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2018 - Bringing Future Of Work To Life

by Makarand Joshi - Area Vice President and Country Head, Citrix December-2017

Organisations' reliance on technology has never been as pronounced as it is today. The last few years have been crucial for technology adoption and evaluation in India. On one hand we saw the emergence of digital native, cloud first start-ups eager to disrupt established business process, and on the other we saw traditional businesses embrace transformational technologies at an astounding pace to help maintain their competitive edge. As new technologies get further integrated into the fabric of IT infrastructures, opportunities aiding growth and development of efficiency enhancing processes will be unveiled.

This year, Citrix, has been focussing on delivering technologies and solutions that help redefine the workplace. With our digital workspace offerings, we have helped multiple organizations unlock productivity gains, thus improving their overall reaction time to the market realities and helping them position themselves to quickly take advantage of opportunities coming their way. 

Given this, we, at Citrix feel that the following trends will play a major role in shaping the coming year and thus will need serious consideration by organisations who intend on revamping their IT construct in tandem with the evolving technology landscape - 

The future is cloudy

Cloud and cloud enabled SaaS apps are here to stay. Cloud opens a completely new facet for technology adoption and operational efficiency. Capabilities around analytics, AI, robotics that have been integrated into cloud based offerings are proving hard to emulate using traditional on-premise deployments due to cost, complexity, and skill considerations. Businesses, therefore, will have to evaluate the capabilities of the cloud offerings alongside on-premise offerings and accordingly implement an environment spread across cloud platforms that best meets their capability and productivity goals. Applied cloud strategy, evolving workload, need for business agility, freedom of usage and usage based costs, will help businesses better understand the relevance of a multi-cloud approach, further accelerating the pace of technology transformation we are experiencing today.

Rise of multigenerational workforces

Employees are a critical driving force powering the expansion and growth of businesses. Today's workplace represents a vibrant mix of employees comprising 4 generations. Each one of these generations have a different degree of comfort when it comes to technology usage and adoption. As job profiles become increasingly skill-set focussed and age-agnostic, organizations need to work on simplifying and normalizing their technology platforms to minimise productivity gaps between the digital natives and the non-digital natives. As work paradigms and technologies change, we will see an even wider gap between generations. With 50 % of employees being digital natives who prefer not to be restrained by a location, and the rest comprising of traditional non-digital employees, organisations will have to invest in creating systems that regulate this gap.  In order to optimally utilise the talent at disposal, a collaborative system wherein knowledge is shared, and peer-to-peer learning is practised, should be endorsed. Organisations need to encourage adaption of digital technologies like automation, internet-connected devices, and online communication tools, to reduce the technology awareness gap across groups.

Digital Upskilling

In an increasingly digital India, digital literacy has become imperative and almost every job today requires employees to interface with a digital medium. With technology drastically changing older operational efficacies across the board, businesses are hard pressed to transform their business processes and workflows to remain relevant in their operational space.  Organizations will have to reskill their staff and re-architect their IT strategy to stay relevant. Hiring trends will also see a shift the newer generations joining the workforce are increasingly mobile and technology savvy, it will be increasingly difficult to attract the best people in this talent pool without extending capabilities like mobile digital workplaces and BYOD. As uncertainty continues to surround the technology landscape, it has become critical to create a system which focusses on employee engagement and at the same time paves a transformative path. This fundamental adjustment is pivotal for businesses to ensure they keep up with the fast-changing needs of digital transformation.

Invasion of Analytics

Multiple analysts state that in the coming couple of years as much as 75% of the applications used by the enterprises will have some form of embedded AI. There is consensus amongst technologists that analytical tools will become obligatory as companies try to improve customer interactions and increase value delivery. Application of analytic tools will be sought to ensure that secure digital workspace provide the end-user with the best possible experience across the devices they use. In addition, security analytics is also expected to gain traction, as organizations will have to actively address threats from an increasingly mobile workforce and an application base that spans multiple clouds. This approach will require the enterprise security to level up and explore alternate security paradigms, by detecting, predicting, and averting threats through accumulation and analysis of data from different sources. Furthermore, productivity analytics will also be required as AI gets heavily integrated into business processes, thus, helping users to make more informed data driven decisions that impact value delivery.

In conclusion, we believe that 2018 will be the year enterprises will work towards harnessing opportunities created by integration of new technologies. We see a huge surge in the adoption and usage of digital workspace technologies, which will create ripples in the earlier established organisational structures. Digital workspaces will help organizations across various facets of operation, ranging from talent retention in HR, productivity in operations, data driven decisions in finance, improved customer engagement in sales and so on.

In the bargain, stakeholders will experience both the benefits and the transitional side-effects of this wave of change. However, workspace transformation is inevitable, and the benefits far outweigh the transitional hurdles that might come up.