Showing posts with label workspaces. Show all posts
Showing posts with label workspaces. Show all posts

Thursday, December 12, 2019

How Work Experience for Many is a Dumpster Fire and Why it’s Time for Something Completely Different

Transcript of a discussion on the future of work and the new ways of exploiting what technology does best to deliver intelligent workspaces that prioritize and personalize tasks.

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.

Worker productivity gains -- despite 30 years of computing technology roll outs -- remain hard to define by economists. Ask a worker, however, and you are increasingly likely to get a hard, cold assessment.

A huge amount of time these days, they say, is wasted on the inefficiencies of technology run amok. Only a sliver of time is going to the creative and innovative types of work that employees crave -- and employers gain the most value from.

Stay with us now as we explore the future of work and the new ways of exploiting what technology does best to deliver intelligent workspaces that prioritize and personalize tasks.

To learn how the newest digital work strategies help unburden those saddled with deflating productivity, please join me in welcoming Fouad ElNaggar, Vice President of Future of Work Products at Citrix. Welcome, Fouad.

ElNaggar: Hey, Dana. Thanks for having me.

Gardner: Fouad, why, when we walk through the front door of our office buildings are we being teleported back 20 years?

ElNaggar: Well, it’s kind of crazy when you think about it. Every one of us has this nice black rectangle that sits in our pocket, and when you think about what that rectangle enables us to do, it’s crazy.

In the world we live in today, I can push a button and a car shows up and takes me wherever I want to go. I can swipe right and I am on a date. I am old. I remember when you had to go up and talk to people at a bar or restaurant or at a concert and do this big dance to get them to go out with you for a meal. Now I am swiping right.

Life is great; work is a grind

When I started working, I used to memorize five different routes to work. I would get together with my friends and we would share secret shortcuts on how to save two or three minutes off of our commute. Now I hit a button on Waze, type in my address, and I am getting to work and back home in the fastest way possible.

I can push a button on my phone and a pint of ice cream comes to my house so I can eat away the disappointment of another Philadelphia Eagles loss. This is magical. The world that we are living in today is magical.

If I had to explain this to a young Fouad in the mid-1990s and say, “Imagine this. Imagine this world.” … When I started working, I remember showing up to my office the first day and laughing at people still using typewriters, okay?

The world we live in today is so insane and amazing. But then you walk into the front door of your office, guess what? That Fouad from the mid-1990s, starting out in New York, would 100 percent recognize that office: Bad guest Wi-Fi; signing in on a clipboard where people are writing Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck; plugging a laptop into one of those light bulb and fan projectors that’s got a VGA adapter on the end of it, and working on some horrible, crappy laptop that takes two minutes to open a big Excel file. It’s crazy. It’s crazy.

The Fouad from 20 years ago could not have imagined the consumer world we are living in today, but he was actually working in the same work world we are in today. It’s amazing, every one of as a consumer has these amazing experiences with our devices. But then you walk through the front door of work and it’s like taking a wormhole back to the 1990s. It’s insane.

Gardner: It’s like we took what used to be client-server business applications, put a web interface on them, and gave up. Not much has happened since then.

So what’s the solution? How do we move from this inertia of workplace innovation? Do we just keep adding on more old stuff, or do we reinvent?

ElNaggar: You bring up an incredible point. I live in Silicon Valley, so it’s probably the worst year -- where people are bringing out medieval bugles and blowing the horns to celebrate the wonderful world of software as a service (SaaS) software. And the crazy thing is, they think that because they took Siebel Systems and put it into a web browser and called it Salesforce, and they took PeopleSoft and put it into a web browser and called it Workday, that they are somehow dramatically changing how work happens.

When you actually look at those systems side by side, it’s the same tabs, menus, and workflows. Salesforce is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, and literally nothing has changed. The way you use those systems is the same way you used those systems in the 1990s. Like you said, they just took client-server apps but put them on the web.

It’s sad when you think about it, because for the first 30 years of enterprise software -- the investments that went into digitizing the back office, of giving people personal computers, connecting those computers to the Internet so we had email and could communicate with people in our companies or around the world any time of the day -- those investments changed the way we worked.

Those investments drove huge changes in the employee experience, in employee engagement, and in employee productivity. You could do so much more. We were doubling individual productivity every 20 years. Think about that. It used to take two Fouads to do what one Fouad can do today.

And so we had all of this incredible investment and innovation -- and then all of a sudden we hit a roadblock. Look at the last 15 years of enterprise software, and what’s really changed? Again, it was taking a client-server system and putting it into a browser, and then taking some crappy, over-bloated implementation of those same systems to a mobile device that nobody wants to use. That’s not really innovation, right? That’s not changing how we work.

And so when I think about the future of work, I think we are going to have to attack that fundamental problem -- our processes and workflows haven’t really changed. That’s where you have to start.

Gardner: What’s changed for me is instead of spending just two hours a day on email, I am spending five hours a day on texts, chat, Slack, Teams, and email. But I don’t seem to be getting anything more for it. Am I unusual?

Interruptions disrupt productivity 

ElNaggar: That’s exactly right. Collaboration is a big part of work. When you think about the whole premise of a corporation, and about why corporations were even formed, the idea was that if we put specialists in different functions together as a group we could achieve more than we could as individuals.

Yes, collaboration is important, but also being able to deliver on your special skill is important. And as we keep layering on more “collaboration tools,” we have ended up in a world where there is just a ton of noise.

To your point, it’s … “Great, I have an email notification. Great, I have a Slack notification. Great, I have a Teams notification. Great, my salesperson just texted my phone.”

There was some research that came out earlier this year. We are interrupted 1,100 times a day at work -- 1,100 times. Think about that for a second, it’s insane. How can we even get any work done? To your point, you used to do email for two hours a day. Now, the typical person does about 17 hours of email a week, okay?

And then on top of that, we have all of these other systems and vectors for people to interrupt us, to try and communicate with us, try and collaborate, and a lot of times it’s just noise.

I don’t know if your email inbox looks like mine, but mine is like a dumpster. It’s an unprotected place where people can sit there and buy my email address off of Rainking and Discover , right? Or they can just guess it and try one of those ways to get to me.

And so what does my inbox end up looking like? Well, I have random vendors and people that have my email and are spamming it. I have Groupon in there. I have Nigerian prince scams. My wife maybe auto-fills an email and it goes to my work email instead of my personal email. And in the sea of all that noise and distraction I am expected to get my work done?
I have talked with CIOs at some of the biggest companies in the world and they measure what happens in Slack and Teams -- and it's a bunch noise. It really hurts the employee experience, and it kills employee productivity.

