As organisations try to meet the continually growing demands of their employees and customers, the way they engage and interact with these individuals needs to evolve too.
A digital, intelligent workspace — or a collection of evolving technologies that are designed around the needs of the user allowing them the space and freedom to work from anywhere, on any device, and do this securely — is key to this interaction.
“Technology is at the heart of the intelligent workspace,” says Alex Russell, MD: technology solutions at EOH. “However, we believe that in the future, technology will need to adapt to our needs and abilities, not the other way round.”
He says applications are a great example of this. “We’re living in an application world. They are probably having the single most significant impact on the workplace today. There is an explosion of niche, purpose-built applications coming into play as organisations across the board are beginning to transform digitally.”
And, although the majority of these applications are designed to take a step closer to a truly intelligent enterprise, many applications simply don’t offer a great employee experience.
“Most people in the workplace are inundated with applications. However, when they interact with an average enterprise application, you can be sure they’re not even using 10% of the app’s full functionality, because they don’t need more than that.”
Moreover, he says, hopping from one full-blown application to another one is neither efficient nor conducive to productivity. “Even more exasperating is that many of these application interactions, such as HR, IT tickets and PTO requests take up valuable time, and have more to do with maintenance than the actual work people are being hired to do.
“Customers across the board are looking for ways to help their employees work more efficiently and effectively. The vast majority agree that focusing on work would be much simpler if all of their apps appeared in a single window. Citrix ran some trials to see what would happen, and the results were exciting. The average user could carry out application tasks 67% faster when interacting with a micro-app rather than the full app – this means a time saving of 51 minutes each day, taking for granted that your average user spends 10 minutes per hour on work tasks in applications.”
He says to think about what employees could do with this additional time. “This is where Citrix’s idea of ‘a single experience for everything’ was born, and this is what the company is delivering with its recently introduced Citrix Workspace intelligence capabilities.”
Russell says the Citrix Workspace app was the first step, and it was the first multi-platform workspace user interface that unifies and aggregates all user applications, virtualised desktops, and the data that goes along with them through a single window. “The company has taken this to a whole new level by introducing Workspace Intelligence.”
Digital workspaces become intelligent ones when they move beyond organising applications and data, to actually guiding, and then automating work. “But to deliver this, you have to rid yourself of the notion that you can simply provide an application then leave it up to the user to search for the appropriate menus, screens, and commands. Instead, you need to select the relevant actions from the application and use insight to deliver them to the user in a way that makes his or her life easier, and enables them to work quickly and efficiently.
“This what Citrix Workspace intelligence does, making life easier for employees across the board. Something that used to take 20 minutes can now be done in about half a minute, as users don’t need to search for the information they need. Think about it – this gives an employee an entire day back for every week that they work.”
The IT team can benefit from the intelligent workspace too, which will free them up from activities that ‘keep the lights on’ and allow them to focus on activities that drive innovation, and move the business forward, Russell concludes.