with the constraints around the networking technologies from a decade ago. All sorts of different providers are now building their own undersea capacity across the world, just to carry the growing demand. You can assume in the next couple of years there’ll be no such thing as never connected. Whether you’re in an airplane, on a train, in your own car, or in a coffee shop -- or whatever -- the ubiquitous connectivity is going to power a lot of this next generation of the economy. Learn How to Avoid a New Digital Divide from Hybrid Work We tend to talk about what’s on top of the network, and obviously it is security, which is important. But performance, reliability, and availability will be there for the folks out there who want all the world’s applications and data served to them. I made a comment a few months ago about the major cloud providers building parallel Internets. The traditional Internet consists of different carriers interconnected at various points around the world in Internet exchanges (IXes). There, the name of the game is exchanging data from a peering perspective, where there’s equity between the transactions. And if you’re a commercial customer, you can buy bandwidth from there and act like a carrier. But if you really think about what goes on in the IXes, there’s a question about how we can fairly exchange data that means that nobody loses out from a cost perspective.
  • 8. Page 8 of 16 Now, think about what we’re seeing where the Googles, Microsofts, and the Amazons are all building these giant networks of their own so that they can essentially offer better reliability, performance, and availability -- loads of different points of presence around the world, some carried on subsea, some carried on terrestrial technologies. I think what we’re seeing there is a huge sea change in the way that we think about carriers. If you want to be able to get your application served by the best network in the world, you may be looking at different providers, i.e., the big hyper-scalar cloud providers, than we saw a decade ago. There’s a significant element to that, which has an upstream effect on where organizations choose to place their cloud services and the data and applications, of course. From a wireless perspective, we’ve been talking about ubiquitous connectivity for Internet of things (IoT) for many years and we’re seeing the evolution of that now with opportunities in edge computing. Lots of workloads will continue to be delivered by edge because that last mile connectivity that we used to struggle with will disappear with the continued rollout of 5G and the availability of that around the world. What really excites me is what happens in developing nations. In the Western world, we’ve been very fortunate to be on a journey from different types of networking. In some cases, they had to be built and rebuilt and built on top of existing physical infrastructure, such as cell towers, physical fiber, and so forth. For the opportunities of the developing world, they don’t come with that set of problems. Doing net new buildouts will give rise to real economic growth in areas of the world that were disadvantaged historically. I’m really excited about a level playing field across networking that drives important economic effects and social interactions for countries that have not been able to participate in the global economy because they’ve been held back by their physical infrastructure. It’s super exciting. If you look five years from now, will we see the gross domestic products (GDPs) of countries differently by virtue of the fact that they’re hyper- connected and have much more opportunity than they’ve had historically. Gardner: Tim, the good news is the technology enables things that hadn’t been possible before. And, at the same time, we’ve gained a clean slate to reinvent work, having moved past former taboos. But the bad news is this is uncharted territory, with a lot of options. What challenges do businesses need to overcome to make the most of this unique -- unprecedented, you might say -- situation without becoming overwhelmed or paralyzed? From a wireless perspective, we’ve been talking about ubiquitous connectivity for Internet of things (IoT) for many years and we’re seeing the evolution of that now with opportunities in edge computing.