And these chat clients? I have talked with CIOs at some of the biggest companies in the world and they measure what happens in Slack and Teams -- and it’s a bunch of noise. It’s like, “Hey, guys, there is a cake in the kitchen. Hey, guys, here is a funny new animated GIF, here is a meme.”

It’s a bunch of noise. And so we are adding a lot to the noise and distraction levels. What’s been lost in the mix? It really hurts the employee experience, employee engagement, and it really kills employee productivity.

Gardner: Sadly, my solution was to work on Saturdays so that I wouldn’t be interrupted.  I would wait and do all my creative work -- and actually get something done. It allowed me to concentrate on the same subject for more than 20 or 25 minutes. But that’s not good because now I’m working six days a week.

How else do we let workers be creative and exploit what their brains were designed to do? How do we get out of this interruptions rut?

Going through the motions

ElNaggar: It’s a great point. What I will add to it is that you are actually engaged in your work. You love what you do. You want to work on your skills to be successful, so you work on the weekends to get your stuff done.

But what I should frame this whole discussion with is two-thirds to 80 percent of employees are not engaged with their work. They are not emotionally aligned with the mission or goals of the company. Whereas you will sit there and say, “Okay, I have to get my job done. I want to be great at this. I want to be exceptional at this. I am going to sit there and work afterhours and on the weekend to get things done.” A lot of people don’t. They are punching the clock. They are not engaged with work. They are disengaged with work. And that’s a huge problem.

Part of the reason they get disengaged with work, where they hate how they work, is because a lot of these systems we have put in place create friction for them. They increasingly create busy work and the kind of work that they did not sign up to do.

We talked earlier about people being specialists in corporations. Each one of us has a special unique skill, what we put on our résumés, and we put in our LinkedIn profiles.

If you go and look at my LinkedIn, you can check it out, what you are not going to see are any merit badges on there because I often use Concur. You are not going to see any credentials that say, “Fouad is really good at finding information on Tableau.” You are not going to see anything in there that says I am “unbelievable at using the procurement system to make things happen.” None of those things are my core skills. None of those things differentiate me in the marketplace.

But that’s how are people spending their time today. They are spending more than half of their time on what they consider busy work. There is BS stuff like expense reports, performance reports, and finding information across different systems and from meetings that don’t matter to them.
They are doing a bunch of copy-and-paste work. I saw some data about two months ago that says at work on average we copy and paste 134 times a day. I saw this and I said, “That can’t be true, that can’t be true.” And so I started to actually track myself and you know what I discovered? I copy and paste like 180 times a day at work. And that was frightening to me. But you realize these things and it’s like, “Oh my God, how many times am I in one system and I copy a piece of data and put it into an email or I copy something out of an email and put it into a form field on another system?”

All day long we are sitting shuffling information between different systems – even though each of us has a unique, special skill. You know what human beings want to do when they work? They want to develop that skill, to hone their craft, and to get better at what differentiates them, because that’s what’s going to allow them to create more value for their organization. And it also set them up for a promotion, a new job, and to make more money. And these are the things that excite people at work.

Employees prize purpose, potential, and play

There is a lot of research out there around total motivation and what really drives engagement. What they have found is that people want to have a feeling of play at work. They want to feel like they are using their adaptive brains to be creative and solve problems. They want to have a sense of purpose. They want to know why they are at their companies and why are they doing their jobs.

There was some research that came out recently that said more than 70 percent of people don’t know why their jobs even exist. Think about how frightening that is. Like why does my job even exist?

So again, they want some kind of purpose. They want to know the work that they do contributes to their organizations and how.
More than 70 percent of people don't know why their jobs even exist. Think about how frightening that is. Like, why does my job even exist?

And the other thing they want is potential. They want to know that there is a pathway for them to develop their skills. People want to spend their time working on their skills sets and on individual projects in unstructured time.

If that’s a developer, they want to work and have a nice big block of time to code. If you are a writer, you want a big block of time to focus on research and crafting beautiful documents. If it’s a salesperson, they want to spend their time in front of customers evangelizing their vision of the product and evangelizing how they can help the customers achieve their goals.

Every one of us has our skills that we want to work on. Working with a team to achieve something greater -- that’s where people want to spend their time, because that’s where they get a sense of purpose for their work. They get a sense of play in their work because they are being creative and solving problems. They are setting themselves up for reaching their potential, and so to move up the wage pyramid, get a promotion, and get that next job.

Gardner: Well, the good news is those types of creative functions are exactly what artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA) can’t do. So it’s good that people want to do that. The problem is there is no one app that allows me to do that. I still have 45 apps that I have to cut and paste from. So how do we bridge this, of going from umpteen apps to having more of what’s a creative and appropriate environment for people to be creative in?

App overload 

ElNaggar: It’s a great question, and it’s the question that we had six-plus years ago when we started my company, Sapho, which Citrix acquired about a year ago. And we were looking at this landscape -- the number of applications -- when I was the chief strategy officer at CBS Interactive. And my co-founder, he was the chief technology and information officer there, and we were looking at our universe as a Fortune 100 company. We looked at the reality of our day-to-day jobs and we said, “Oh my God, we have all these incredible apps installed.”

I think Symantec just released a report saying that the typical enterprise is managing 928 applications. Some of the banks that we work with have 8,000 applications. So there is this incredible set of application programming interfaces (APIs). And by the way, the Symantec report says the number of apps has grown by 60 percent in just the last three years. We are not deprecating these old workloads, we are keeping them, and we are adding more cloud-based point solutions on top of it all.

So clearly work is becoming more complex. The typical person is using 42 apps to do their job, and it’s growing. It’s becoming more complex.

We looked at that. And, to your point, we said, “Well, okay, how do we stop the context switching? How do we stop the copy and paste, and how do we shift time away from busy work and toward value creation?” And what we came upon was this idea that -- because of the evolution of APIs, of ML, and of identity access -- there is an opportunity to build a system of engagement and intelligence that sits horizontally and plugs into all of those systems to create a single, harmonious experience for the end users.

And that was our big “aha” moment and that translated over to Citrix and the Workspace product. The idea is that for 30 years in the enterprise there has been the concept that the front end and the back end of the systems that you buy have to be stuck together.

So, for example, as an enterprise I go and I buy an SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and I get this incredible backend, it’s amazing. It solves all these problems, like two-phase commit. But guess what? You are stuck with that SAP front end, the best that German engineering can imagine, which of course is not necessarily like a modern user experience.

