Hybrid Work Model Is Here to Stay: CitrixBy Sofía Garduño | Wed, 07/27/2022 - 08:58
Q: Citrix is present in 40 countries and has nine offices in the Americas. How has this broad presence helped you to offer a quality and timely service to clients?
A: We are present in 40 countries but operate globally through the Citrix Solution Advisors (CSA) network, which is composed of partners that help us manage local services and extend the reach of our solutions. This network has helped us maintain the quality of our services. In Latin America, we have 15,000 partners, mainly traditional resellers, distributors, system integrators and service providers, all of whom have the required capacities both in the technical and the sales areas to represent Citrix at the local level. Although we lack presence in some countries in the region, like Bolivia, we have people at the regional level covering those markets.
Q: Organizations today want solutions that provide the agility to ramp up or down resources according to needs. How does the company support this process?
A: The digital transformation accelerated during the past two years, forcing companies to move faster into new ways of working, such as flexible work. Businesses are now aware that flexible work might be the new normal. Organizations have to ensure that they have the tools to maintain productivity and those tools must be in a unified and secure environment that can be accessed in a flexible and simple way.
Employers in Latin America believe that their associates are only productive if they are at the office for a certain amount of time. The pandemic removed that cultural barrier. Productivity is now measured by the accomplishment of tasks and objectives.
Most companies believe that the hybrid work model is here to stay. About 75 percent of the IT leadership feels that they need to provide a solution for this new reality and are thus relying on the desktop as a service (DaaS) model. Over 50 percent of employers have already implemented solutions of this kind. However, 81 percent of employees are returning to the office because they are required to do so but about half of them are returning in a flexible way instead of full-time. To attract young talent, flexibility has to be offered because around 30 percent of employees will consider quitting to look for more flexible ways of working. Flexibility is going to be an important factor in choosing one company over another.
Q: How is DaaS impacting productivity and talent engagement?
A: Initially, some computers offered remote access out of a data center. Following the evolution of the internet and related devices, it is now possible to use a computer from almost anywhere. DaaS allows users to access their computers from wherever they are. We offer a central location that can be accessed from any device and only requires a screen and a keyboard to send actions that will be processed in a data center. This can be done from any device and network, allowing the user to work remotely from wherever they want. For example, in some roles, employees can be more productive in front of the customer than in the office. We grew significantly in 2020 and 2021 and the hybrid model's popularity has helped us to maintain our growth in Latin America, which was one of the regions that grew the most in the use of this technology.
In Latin America, few companies offered flexible work at the beginning of the pandemic but were later forced to embrace it. Now that flexibility is the new normal, more companies have realized that they need DaaS. In Mexico, 64 percent of company leaders believe that they need to enhance flexibility because employees want to maintain the benefits they gained during the pandemic.
Q: What security risks have you found as you deployed your solutions and how have you faced them?
A: After productivity, the main concern for companies is cybersecurity. The main security concern is that the attack surface has grown significantly because there are many more mobile devices and networks. Every single device is potentially vulnerable and the user is the most affected. With basic layers of security, all usernames and passwords can be accessed, stolen, misused and sold. It is as if cyberattackers have the keys to the house and can steal whatever they want.
Some DaaS systems continuously use zero trust network access (ZTNA) to monitor user behavior to determine whether the real user is in control. If risks are identified, the platform can block users. For that reason, ZTNA is key because it provides protection regardless of location. Unfortunately, everyone is vulnerable today and every single company has been attacked. The FBI used to say that many companies are being attacked and the rest do not know they are being attacked. ZTNA has been the most effective tool to protect companies from these attacks.
Q: What trends should companies be aware of regarding their labor force?
A: We started conducting surveys during and after the pandemic and found that the hybrid model is here to stay. Both companies and employees believe that the hybrid work model is the future of work because productivity is better. Many companies made the decision to redesign or leave some of their real estate. We did that as well. We had five buildings in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before the pandemic and now we have two.
We have a similar forecast for Latin America. In this region, the work-life balance is becoming a decision-making factor. Today, the flexible work model is part of the hiring portfolio of organizations, allowing them to attract more talent. Companies also restrict their talent pool when they do not offer remote work. For example, call centers have transformed because employees can now work from home, giving companies access to a pool of people who are closer to the market. The education sector also experimented with something similar because education can now be offered to more people living abroad. The digital transformation is on the agenda of every CEO, not just the IT department.
Sustainability is also becoming a trend in workspaces because companies are using technology to be more inclusive and work toward the fulfillment of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) goals. For example, companies can reduce their carbon footprint thanks to remote working. Every company is concerned about ESG, which focuses on sustainability, inclusion and diversity.
Citrix offers cloud solutions that ensure an organization’s apps remain available, their data safe and their people productive