  • 9. Page 9 of 16 Hybrid hopes and fears Minahan: It’s a very good point, Dana. There are some choppy waters that people need to navigate because these are uncharted areas, as you mentioned. The biggest risk companies will grapple with in the coming year is around the concept of hybrid work. Finding the right fit for right role and the opportunity of hybrid work is a tremendous opportunity, as we mentioned. Employees are liberated to work wherever they can to do their best work. Employers can tap into new talent pools well beyond commuting distance to their physical office hubs. But the challenge is to create an equitable work environment, regardless of where employees are located. Hybrid, by its very definition, means we’re going to have employees that are in the office collaborating and executing work together with employees who are not in the office. And there’s a risk of creating a tiered level of the employee base, or levels of inequity in the employee base if you default back to an office-first culture. Many of our customers and Citrix itself – look and ask, “Okay, what does the environment need to look like to be conducive to capitalizing on the benefits of hybrid work?” And, just as was done decades ago, we made big investments in physical office buildings and in creating collaboration spaces. Well, if work is now happening everywhere at the same time, and employees are distributed across physical and remote locations, that means we need to create a digital work environment, a digital workplace, that provides equitable access to the tools that all employees need to be productive: their applications, content, collaboration tools -- regardless of where they are. To Christian’s point, they also need network reliability so that the applications are not only available but perform the way they should. They need the security capability so that the company has confidence that their information is secure, no matter where an employee is doing work -- whether in an office, on the road, or from home. But that flexibility needs to be coupled with processes and cultural policy changes that foster an equitable work environment that isn’t office-first or remote-first culturally. It has to be a truly hybrid culture. Finally, the physical workspaces need to adapt, too. They need to be purpose-built for their new uses. If the physical office becomes a place where we come together to collaborate, we need to retrofit rooms to facilitate inclusion of those working remotely. At Citrix, for example, we use the Microsoft Teams environment and are retrofitting our conference rooms with 360-degree cameras, and with cameras on the whiteboard, so Flexibility needs to be coupled with processes and cultural policy changes that foster an equitable work environment.
  • 10. Page 10 of 16 that regardless of where an employee is, we are taking the equitable work policies that came with remote work and bringing them into a hybrid-work world. So, everyone has similar access to information. Everyone has a similar opportunity to voice their opinions and creativity in meetings. These are the types of things that folks are going to need to navigate through in the months ahead if they’re going to capitalize on the benefits of what hybrid work can deliver. Gardner: If we are to use hybrid work as the starting point, and we don’t know where we’re going to end up, do we have any existing examples to learn from? I’m thinking about the gig economy and gig workers. Tim, is the gig economy a bellwether for what we should expect of hybrid work models? Or can we learn from that to do even better? Beyond the office with benefits, and analytics Minahan: When the gig economy emerged, we were still in very much of a mindset of a work environment that hadn’t changed much since Henry Ford. It was an extension of the Industrial Revolution, where everyone came together in a manufacturing facility. When we went to knowledge workers, we just adopted that work structure and said, “Well, everyone, of course, should come together in an office environment.” What the opportunity affords us now -- by removing the taboos, having the technological infrastructure to support equitable work across all environments and domains -- is the opportunity to go to a new class of, if you will, gig with benefits that provides flexibility and autonomy to freelancers. They gain an economy that the contracting gig workers crave along with the stability that’s become increasingly attractive as the pandemic wears on by being associated with a given employer, with appropriate benefits, and everything that comes with being a full- time employee. And so, I think we’re seeing literally people redrafting the social contract between employers and employees for the first time in decades. Gardner: One of the nice things technologically, as we go about this redefinition of work, is we have at our disposal analytics tools at scale and at costs that are very attractive. How do we use that to understand the best models of the future of work without it just being trial and error? How do we apply the best of what analytics and automation can bring so that we can get to that right definition for the right company at the right time? We’re literally seeing people redrafting the social contract between employers and employees for the first time in decades.
  • 11. Page 11 of 16 What else can technology do for us in the next few years when it comes to helping us through such an experimental process? Minahan: Yes, over the past several years, we’ve seen the introduction of machine learning (ML) and analytics into the workplace, along with automation. And those have fundamentally changed the way we work. Number one, they help clear a lot of the noise from an employee’s day and guide them to the next task, or the next insight, that’s valuable to move them along in the process. But number two, it’s elevated the skill set of the employee and the performance of every employee so that they’re performing at their best. That’s true whether they’re six months on the job or an employee of the month consistently for the past six years. Technology can guide any employee to deliver the best customer service and to attain the best answer to execute processes even faster. An example that highlights that necessity is the mother of innovation is City National Bank of Florida. They adopted our digital workspace technologies not only to ensure that they could remotely deliver the applications and tools that employees need in a very secure environment, but also to utilize the ML, automation, and enhanced workflow capabilities to improve the steps needed for their mortgage loan review process. As a result, they knitted together some of the key tasks and insights across multiple systems – customer relationship management (CRM) systems, mortgage and loan systems, and approval systems. They gained an ability to guide employees to the next step in the process, and by pulling information from other databases. They were able to process six years of loans in six months during the pandemic. That’s just one example of how bringing together ML with automation is fundamentally creating a new level of skills, particularly at a time when we have a global talent shortage for certain skills. This technology helps fill the skills gap that many companies are suffering right now. Need Some Good Reasons to Innovate? Citrix Research Uncovers Half a Trillion Gardner: Christian, what’s your take? How will ML and the analytics capabilities we have, along with automation, help us attain a new, better place when it comes to work, work processes, and the redefinition of work? Reilly: The skills gap is kind of a paradox. We talk about the skills gap and how we’re going to address that with technology, whether it’s software, robots, or an automated Technology can guide any employee to deliver the best customer service and to attain the best answer to execute processes even faster.