How to cut through the noise 

And so, for 30 years in the enterprise there was the view that if you have a system, you have to take the good and the bad. And what we came along and said is, “No, no, no. Keep the good, the backend, but let’s also take advantage of the API economy and what we are seeing with that level of integration. Let’s connect into these things, abstract them into their tasks, and then create a harmonious experience, a beautiful engagement layer that allows anybody to do their work from many systems from a single point.”

They can live in Messenger, in email, in the Workspace app -- but there is one chokepoint that delivers your work to you, that delivers you your information. It will help you make better decisions.

Step one, we shift the amount of time you are spending on busy work and non-value-creating work, which today, by the way, is 80 percent-plus of your time. We can we flip the script on that so that people are spending less than 20 percent of their time doing that stuff, and now spending 80 percent-plus of their time creating value, being creative, and using their adaptive minds to solve problems and create value for their organizations. That’s step one in the journey. That’s what we are doing with the Citrix Workspace now.

The next step is actually even cooler. It addresses how to supercharge the worker so they are even better on the value-creating stuff. But those are two steps in a journey that we are helping some very large customers through right now.

Gardner: I understand what you need to do. But why is Citrix the right organization to help do it?

Right time, right place for Citrix 

ElNaggar: It’s a great question, and I have spent a lot of time with customers. I think I have met about 250 customers in 2019, and they ask the same question, “Why Citrix?” They know Citrix and they go, “Oh, yeah, the gold standard in virtualization. That’s what you guys are known for.” And what I tell them is, if you think about it, Citrix has actually always been on the forefront of the future work because we have always sat between the end user and their systems of record.

As we talked about developing a system of engagement and intelligence -- of being that layer that sits between the end user and all very different systems -- guess what? Citrix has been doing that for 30 years. Whether you are talking about multiuser, MetaFrame, WinView, or any of these products that Citrix has rolled out for 30 years; whether it was remote desktop access or virtualization, Citrix has always been the engagement layer between the end user and those backend systems of record.

People know Citrix as the place to go to do their work. And now we are saying, “Guess what? The whole conduct of an application has changed. The whole concept of work has changed. And we are sitting in that beautiful position between the end user and their symptoms already, so why not bring the value that we are talking about to that layer?”

Can we be something more than just a thin client that sits between you so that you can access your desktop remotely? Can we be something more than the same client that sits between you and your virtual apps and virtual desktops?

Those things are still important. People are still going to need to access virtual apps and virtual desktops in a secure way. But, we are sitting there right now, ingrained with these systems already. We are trusted by 99 percent of the Fortune 500 already. Why not use this position to help shepherd businesses through their journey? And it’s always a journey. I laugh when I see people out there selling silver bullets or magical switches where they are going to solve the employee experience with the snap of a finger.

It is journey. We have that engagement layer already to help our customers through that journey of organizing work more effectively. Can we drive people through their work more effectively and automate their work more effectively? We can drive this needed shift and value-creation so that people aren’t spending 85 percent of their time doing busy work and garbage and can start spending 85 percent of the time creating value.

That’s Citrix, and hopefully it makes sense because there are a lot of people really interested in the Workspace. They look at this and say, “Oh, my God, this is the future.” Our employees have already been trained by consumer applications on what they can expect. They want a hub, a place that brings them stuff from all across the Internet to a single location so that they can consume it effectively.

They want AI to disappear into the background of the system and yet still make them better off. I talked earlier about Waze. I don’t think about Waze as consumer AI. I don’t want people to think about Workspace as enterprise AI. Waze just weaves into my natural experiences and makes them better and makes me better. It gives me minutes back in my life. I get somewhere faster.

That’s what we think about with Workspace, of weaving experiences right into the solution so it can empower people, help them focus on creating value, and help them do the work they really want to do.

Gardner: Okay, Fouad, give me the elevator pitch, in three minutes. Tell me what Citrix Workspace is, what it does, and why I should want it.

Workspace works for your work experience 

ElNaggar: Citrix Workspace is an experience-driven platform for work. We have done all of the work to make it easy for people to integrate into all of their different systems of record and unbundle those systems of records into micro flows and micro applications. We have done all the work building the intelligence at the user level so that people can build ML and AI to make work better. We have built the infrastructure to enable micro-automation from the ground up, not from the top down like RPA.

We have done all that so we can again organize, guide, and automate people to work. With the Workspace, when I can go there, it feeds me all of my different tasks and the insights and information I need to make choices. It allows me to work at the edge. I don’t have to log into 50 different apps to get my work done. My work comes to me. That’s the key. Bringing work to the individual, assisting them through their work, guiding them through their work, organizing their work, and reducing the amount of time that you have spent having to find stuff. Then you can spend your time doing stuff. That’s what we are about now. That’s the product that’s gone into general availability in November 2019.

And again, it’s a journey. It’s a journey for every customer because you have to really think about, “Hey, what’s our workflow and process today? How can we make it better? How can we unbundle it?”
That's what we are delivering, a chance for people to unbundle and rethink how work is done, to rethink how workflows are done, and to automate non-value-creating repetitive tasks and busy work to ultimately deliver intelligence augmentation to the end user.

That’s what we are delivering, a chance for people to unbundle and rethink how work is done, to rethink how workflows are done, and to automate non-value-creating repetitive tasks and busy work to ultimately deliver intelligence augmentation to the end user.

It’s a platform for work, a place where people can get their work done quickly so that they are not spending 20 percent of their time finding information or 50 percent of their time filling out testing procedure specification (TPS) reports. We want to minimize all that stuff so you can focus on your special skill, focus on your unique craft, and get better at your job so you can create value for both yourself and your employer.

Gardner: Thanks. If I want to customize my Workspace, but not to the point being an application developer, how do I address customization?

ElNaggar: It’s a great question. Being able to customize without being a developer or investing in a bunch of spaghetti code is something that we spend a lot of time thinking about. When we were at Sapho, and we [were] brought over to Citrix, we spent four-and-a-half years and spent $30 million building an incredible integration hub.

For a person who can at least use a business intelligence (BI) tool to develop a report, so maybe a business analyst, somebody who can build something in Tableau, for example, that level of person; we’ve made it really easy for that type of person. They can, number one, integrate into their systems -- whether that’s a software as a service (SaaS) system, an on-prem, off-the-shelf system, or a homegrown system. Incidentally, that’s where a lot of value is, in these wacky homegrown systems that have been around for 20 years but are still running critical workflows that you want to modernize or enable people to access on different devices and via different channels. We made it really easy to integrate those things, and to build in and inherit any business logic that you have to understand, “Hey, here’s the event that should drive a workflow.”

