Drive success for your business and IT with workplace flexibility

By Sean Washington

Drive success for your business and IT with workplace flexibility

Original Content by Citrix

Meet employee expectations, accelerate innovation, and improve productivity — without increasing risk

What businesses gain through workplace flexibility

It seems intuitive that an employee who’s able to choose the best way to get work done will accomplish more for the business than one whose days are spent in frustration. Oxford Economics research backs this up, finding that “having choices at work makes people happier, and being able choose the best work environment for the needs of a given moment allows them to be more productive.” In fact, in evaluating organizations with the strongest capabilities for mobility and digital work, Oxford Economics found that these “Digital Workspace Leaders” see improved performance in a broad range of areas from employee productivity to profitability.

A better, more productive workforce at a lower cost

In a time of tight talent constraints for most organizations, one of the most immediate and evident benefits of workplace flexibility is its impact on hiring. By offering a fully modern experience designed around the needs of employees, businesses can better attract and retain superior talent. This pays off in numerous ways, including:

 Reducing costs for recruitment and hiring

  • Avoiding the productivity lag resulting from on boarding tasks
  • Retaining experienced employees and their knowledge within the business
  • Building a stronger, more consistent corporate culture

 It’s a compelling proposition. Workplace flexibility can be a true win-win for employees and the business alike. But there’s a catch. In allowing people more freedom to choose how, when, and where they work, businesses can also open new gaps in their security profile due to the increased use of mobile and personal devices and public networks, as well as a more complex digital environment that’s harder for IT to manage and secure.

 The right technology makes all the difference. Leading organizations are finding that a well-designed digital workspace can solve the security challenges associated with workplace flexibility. Not only that — the solution can also unlock a wealth of ancillary benefits for the business, including faster roll outs of new technologies, simplified endpoint management, and more effective utilization of apps and content.

 “Having choices at work makes people happier, and being able choose the best work environment for the needs of a given moment allows them to be more productive.”

-Oxford Economics

Securing the flexible workplace

Security concerns are the top barrier to digital work. Many organizations struggle to implement highly effective methods for securing corporate data and applications, especially when they’re accessed using employee-owned devices. The challenge is even greater for third-party workers such as contractors, temps, and business partners who aren’t included in the enterprise directory. To allow workplace flexibility without incurring unacceptable levels of risk, IT must be able to:

  • Manage and control access to apps and data wherever they and however they are used — any device, any network, any location
  • Prevent the leakage or loss of corporate information when employees or third-party workers leave the organization
  • Ensure security on employee-owned devices without interfering with the personal apps and data they contain
  • Maintain consistent policies across every device, platform, and type of app people use — regardless of how complex the IT environment grows
  • Proactively prevent threats, including real-time detection and remediation of zero day attacks

As if these requirements were not daunting enough, their solution can’t be allowed to impede the simple, intuitive experience at the core of every successful workplace flexibility initiative.

 And the potential cost of failure is high — from costly breaches and regulatory penalties to long-term damage to business reputation and relationships.

 With a digital workspace, IT can enable workplace flexibility while keeping both employees and the business safe. In the following sections, we will show how Citrix Workspace can deliver these benefits for your organization.

 Simplifying and strengthening security with a digital workspace solution

There’s more to workplace flexibility than smartphones, schedule changes, and piecemeal technologies. Successful organizations take a holistic approach to deliver a complete digital workspace designed around the needs of not only users, but IT as well.

 Citrix Workspace simplifies security for both users and IT while strengthening protection across all aspects of workspace use, from access, to delivery, to working with apps and data. Single sign-on and unified control are just two of the many ways the solution helps manage risk while improving usability.

 Single sign-on to anything, anywhere

Citrix Workspace allows access to every resource employees and third-party workers depend on — all their apps, data, and networks — with the same set of credentials on every device they use. The solution eliminates the friction that comes with a disjointed, non-integrated user experience and lets people get to work quickly in any scenario without having to juggle passwords or worry about technical details.

 A single point of control for everything, everywhere

For IT, this unified approach provides a single point of control over every type of app — mobile, virtual, SaaS, and web — whether they’re delivered from a corporate data center or the cloud. Admins can apply consistent context-based access policies across every scenario, and can authenticate and track user access to every resource they use, simplifying everything from information rights management (IRM) and data loss prevention (DLP) to security, governance, and audit.

 Protecting your users, devices, data, and networks

Complementary Citrix security technologies provide a ring of security around the workspace.