  • 12. Page 12 of 16 workforce. And yet, the other side of the coin to be concerned with is how much of this technology comes in and replaces physical workers. To go back to Tim’s Henry Ford example of many years ago, there was an argument then about automation in the automotive manufacturing industry replacing the physical work force. And that’s something we’ve discussed and politicized for many years. Democratized technology increases jobs The real question to me is, how many more jobs does technology create? That’s the bit that we don’t talk about, and I don’t think we have a good opinion on. From a pure technology perspective, the most fascinating element comes as a category of democratization. And, if you go back far enough, there are many examples. When Microsoft Office first found its way into organizations it democratized word processing and letter creation to the detriment of the classic typing pool. If you follow that path of democratization, what we’re seeing now through the evolution is citizen developers using low-code and no-code platforms. It’s the exact thing that Tim was talking about in terms of bringing the technology to augment the workforce. We’re very rapidly seeing that in the worlds of low-code, no-code, of citizen development, and also of ML in general. It’s a democratization trend, of literally being able to take off-the- shelf components, products, and services and apply them in a new business context. The key is better enabling the line of business people who deeply understand what the data needs to do for them. They understand the business process inside out, they understand the workflows inside out, and they’re far better placed to deal with that than traditional IT and developers. So, the speed at which technologies are becoming democratized is essential. For a few cents an hour, you can have ML services running in a public cloud. And then those very same ML services can find their way into client-side applications. It becomes obvious very quickly what the impact will be. Just as we’ve seen with changing work demographics when we have the younger generation come in as business analysts, but able to write algorithms in Python. We’re going to continue to see that. And we’ll see much smarter applications being put to work for those workers, too. The challenge is it potentially creates more data silos because we’re writing point solutions, like cloud and applications sprawl. We’re likely to see more of that as organizations empower individuals to be productive by bringing in their own technology to work and using off-the-shelf components to enhance personal applications. For a few cents an hour, you can have ML services running in a public cloud. And then those very same ML services can find their way into client-side applications.
  • 13. Page 13 of 16 A few years ago, we began talking about bring your own device, and bring your own identity. I don’t think it’ll be very long before we talk about bring your own applications and that will be largely due to the democratization of technologies and the power of these new generations of applications and insights. Gardner: Christian, is it too soon to be thinking about a third-party reality that can enhance work? We’re hearing about the metaverse, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). Where do you see the opportunity for using these concepts to solve some of the reinventing of work challenges? From Ford to VR, we still need to work together Reilly: I’ll use Tim’s phrase again about necessity being the mother of innovation, and, in some cases, the mother of invention. Over the past few years, we’ve seen steady technological growth in VR, AR, and MR. And, yet we’ve never really seen a killer application. There are plenty of examples of customers and companies using those technologies to solve certain things. But we’ve never seen mass adoption. As humans, we’re fascinated by futuristic things such as The Jetsons, time travel, and teleportation. We’ve seen it in science fiction movies forever. But if you start to think about things that are part of the metaverse, whether it’s digital twins or photorealistic immersive worlds, it’s pretty easy to let your imagination go and understand how some of what we’ve found difficult to replace during the pandemic, which is human interaction, can be done. How do I feel in just two dimensions looking through a laptop screen with a number of other people on a video call? I think there’s a lot more to it than that. If we could figure out how to transcend the physical boundaries using a virtual world -- and I’m not talking Second Life here -- I’m talking about much more. It’s where the office is not a building per se. It’s much more of a virtual construct that has all the things that I need to get work done, whether that’s signing contracts using distributed ledger or collaborating in more of a physical way with a representation of myself in the metaverse. We may look at that as science fiction, and yet, if you look in the consumer world to where the younger generation is, there are plenty of examples of children using technologies such as Minecraft and Roblox that are their own virtual worlds where they If you start to think about things that are part of the metaverse ... you can understand how some of what we’ve found difficult to replace during the pandemic, which is human interaction, can be done.