We made it really easy for people to unbundle the micro flow, build little micro apps, and get them into any of these different channels. We said, “Okay, every time we build an integration we want to make sure that we’ve got a bunch of build-out-of-the-box micro apps that are ready to go.”
These are things we see at lots of different customers. We say, “Here you go, customer. You now have a bunch of things that you can start using on day one. We already know they create value, that they hit use cases that a lot of people have.” But then on top of that we made it really simple with drag-and-drop tooling for people to go in and actually build a custom micro flow and micro app that they need on another system. Because a lot of times these are user-initiated workflows that people want to build easily. We have built the tooling -- and this is a new thing for Citrix -- but we’ve built this awesome tooling that makes it really easy for people to do that.

To build a better interface for engagement intelligence -- that sits horizontally across these systems -- you have to make sure you can get into all of those systems. And every organization is going to have their little skeletons in the closet. They are going to have Workday, or Concur, or Microsoft Power BI, right? Sure, they are also going to have Salesforce, and that’s great.

We make sure we have the stuff ready for them for those. But they are also going to have something gnarly, like BMC Remedy or PeopleSoft, or some homegrown system that’s still running on an AS400. And so you have to be able to empower those customers, too, to build better experiences on top of those things. That’s what we do with the tooling, the integration layer, and event tracking, along with the micro-flow builder and orchestration layers.

All of these things are designed to make it easy to not have to sit there and write code to deliver these things, but to drag and drop components into place and that makes it possible.

Gardner: You mentioned that the latest Citrix Workspace becomes generally available in November, but you also mentioned that there is another shoe to drop around intelligence augmentation. Where does this all go next when it comes to augmenting the worker?

Intelligent augmentation in three steps

ElNaggar: Intelligent augmentation is the guiding North Star for Citrix. We want to have intelligence-assisted workers. I’m sure you have seen the research out there about AI in chess, for example. It was really hard for grandmasters to be AI-driven in chess against things like IBM Watson until they started working in conjunction with AI. Now they can use an average Elo-score chess player to beat a Watson because they are working in parallel with AI -- and that’s the world that we are trying to build.

By abstracting workflows out of these monolithic systems and turning them into simple micro flows and micro apps at the individual level, we are also building datasets around what happens at work. Because we are tied into the systems of record -- it’s not like RPA where we are screen-scraping and guessing at stuff -- we are actually connected into the system. So we can say, “Okay, this event is happening 1,000 times, this action is being taken 1,000 times. Okay, great, let’s hotspot that and get rid of that repetitive task.” That’s step one.

Then step two is saying, “Okay, what are these stacked actions that we see? What are the things that we know every time your vacation is approved, for example? What are the next four things that will usually happen?”

Well, for most people, number one they go to their calendar and they mark the days that they are going to be on personal time off (PTO). Then when they go on PTO, they change their away message to say, “I am on PTO, if you have an emergency, text me at this number.” Maybe a week before PTO, they will email their team and say, “Hey, I’m gone for the next week, if you have anything critical, let me know, so I can do it now.”

Maybe they will go into their Outlook app and create like a VIP escalation rule for an email from a customer so that it also goes to their boss. Now, because we have broken things down to that micro flow, micro app level, we can automate all of that. Once your PTO gets approved, we will do those next four steps on your behalf.

Now we have taken that customary workflow away from you via automation. But there is a next phase of automation that we call system-learned. System-learned says, “Hey, every time Dana gets an expense report under $50, he approves it without even looking at the receipts.” Because, guess what? You are busy, Dana, you want to work on creating great content, you don’t care about the time that you are spending doing expense reports.

So now the system says, “Okay, 50 times out of 50, Dana approves an expense report under $40 without looking at it. Why do I need to send him 50 notifications about expense reports under $40? Let me approve them on his behalf, and here are just the two that look riskiest.”

Now the system has automatically approved 40 expense reports on your behalf, and you get only the two that are potentially risky. Guess what? I have taken 40 notifications and approvals out of your life and made work easier. That’s system-learned.

Now, there is going to be another step, a third tier. Those first two tiers are like using an autopilot. But the next level is what we call co-pilot. These things help you become a better pilot, a better driver. At this point, the augmentation capability notices something across these two systems that you should know about that might be able to help in your decisions.

The system determines, “Oh, I have seen another group that’s worked on a problem like this, and here was the output. Let me serve that up to you in context.” That’s that next level of ML and AI that we have weaved into the Workspace because we have integrated at such a deep, personal level, at the task level, at the atomic unit of work level, so that we can see all of these things going back and forth. We can then build some really cool algorithms across a truly unique dataset.

If you think about it, nobody in the world has the dataset that we have. It’s a horizontal, cross-system-of-record view of what’s happening in an organization yet tied to an individual. That’s really cool and gives a lot of flexibility to shoot for the moon on what’s possible with new types of work.

Gardner: We are just about out of time, but how should businesses and individual workers prepare themselves for the future of work that you just described?

From book value to people value

ElNaggar: Number one, as an organization, you need to be committed to delivering an incredible employee experience.

For 100 years companies have been valued based on book value. They took the value of all the property, plants, and equipment – from photo copiers to the company jet -- and said, “Okay, that’s the replacement cost of your organization. Let me multiply it by five or six, and that’s what your company is worth.”

If you look at the S&P 500 in 1975, 80 percent of the market cap was tied to such tangible book values. But the world now is more about intangible values. It’s about human equity. The people who work for you are worth a huge value within your organization.

In the S&P today, for example, 80 percent of the market cap is now not based on physical assets, but people and the intangible assets. It’s about the knowledge that’s in the brains of people that work for us.

If you are an organization thinking about the future, it’s time to correctly value the people. I often hear people saying, “Oh, people are most valuable assets.” But I still don’t see a lot of these organizations actually treating people as assets, treating them as their most valuable assets.

But some organizations are having a cultural switch, where they say, “Shoot, human equity is what matters. I need to figure out how I invest in human equity. I need to figure out not just how to attract the best talent, but how to power that talent to be the best version of themselves -- and then keep them so that they are not turning over after just 22 months like many Millennials do.”
It's more important than ever for people to understand what their skills are, their craft, and get themselves mentally prepared to be adaptive.

