Longer-term effects of COVID on Business

Envision IT Pressroom | August 26, 2020

Envision IT Pressroom
August 26, 2020

The latest research from ESG confirms that Citrix Systems and partner, Envision IT are uniquely positioned to meet market demands and exceed customer expectations. The Enterprise Strategy Group is a leading technology analyst firm providing market intelligence and actionable insight to the global IT community. Amidst the pandemic, ESG conducted an in-depth survey of North American IT decision-makers and over a thousand corporate knowledge workers to understand the present and future of the dynamic situation and the world of work. Results of this study prove out that the constant dialogue that Citrix and Envision maintain with their clients and prospects is indeed keeping them in-tune with the market needs and wisely positioned to address the demand.

First there’s no doubt that organizations recognize their increased reliance on technology with 60% of respondents confirming it. And with that, the majority are making technology adjustments for the long-term anticipating the potential for future disruptions. Though getting prepared shouldn’t imply a bearish outlook. Rather, companies report increasing CY20 spend to support business growth and rethink IT capabilities. Organizations have learned that, with the right technology enablement and support, employees can indeed be productive working remotely. And so about half of those surveyed acknowledge the need to spend more on technology to enable their employees to effectively work from home.

Companies anticipate the largest spending increases in remote work solutions, security, and cloud. And since they are focused on investing for the long-term, they are carefully considering all the options. So what’s top of mind? And, why are Citrix and Envision positioned in the crosshairs to deliver? Here’s what, why, and how the future of work can successfully evolve.

Top of mind issues and how organizations are addressing them with Citrix and Envision.
The Citrix Workspace being shown on both a computer and a mobile device.Remote Work: As organizations consider remote work, they need to ensure that technology enables their employees to be productive and engaged. All too often employees find that technology is an obstacle to them getting their jobs done. The complexity that’s happening behind the scenes in IT is making its way to the users causing confusion and inefficiency resulting in productivity losses for the business and frustration among workers. Among the culprits are a broader use of multiple online collaboration tools; increased adoption of SaaS applications amidst lingering legacy applications; and an accelerated transition from desktops to a myriad of mobile client devices. Ultimately people have new devices with more functionality than they can use, multiple logins and modalities (some requiring MFA and others not); and the endless search to find useful data. Citrix solves all this with the Workspace. The Workspace offers one simple login screen and familiar desktop that houses all the users’ commonly used applications and data – all visible and at their fingertips. And then with Citrix intelligence and microapps developed by Envision, users’ workflows are simplified from several clicks/steps comprising cumbersome workflows to a couple clicks with powerful automation behind the scenes. 

Security: Participants in the ESG study cited securing remote employees’ home WiFi networks and protecting remote employees against increasing COVID-19 phishing emails and cyber-attacks as major concerns. Outside the study, organizations have reported mounting concerns with VPNs as a remote access solution. We’ll address each of these individually.

  1. Insecure home WiFi networks is indeed something that is, in most cases, out of an employer’s control. There are multiple ways to help address this. First, is leveraging Citrix for remote access. With Citrix Workspace your users can have a single-entry point for all of their apps (including SaaS), Desktops and data, and this single login can be protected with multi-factor authentication (MFA). While in your Citrix Apps and Desktops you also have the option to utilize anti-keyboard logging and watermarking for additional security. And for anything done outside the Citrix Workspace (which should be minimal to nothing), Envision provided a webinar chock-full of important information for employees attending to their home WiFi networks.
  2. Protecting employees against phishing emails and cyberattacks. This goes hand-in-hand with another security concern cited by participants of the ESG study which is training remote employees’ security needs. It’s simple, employees aren’t likely to independently enroll in security awareness training and so it’s up to employers to deliver it. And given the constant activity of bad actors and escalating sophistication of the exploits, end-user security awareness training is a continual process. Envision works with companies to design a program that assesses user’s awareness, design and deliver applicable (and recurring) training exercises, and tracks participation and effectiveness of the training. Not only does this serve the organization, but the employee all-up with their technology use. Additionally, Envision can help architect resilient back-up environments to detect, protect, and recover an organization’s digital assets against ransomware attacks.
  3. VPN is no longer a viable remote access solution. The concern regarding VPN access has mounted in light of the massive number of people now accessing corporate systems from home. Not only accessing from home, but in many cases from unsecured devices. Among the top concerns with this scenario are that the remote user typically has access to entire corporate network which is well-beyond their required reach. Also, the VPN authenticates the user upon the login – that’s only one time! Additional concerns are a lack of context, endpoint protection, clipboard and peripheral blocking, traffic back-hauling, etc. These concerns and the implications have been widely publicized. Well-implemented Citrix environments address all these concerns and here’s how. For more information, tune into the Envision podcast with Envision CTO, Bill Crahen and Citrix’s Adi Trivedi.

Cloud: Most organizations are already leveraging public, private, and/or hybrid clouds today. And according the ESG report, the pandemic is accelerating organizations’ use of public cloud infrastructures and their transition to modern, cloud-native architectures for applications. Citrix and Envision can help organizations with this migration. Specifically helping them migrate on own timeline (rather than a rushed or big bang approach) and with minimal disruption the business.

Many technology professionals harbor well-founded concerns when they hear platform-specific Clouds. That’s because, most often, the Cloud provider hosts the organization’s data and creates a ‘sticky’ situation. It becomes a herculean and costly undertaking to move away from that platform and their platform-provider’s Cloud. This is where Citrix is completely different. The Citrix Cloud is simply the control plane of the Citrix infrastructure. So it lightens the load for the client with regards to the workhorse components of the Citrix infrastructure, and leaves the workloads (data) to be hosted wherever the client chooses including on-premise, public/private cloud, or a hybrid approach. Having the control plane in the Citrix Cloud enables customer organization to move their workloads among hosting environments extending flexibility and choice for the customers.

And since Azure is such a common public cloud for businesses around the world, Citrix and Microsoft have escalated their level partnering to serve that client base. The technology giants are co-developing within their solutions to make migrating to Azure with Citrix easier than ever. And Envision comes in to configure the migrations as well as help monitor and manage the end-to-end solutions to ensure clients are reaping maximum value from their investments. And moreover that organizations’ employees are leveraging these platforms as enablers to their meaningful contribution to the bottom line.

Tags: Cloud, Remote Work, Security, Technology