  • 14. Page 14 of 16 learn to collaborate, learn to play by the rules of that particular game, and they learn how to immerse themselves in that to collaborate and to do tasks. I don’t think this is a million miles from the reality of where we may end up in terms of the hybrid work that Tim talked about. We’re trying very hard to replace physical interactions that aren’t always possible on different sides of the world. I think there’s a huge opportunity for us to think about the metaverse as much more of a business-enabler underpinned by lots of different technologies. Maybe we can bring more personal interactions with it as we establish this new now going forward. Gardner: Tim, how does the current generation of digital workspaces and the progeny of those workspaces start in 2022 to get to the vision of metaverse as business-enabler that Christian just painted? Learn How to Avoid a New Digital Divide from Hybrid Work Minahan: It goes without saying that the only constant we’re going to have in this world of hybrid work is the digital workspace within which we access the work resources, our content, and the insights we need to make decisions. And it’s how we engage and collaborate with our peers, both within our company and outside of it. We’ve been talking about digital workspaces for quite some time, along with the need to ensure we reliably and securely deliver the work resources that employees need to get their best work done wherever that needs to happen. The pandemic, if there’s one small silver lining to it, has rapidly accelerated digital transformation and opened people’s eyes to new ways of working. As we look at the digital workspace technologies that underpin them, you’re going to see not just ensuring reliable high- performance access and secure access to the work resources you need, but a lot of these new kinds of AI and automation agents are being incorporated within the workspace, which will ensure that everyone can indeed perform at their best and not just be distracted by the technologies but can harness them to drive greater creativity and innovation. I’ll just close off where we started. The crisis-driven adaptation has not just transformed organizations, but it’s altered the mindset of both the employer and the employee. I’m particularly positive and optimistic about what the future holds over the coming year -- and the next few years ahead. New kinds of AI and automation agents are being incorporated within the workspace, which will ensure that everyone can indeed perform at their best and not be distracted by the technologies but can harness them to drive greater creativity and innovation.
  • 15. Page 15 of 16 We’re reaching a new plateau as these items are all converging at once. The technology is there and available, and the taboos that have hindered our ability to adopt that technology have been torn away. There is a new mindset both in the mind of employees and employers that is going to set us on a course to engage through new digital means and to work in new and more hybrid ways. Gardner: Tim, Citrix has done an awful lot of research and is helping organizations better understand this progression. Where can people go to learn more? How is Citrix making some of that information available? Minahan: You can always go to citrix.com. We also have a thought leadership platform called Fieldwork in which we not only promote and make available all the research studies and benchmarks that I mentioned, but also use it as an open platform for dialogue among leaders in businesses as well as the IT organizations. Gardner: I’m afraid we’ll have to leave it there. You’ve been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect discussion on how 2022 will shape up as we extrapolate on the trends around shifting work models that are taking us to the new level. And we’ve learned how speed will only increase in how digital technologies enhance and disrupt the means through which we all collaborate and operate in our jobs and lives. Please join me in thanking our guests. We’ve been here with Christian Reilly, Vice President and Head of Technology Strategy Organization at Citrix. Thank you so much, Christian. Reilly: Thank you, Dana. It’s been a pleasure. Gardner: And we’ve also been here with Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President of Business Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer at Citrix. Thank you, sir. Minahan: Thanks, Dana. I appreciate the dialogue. Gardner: And a big thank you as well to our audience for joining this BriefingsDirect Future of Work Innovation discussion. I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host throughout this series of Citrix-sponsored interviews. Thanks again for listening. Please pass this along to your community, and do come back next time. Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Citrix. Transcript of a discussion on how technology will improve the ways businesses operate and enable employees to remain productive and content in the coming year. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2021. All rights reserved. You may also be interested in:
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