That’s what organizations need to do. For individuals, it’s more important than ever for people to understand what their skills are, their craft, and then get themselves mentally prepared to be adaptive. They have to do adaptive problem-solving because that’s a value they can best create. The busy work and the other stuff that eats up 80 percent of people’s time today is going to disappear or be diminished.

Where you are going to shine and demonstrate your value to an organization over time is focused on: Here is my skill, here is my craft, how do I hone it, how do I get better? That’s what the individual needs to be thinking about over the next few years as the future of work becomes more relevant.

Gardner: I’m afraid we’ll have to leave it there. You have been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect discussion on new ways of exploiting what technology does best to deliver intelligent workspaces that prioritize and personalize tasks.

And we’ve learned how the newest workspace advances are helping unburden those saddled with deflated worker productivity. So, a big thank you to our guest, Fouad ElNaggar, Vice President of Future of Work Products at Citrix.

Also, a big thank you to our audience for joining this BriefingsDirect intelligent workspaces discussion. I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host throughout this series of Citrix-sponsored BriefingsDirect discussions.

Thanks again for listening, please pass this along to your business associates, and do come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Citrix.

Transcript of a discussion on the future of work and the new ways of exploiting what technology does best to deliver intelligent workspaces that prioritize and personalize tasks. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2019. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Three Generations of Citrix CEOs on Enabling a Better Way to Work

Transcript of a discussion on how Citrix is building on its 30-year record of success by remaking digital workplaces and redefining the very nature of applications and business intelligence.

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.

For the past 30 years, Citrix has made a successful habit of challenging the status quo. That includes:
  • Delivering applications as streaming services to multiple users
  • Making the entire PC desktop into a secure service
  • Enhancing networks that optimize applications delivery
  • Pioneering infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) now known as public cloud, and
  • Supplying a way to take enterprise applications and data to the mobile edge.
Now, Citrix is at it again, by creating digital workspaces and redefining the very nature of applications and business intelligence. How has one company been able to not only reinvent itself again and again, but make major and correct bets on the future direction of global information technology?

To find out, I recently sat down with three of Citrix’s chief executives from the past 30 years, Roger Roberts, Citrix CEO and Chairman from 1990 to 2002; Mark Templeton, CEO of Citrix from 2001 to 2015, and David Henshall, who became the company’s CEO in July of 2017.

So much has changed across the worker productivity environment over the past 30 years. The technology certainly has changed. What hasn’t changed as fast is the human factor, the people.

How do we keep moving the needle forward with technology and also try to attain productivity growth when we have this lump of clay that’s often hard to manage, hard to change?

Technology for humans 

Mark Templeton: The human factor “lump of clay” is changing as rapidly as technology because of the changing demographics of the workforce. Today’s baby boomers are being followed by generations of millennials, Gen Y, Gen X and then Gen Z will be making important decisions 20 years from now.

So the human factor clay is changing rapidly and providing great opportunity for innovation and invention of new technology in the workplace.

Gardner: The trick is to be able to create technology that the human factor will adopt. It’s difficult to solve a chicken and egg relationship when you don’t know what’s going to drive the other.

What about the past 30 years at Citrix gives you an edge in finding the right formula?

David Henshall: Citrix has always had an amazing ability to stay focused on connecting people and information -- and doing it in a way that it’s secure, managed, and available so that we can abstract away a lot of the complexity that’s inherent with technology.

Because, at the end of the day, all we are really focused on is driving those outcomes and allowing people to be as productive, successful, and engaged as humanly possible by giving them the tools to -- as we frame it up -- work in a way that’s most effective for them. That’s really about creating the future of work and allowing people to be unleashed so that they can do their best working.

Gardner: Roger, when you started, so much of the IT world was focused on platforms and applications and how one drives the other. You seem to have elevated yourself above that and focused on services, on delivery of productivity – because, after all, they are supposed to be productivity applications. How were you able to see above and beyond the 1980s platform-application relationship?

Roger Roberts: We grew up when the personal computer (PC) and local area networks (LANs) like when Novell NetWare came on the scene. Everybody wanted to use their own PC, driven primarily by things such as the Lotus applications.

So [applications like] spreadsheets, WordPerfect, dBase were the tremendous bulk of the market demand at that time. However, with the background that I shared with [Citrix Co-Founder] Ed Iacobucci, we had been in the real world working from mainframes through minicomputers and then to the PCs, and so we knew there were applications out there, where the existing model – well, it really sucked.

The trick then was to take advantage of the increasing processing power we knew the PC was going to deliver and put it in a robust environment that would have stability so we could target specific customers with specific applications. Those customers were always intrigued with our story.

Our story was not formed to meet the mass market. Things like running ads or trying to search for leads would have been a waste of time and money. It made no sense in those days because the vast majority of the world had no idea of what we were talking about.

Gardner: What turned out to be the killer application for Citrix’s rise? What were the use cases you knew would pay off even before the PC went mainstream?

The personnel touch 

Roberts: The easiest one to relate to is personnel systems. Brown and Root Construction out of Houston, Texas was a worldwide operation. Most of their offices were on construction sites and in temporary buildings. They had a great deal of difficulty managing their personnel files, including salaries, when someone was promoted, reviewed, or there was a new hire.

The only way you could do it in the client-server LAN world was to replicate the database. And let me tell you, nobody wants to replicate their human resources (HR) database across 9,000 or 10,000 sites.
The only way you could do it in the client-server-LAN world was to replicate the database. And let me tell you, nobody wants to replicate their HR database across 10,000 sites. We came in and said, "We can solve that problem for you."

So we came in and said, “We can solve that problem for you, and you can keep all of your data secure at your corporate headquarters. It will always be synchronized because there is only one copy. And we can give you the same capabilities that the LAN-based PC user experiences even over fairly slow telecommunication circuits.”

That really resonated with the people who had those HR problems. I won’t say it was an easy sell. When you are a small company, you are vulnerable. They ask, “How can we trust you to put in a major application using your technology when you don’t have a lot of business?” It was never the technology or the ability to get the job done that they questioned. It was more like having the staying power. That turned out to be the biggest obstacle.

Gardner: David, does it sound a little bit familiar? Today, 30 years later, we’re still dealing with distance, the capability of the network, deciding where the data should reside, how to manage privacy, and secure regulatory compliance. When you listen to Citrix’s use cases and requirements from 30 years ago, does it ring a bell?