 App and network security

As users work in the cloud, it’s essential to protect app servers and data sources from both internal and external threats. Citrix ADC includes an integrated web app firewall, complemented by DDoS protection at the app delivery layer, for defense against known and unknown attacks, zero-day threats, and other malicious activity.

 A better experience for users — with the control IT needs

Citrix Access Control helps IT achieve the ideal balance of user experience and risk mitigation. In addition to enabling simple yet secure access through SSO, IT can apply granular cut, copy, paste, and download restrictions for SaaS and web apps to keep data under full IT control wherever it’s used. Watermarking provides an added layer of protection for data accessed in the cloud. Questionable web links in emails, documents, CRM systems, and other content can be redirected to a secure browser and sandboxed to prevent network breaches.

 Analytics-powered security automation

Risk is never static or monolithic—and neither is the security built into Citrix Workspace. Integrated across the entire Citrix portfolio, Citrix Analytics uses machine learning to analyze user behavior in real time and flag unusual

or suspicious behavior. When anomalies are detected, the solution takes autonomous action to prevent malicious acts before they can put the organization and its environment at risk.

 By solving the security challenges associated with workplace flexibility, Citrix Workspace lets IT give employees what they want without increasing risk. But there are ample rewards for IT as well — including faster adoption of new technologies, simpler endpoint management, and better value for corporate apps and data.

 Faster adoption of new technologies

Adoption is a make-or-break factor for every IT initiative. Some speak of “The Great IT Choke,” referring to the average 17 percent productivity loss caused by stalled usage. To realize full value from new IT investments and put the latest innovations to work for the business, you’ve got to roll them out quickly and ensure that people can use them easily and effectively.

 With a centrally delivered and managed digital workspace, IT can implement new software or software updates in a fraction of the time it used to take, from productivity apps to full-fledged OS migrations — regardless of whether devices are managed or unmanaged, or even where the application resides. People can provision their own software as easily as they’d download an app, and put it to work more quickly and easily to drive value for your business.

 For IT, faster and simpler rollouts with Citrix Workspace can reduce cost and increase productivity. From a business perspective, fast time-to-value can translate into real competitive advantage and differentiation. It’s the kind of impact that raises IT’s profile and strategic impact across the organization — from the boardroom to the front lines.

Simpler endpoint management

The explosion of mobility has left many IT organizations with a fragmented approach to endpoint management — PCs and laptops in one silo, mobile devices in another. This duplication means more cost, more work, and more opportunities for inconsistencies and gaps in policy enforcement between device types.

Citrix Workspace enables unified endpoint management (UEM) with a single pane of glass to onboard, configure, and monitor every type of device people use. IT can provision and configure endpoints more easily, improve security and compliance, and provide employee-friendly access to apps and data on any device using the same tools, team, and training.

Better value for apps and data

To get the greatest possible return on IT investments, you need users to make the most effective possible use of the resources you provide to them. A digital workspace helps people become more productive with both apps and content.

Getting more from your apps

Workers don’t think in terms of platforms — SaaS, mobile, native, virtual. From their perspective, Microsoft Office is a single set of tools no matter how or where they access it. A disjointed experience across devices can interrupt the flow of work and make it hard to maintain optimal productivity.

With Citrix Workspace, people get a consistent, unified experience across all their devices. On the back end, IT gets a unified admin experience for provisioning, configuration, and performance monitoring and management for every app. Unified analytics let you track application usage by user and group across platforms.

For both workers and IT, less friction means more productivity — and more bang for your buck.

Getting more from your files and data

Corporate data can be one of the most valuable assets in your organization — as long as people can make effective use of it. That means finding what they need quickly and easily, without having to keep track of where each file is stored — which endpoint, network drive, or service like SharePoint or OneDrive.

Citrix Workspace lets people sign on once to access all the cloud and on-premises data sources they use, all mapped into a single screen that makes it easy to find the files they need. By sharing links to stored content instead of the files themselves, employees can avoid the frustration of low-quality public networks and the high costs of mobile data plans. On the back end, IT can provide a unified content repository without the time and expense of migration — files can stay where they are. Flexible storage options simplify compliance by letting you

keep sensitive data on-premises. A unified approach to secure access helps you maintain control no matter how or where content is used.

Mindcentric is a Citrix Partner and can deliver Workspace Solutions anywhere on earth.

Mindcentric is a Managed Service Provider that specializes in critical systems.  Our team spans the United states with members in the North East and Southwestern corners of the United States.  Mindcentric owns an operates our own Critical Data Centers in Reno and Las Vegas.

Tags: Virtual Desktop

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