Organize, guide, and predict work 

Henshall: It absolutely resonates because a lot of what we’re doing is still dealing with the inherent complexity of enterprise IT. Some of our largest customers today are dealing with thousands and thousands of underlying applications. Those can be everything from mainframe applications that Roger talked about through the different eras of client-server -- the PC, web, and mobile. A lot of those applications are still in use today because they are adding value to the business, and they are really hard to pull out of the infrastructure.

We can now help them abstract away a lot of that complexity put in over the last 30 years. We start by helping organize IT, allowing them to manage all that complexity of the application tier, and present that out in a way that is easier to consume, easier to manage, and easier to secure.

Several years ago, we began bringing together all of these application types in a way that I would describe as helping to move from organizing IT to organizing work. That means bringing not only the apps but access to all the content and files -- whether those reside in on-premises data repositories or in any cloud -- including Citrix Cloud. We make that all accessible across universal endpoints management. Then you layer underneath that all kinds of platform capabilities such as security, access control, management, and analytics.

Where we’re taking the company in the future is one step beyond organizing work to helping to guide and predict work. That will drive more engagement and productivity by leveraging machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and a lot of other capabilities to present work to people in real time and suggest and advise on what they need to be to be most productive.

That’s all just a natural evolution from back when the same fundamental concept was to connect people with the information they need to be productive in real time.

Gardner: One of the ways to improve on these tough problems, Mark, is being in the right place in an ecosystem. Citrix has continuously positioned itself between the data, the systems of record, and the end-user devices. You made a big bet on virtualization as a means to do that.

How do we understand the relationship between the technology and productivity? Is being in the right place and at the right time the secret sauce?

Customers first, innovation always

Templeton: Generically, right place and time is key in just about every aspect of life, but especially the timing of invention and innovation, how it’s introduced, and how to get it adopted.

Citrix adopted a philosophy from an ecosystem perspective from pretty early on. We thought of it as a Switzerland-type of mindset, where we’re willing to work with everyone in the ecosystem -- devices, networks, applications, etc. – to interoperate, even as they evolved. So we were basically device-, network-, and application-independent around the kind of the value proposition that David and Roger talked about.
We made a great reputation for ourselves by being able to provide a demilitarized zone so that customers could manage and control their own destiny. When a customer is better off, we are better off. But it starts with making the customer better off.

That type of a cooperative mindset is always in style because it is customer-centered. It’s based upon value-drivers for customers, and my experience is that when there are religious wars in the industry -- the biggest losers are customers. They pay for the fight, the incompatibilities, and obsolescence.

We made a great reputation for ourselves then by being able to provide a demilitarized zone (DMZ), or platform for détente, so that customers could manage and control their own destiny. The company has that culture and mindset and it’s always been that way. When a customer is better off, we are better off. But it starts with making the customer better off.

Gardner: Roger, we have often seen companies that had a great leap in innovation but then plateaued and got stuck in the innovator’s dilemma, as it’s been called. That hasn’t been the case with Citrix. You have been able to reinvent yourselves pretty frequently. How do you do that as a culture? How do you get people to stay innovative even when you have a very successful set of products? How do you not rest on your laurels?

Templeton: I think for the most part, people don’t change until they have to, and to actively disrupt yourself is a very unnatural act. Being aware of an innovator’s dilemma is the first step in being able to act on it. And we did have an innovator’s dilemma here on multiple occasions.

That we saw the cliff allowed us to make a turn – mostly ahead of necessity. We made a decision, we made a bet, and we made the innovator’s dilemma actually work for us. We used it as a catalyst for driving change. When you have a lot of smart engineers, if you help them see that innovator’s dilemma, they will fix it, they will innovate.

Gardner: The pace of business sure has ramped up in the last 30 years. You can go through that cycle in 9 or 10 months, never mind 9 or 10 years. David, is that something that keeps you up at night? How do you continue to be one step ahead of where the industry is going?

Embrace, empower change 

Henshall: The sine waves of business cycles are getting much more compressed and with much higher volatility. Today we simply have devices that are absolutely transient. The ways to consume technology and information are coming and going at a pace that is extraordinary. The same thing is true for applications and infrastructure, which not that many years ago involved a major project to install and manage.

Today, it’s a collection of mesh services in so many different areas. By their very nature they become transient. Instead of trying to fight these forces, we look for ways to embrace them and make them part of what we do.

When we talk about the Citrix Workspace platform, it is absolutely device- and infrastructure-independent because we recognize our customers have different choices. It’s very much like the Switzerland approach that Mark talked about. The fact that those choices change over time -- and being able to support that change -- is critical for our own staying power and stickiness. It also gives customers the level of comfort that we are going to be with them wherever they are in their journey.

But it’s the sheer laws of physics that have taken these disruptions to a place where, not that many years ago, it was about how fast physical goods could transfer across state or national boundaries. Today’s market moves on a Tweet or a notification or a new service -- something that was just not even possible a few years ago.

Roberts: At the time I retired from Citrix, we were roughly at $500 million [in annual revenue] and growing tremendously. I mean we grew a factor of 10 in four years, and that still amazes me.

Our piece of the market at that time was 100 percent Microsoft Windows-centric. At the same time, you could look at that and tell we could be a multibillion-dollar company just in that space. But then came the Internet, with web apps, web app servers, new technology, HTML, and Java and you knew the world we were in had a very lucrative and long run, but if we didn’t do something, inevitably it was going to die. I think it would have been a slow death, but it would have been death.

Gardner: The relationship with Microsoft that you brought up. It’s not out of the question to say that you were helping them avoid the innovator’s dilemma. In instances that I can recall, you were able to push Microsoft off of its safety block. You were an accelerant to Microsoft’s next future. Is that fair, Mark?

Templeton: Well, I don’t think we were an accelerant to Microsoft per se. We were helping Microsoft extend the reach of Windows into places and use cases that they weren’t providing a solution for. But the Windows brand has always been powerful, and it helped us certainly with our [1995] initial public offering (IPO). In fact, the tagline on our IPO was that “Citrix extends the reach of Microsoft Windows,” in many ways, in terms of devices, different types of connectivity, over the Internet, over dial-up and on wireless networks.

Our value to Microsoft was always around being a value-added kind of partner, even though we had a little bit of a rough spot with them. I think most people didn’t really understand it, but I think Microsoft did, and we worked out a great deal that’s been fantastic for both companies for many, many years.

Gardner: David, as we look to the future and think about the role of AI and ML, having the right data is such an important part of that. How has Citrix found itself in the catbird seat when it comes to having access to broad data? How did your predecessors help out with that?

Data drives, digests, and directs the future 

Henshall: Well, if I think about data and analytics right now, over the last couple of years we’ve spent an extraordinary amount of time building out what I call an analytics platform that sits underneath the Citrix Workspace platform.

We have enough places that we can instrument to capture information from everything, from looking backward across the network, into the application, the user, the location, the files, and all of those various attributes. We collect a rich dataset of many, many different things.

Taking it to a platform approach allows us to step back and begin introducing modules, if you will, that use this information not just in a reporting way, but in a way to actually drive enforcement across the platform. Those great data collection points are also places where we can enforce a policy.
Over the last couple of years we have spent an extraordinary amount of time building out what I call an analytics platform that sits underneath the Citrix Workspace platform.We collect a rich dataset of many, many different things.

Gardner: The metadata has become more important in many cases than the foundational database data. The metadata about what’s going on with the network, the relationship between the user and their devices, what’s going on between all the systems, and how the IT infrastructure beneath them is performing.

Did you have a clue, Mark, that the metadata about what’s going on across an IT environment would become so powerful one day?

Templeton: Absolutely. While I was at Citrix, we didn’t have the technical platform yet to handle big data the way you can handle it now. I am really thrilled to hear that under David’s leadership the company is diving into that because it’s behavioral data around how people are consuming systems -- which systems, how they’re working, how available are they, and whether they’re performing. And there are many things that data can express around security, which is a great opportunity for Citrix.

Back in my time, in one of the imagination presentations, we would show IT customers how they eventually would have the equivalent of quarterly brokerage reports. You could see all the classes of investments -- how much is invested in this type of app, that type of app, the data, where it’s residing, its performance and availability over time. Then you could make important decisions – even simple ones like when do we turn this application off. At that time, there was very little data to help IT make such hard decisions.

So that was always in the idea, but I’m really thrilled to see the company doing it now.

Gardner: So David, now that you have all of that metadata, and the big data systems to analyze it in real-time, what does that get for you?

Serving what you need, before you need it 

Henshall: The applications are pretty broad, actually. If you think about our data platform right now, we’re able to do lots of closed-loop analytics across security, operations, and performance -- and really drive all three of those different factors to improve overall performance. You can customize that in an infinite number of ways so customers can manage it in the way that’s right for their business.

But what’s really interesting now is, as you start developing a pattern of behaviors in the way people are going about work, we can predict and guide work in ways that were unavailable not that long ago. We can serve up the information before you need it based on the graph of other things that you’re doing at work.

A great example is mobile applications for airlines today. The smart ones are tied into the other things that you are doing. So an hour before your flight, it already gives you a notification that it’s time to leave for the airport. When you get to your car, you have your map of the fastest route to the airport already plotted out. As you check in, using biometrics or some other form of authentication, it simplifies these workflows in a very intuitive way.

We have amazing amounts of information that will take that example and allow us to drive it throughout a business context.

Gardner: Roger, in 30 years, we have gone from delivering a handful of applications to people in a way that’s acceptable -- given the constraints of the environment and the infrastructure -- to a point where the infrastructure data doesn’t have any constraints. We are able to refine work and tell people how they should be more productive.

Is that something you could have imagined back then?

Roberts: Quite frankly, as good as I am, no. It’s beyond my comprehension.

I have an example. I was recently in Texas, and we had an airplane that broke down. We had to get back, and using only my smartphone, I was able to charter a flight, sign a contract with DocuSign, pay for it with an automated clearing house (ACH) transfer, and track that flight on FlightAware to the nearest 15 seconds. I could determine how much time it would take us to get home, and then arrange an Uber ride. Imagine that? It still amazes me; it truly amazes me.

Gardner: You guys would know this better than I do, but it seems that you can run a multinational corporation on a device that fits in your palm. Is that an exaggeration?

Device in hand still needs hands-on help 

Templeton: In many ways, it still is an exaggeration. You can accomplish a lot with the smart device in your hand, and to the degree that leadership is largely around communications and the device in your hand gives you information and the ability to communicate, you can do a lot. But it’s not a substitute entirely for other types of tasks and work that it takes to run a big business, including the human relationships.

Gardner: David, maybe when the Citrix vision for 2030 comes out, you will be able to -- through cloud, AI, and that device -- do almost anything?

Henshall: It will be more about having the right information on demand when you need it, and that’s a trend that we’ve seen for quite some time.
The amount of information is absolutely staggering. But turning that into something that is actually useful is nearly impossible. The businesses that are going to be successful are those that can put the right information at people's fingertips at the right time to interact with different business opportunities.

If you look at the broader trends and technology, I mean, we are entering the yottabyte era now, which is one with 24 zeros after it. The amount of information is absolutely staggering. But turning that into something that is actually useful is nearly impossible.

That’s where AI and ML -- and a lot of these other advancements -- will allow you to parse through that all and give people the freedom of information that probably just never existed before. So the days of proprietary knowledge, of proprietary data, are quickly coming to an end. The businesses that are going to be successful are those that can put the right information at people’s fingertips at the right time to interact with different business opportunities.

That’s what the technology allows you to do. Advancements in network and compute are making that a very near-term reality. I think we are just on that continuum.

Goodbye digital, hello contextual era 

Templeton: You don’t realize an era is over until you’re in a new one. For example, I think the digital era is now done. It ended when people woke up every day and started to recognize that they have too many devices, too many apps that do similar things, too many social things to manage, and blah, blah, blah. How do you keep track of all that stuff in a way where you know what to look at and when?

The technologies underlying AI and ML are defining a new era that I call the “contextual era.” A contextual era works exactly how David just described it. It senses and predicts. It makes the right information available in true context. Just like Roger was saying, it brings all those the things he needs together for him, situationally. And, obviously, it could even be easier than the experience that he described.
We are in the contextual era now because the amount of data, the number of apps, and the plethora of devices that we all have access to is beyond human comprehension.

Gardner: David, how do you characterize this next era? Imagine us having a conversation in 30 years with Citrix, talking about how it was able to keep up with the times.

Henshall: Mark put it absolutely the way I would, in terms of being able to be contextual in such a way that it brings purpose through the chaos, or the volume of data, or the information that exists out there. What we are really trying to do in many dimensions is think about our technology platform as a way that creates space. Space for people to be successful, space for them to really do their best work. And you do that by removing a lot of the clutter.

You remove a lot of the extraneous things that bog people down. When we talk about it with our customers, the statistics behind-the-scenes are amazing. We are interrupted every two minutes in this world right now; a Tweet, a text, an email, a notification. And science shows that humans are not very good at multitasking. Our brains just haven’t evolved that way.

Gardner: It goes back to that lump of clay we talked about at the beginning. Some things don’t change.

Henshall: When you are interrupted, it takes you 20 minutes on average to get back to the task at hand. That’s one of the fundamental reasons why the statistics around engagement around the world are horrible.

For the average company, 85 percent of their employee base is disengaged -- 85 percent! Gallup even put a number on that -- they say it’s a $7 trillion annual problem. It’s enormous. We believe that part of that is a technology problem. We have created technologies that are no longer enhancing people’s ability to be productive and to be engaged.

If we can simplify those interactions, allow workers to engage in a way that’s more intuitive, more focused on the task at hand versus the possibility of interruption, it just helps the entire ecosystem move forward. That’s the way I think about it.

CEO staying-power strategies 

Gardner: On the subject of keeping time on your side, it’s not very often I get together with 30 years’ worth of CEOs to talk about things. For those in our audience who are leaders of companies, small or large, what advice can you give them on how to keep their companies thriving for 30 years?

Roberts: Whenever you are running a company -- you are running the company. It puts a lot of pressure on you to think about the future, when technology is going to change, and how you get ahead of the power curve before it’s too late.

There is a hell of an operational component. How do you keep the wheel turning and the current moving? How do you keep it functioning, how do you grow staff, and how do you put in systems and infrastructure?

The challenge of managing as the company grows is enormously more complicated. There is the complexity of the technology, the people, the market, and what’s going on in the ecosystem. But never lose sight of the execution component, because it can kill you quicker than losing sight of the strategy.
The challenge of managing as the company grows is enormously more complicated. But never lose sight of the execution component, because it can kill you quicker than losing sight of the strategy.

One thing I tried to do was instill a process in the company where seemingly hard questions were easy, because it was part of the fabric of how people measured and kept up with their jobs, what they were doing, and what they were forecasting. Things as simple as, “Jennifer, how many support calls are we going to get in the second quarter next year or the fourth quarter of the following year?” It’s how do you think about what you need, to be able to answer questions like those.

“How much are we going to sell?” Remember, we were selling packaged product, through a two-step distribution channel. There was no backlog. Backlog was a foreign concept, so every 30 days we had to get up and do it all over again.

It takes a lot of thought, depending on how big you want to be. If you are a CEO, the most important thing to figure out is how big you want to be. If you want to be a lifestyle, small company, then hats off; I admire you. There is nothing wrong with that.

If you want to be a big company, you need to be putting in process, systems, infrastructure, strategy, and marketing now -- even though you might not think you need it. And then the other side of that is, if you go overboard in that direction, process will kill you. Where everybody is so ingrained in the process, nobody is questioning, nobody is thinking, they are just going through the process, that is as deadly as not having one.

So process is necessary, process is not sufficient. Process will help you, and it will also kill you.

Gardner: Mark, same question, advice to keep a company 30 years’ young?
Templeton: Going after Roger is the toughest thing in the world. I’ll share where I focused at Citrix. Number one is making sure you have an opinion about the future, that you believe strongly enough to bet your career and business on it. And number two, to make sure that you are doing the things that make your business model, your products, and your services more relevant over time. That allows you to execute some of the great advice that Roger just gave, so the wind’s at your back, so you are using the normal forces of change and evolution in the world to work for you, because it’s already too hard and you need all the help you can get.

A simple example is the whole idea of consumerization of IT. Pretty early on, we had an opinion about that, so, at Citrix, we created a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy and an experimental program. I think we were among the first and we certainly evangelized it. We developed a lot of technology to help support it, to make it work and make it better. That BYOD idea became more and more relevant over time as the workforce got younger and younger and began bringing their own devices to the office, and Citrix had a solution.

So that’s an example. We had that opinion and we made a bet on it. And it put some wind at our back.

Gardner: David, you are going to be able to get tools that these guys couldn’t get. You are going to have AI and ML on your side. You are going to be able to get rid of some of those distractions. You are going to take advantage of the intelligence embedded in the network -- but you are still going to also have to get the best of what the human form factor, that lump of clay, that wetware, can do.

So what’s the CEO of the future going to do in terms of getting the right balance between what companies like Citrix are providing them as tools -- but not losing track of what’s the best thing that a human brain can do?

IT’s not to do and die, but to reason why

Henshall: It’s an interesting question. In a lot of ways, technology and the pace of evolution right now are breaking down the historical hierarchy that has existed in a lot of organizations. It has created the concept of a liquid enterprise, similar what we’ve talked about with those who can respond and react in different ways.

But what that doesn’t ever replace is what Roger and Mark were talking about -- the need to have a future-back methodology, one that I subscribe to a lot, where we help people understand where we’re going, but more importantly, why.

And then you operationalize that in a way that people have context, so everybody understands clarity in terms of roles and responsibilities, operational outcomes, milestones, metrics, and how we are going to measure that along the way. Then that becomes a continuous process.

There is no such thing as, “Set it and forget it.” Without a perspective and a point of view, everything else doesn’t have enough purpose. And so you have to marry those going forward. Make sure you’re empowering your teams with culture and clarity -- and then turn them loose and let them go.

Gardner: Productivity in itself isn’t necessarily a high enough motivator.

Henshall: No, productivity by itself is just a metric, and it’s going to be measured in 100 different ways. Productivity should be based on understanding clarity in terms of what the outcomes need to be and empowering that, so people can do their best work in a very individual and unique way.

The days of measuring tasks are mostly in the past. Measuring outcomes, which can be somewhat loosely defined, are really where we are going. And so, how do we enable that? That’s how I think about it.

Gardner: I’m afraid we will have to leave it there. You have been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect discussion on how Citrix has made a highly successful habit of challenging the status quo. And we’ve learned from chief executives over the years how Citrix made major and correct bets on the future direction of global information technology.

And they are at it again by remaking digital workplaces and redefining the very nature of applications and business intelligence. So, a big thank you to our special guests, Roger Roberts, Mark Templeton, and David Henshall. And thanks to our audience as well for joining this BriefingsDirect 30 years of CEOs innovation discussion.

I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host throughout this series of Citrix-sponsored BriefingsDirect discussions. Thanks again for listening, please pass this along to your business associates, 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 Citrix is building on its 30-year record of success by remaking digital workplaces and redefining the very nature of applications and business intelligence. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2019. All rights reserved.

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