Work today is too complex. Citrix provides simple, secure and reliable access to the resources people need to get work done, wherever it needs to get done.
To understand the implications for government, and how a GovCon can succeed in this space, we talked to Steve Nguyen, senior vice president and general manager for Citrix Public Sector.
What do you do for government?
Hybrid work and self-service programs are the future of government. And Citrix is focused on helping to deliver it. Our digital workspace solutions provide a unified platform through which state, federal and local employees can simply, securely and reliably access all of the applications and information they need to get work done — wherever it needs to get done — and provide superior service to the constituents they serve.
How’s that space evolving?
The pandemic has dramatically accelerated the transition to digital government, and there is no going back. While many agencies saw remote work and self-service initiatives as a short-term solution to the pandemic problem, they are making them part of their long-term plans as a result of the improvements they have seen in productivity and efficiency. And they will continue to leverage the tools they initially put in place to enable work from home to provide a simple, secure and reliable experience for employees and citizens alike.
How have you supported that need?
Initially, it was all about blocking and tackling — so quickly getting government employees set up to securely and reliably access the resources they needed to do their jobs from home to ensure continuity of services. Now, it is all about helping them sustain the benefits that remote work has brought in terms of productivity, engagement and well-being.
Beyond just virtualizing desktops and providing a secure and reliable way to connect to networks, we are helping government remove the distractions that get in the way of individual progress and unlock an employee’s full potential so they can focus and deliver value.
With Citrix Workspace, for instance, they can secure all tools, apps, content and devices that employees need and prefer to use in a simple experience that can be customized to fit personal preferences and evolving work styles. They can use built-in intelligent features to prioritize everyday asks, enabling employees to focus on the meaningful work they want to do.
And with the capabilities of Wrike, the collaborative work management company we recently acquired, they can automate and streamline collaboration and work execution and empower people and teams to work in the most efficient and effective way possible across any work channel or location.
What problem does this solve for federal customers?
Work today is way too complicated. I’ll give you a few examples. During a typical day, employees:
- Use more than a dozen apps to get work done — often four or more just to complete a single business process like submitting expenses, booking travel, submitting purchase orders or approving time off
- Spend at least 20% of their time searching for information they need to do their jobs
- Are interrupted by a text, chat or application alert about every 2 minutes.
New team-based collaboration tools are only adding to the noise, forcing employees to adopt yet another work channel, increasing alerts and disruptions, and significantly hindering their ability to get meaningful work done. Add to this the pandemic-related challenges of spouses working from home, kids learning online, pets lurking about and makeshift office setups.
To thrive in the new world of work, government must cultivate a workforce empowered to adapt to changing conditions and innovate quickly and design work around an employee experience that removes friction stemming from clunky technology and empowers people to work the way they want — wherever they happen to be. And this is what we’re focused on helping government do.
How do you differentiate your offering from other similar products?
To keep employees engaged and productive, government needs to eliminate the friction and noise from work and deliver technology that adapts to their workstyles so they can deliver meaningful outcomes. This can’t be done by cobbling together individual technologies.
A lot of government employees, for instance, have their own or third-party applications that do tasks like time and attendance or vacations. It can be a client server application or a software-as-a-service app like ServiceNow or Workday. But accessing these applications individually and switching between them to complete tasks is frustrating and drains productivity.
What’s needed to eliminate this frustration and simplify work is a platform that does three things:
- Unifies work: Whether at home, on plane or in an office, employees have consistent and reliable access to all the resources they need to be productive across any work channel, device or location
- Secures work: Contextual access and app security, ensure applications and information remain secure — no matter where work happens.
- Simplifies work: Intelligence capabilities like machine learning, virtual assistants and simplified workflows personalize, guide and automate the work experience so employees can work free from noise and perform at their best.
Citrix is unique in providing this platform. As a single interface to all systems of records, Citrix provides a layer between employees and technology that can frustrate them. Through Citrix Workspace, employees can sign in once and efficiently engage with the apps they need and prefer to use to get work done without having to navigate them and work across multiple systems.
And IT can personalize the work experience by building workflow extensions that surface key insights and tasks from systems of record and automatically deliver them to employees so they can focus on the work that matters most and execute quickly.
What challenges do you face as a GovCon these days?
From the “getting noticed” standpoint, we are the de facto standard for a lot of our workspace and networking solutions across the federal government. We have a lot of referenceable customers that we can use to get in front of other customers. We definitely have the reach to get noticed.
The biggest piece right now is just waiting on the policies, as the pandemic slows down and we’re hopefully getting back to regular life. What will be the policy for remote work? Agencies will definitely continue telework, but what will that look like? Will they expand it? How can we bring best practices from the commercial world to the government?
How are you helping agencies to find their way through these issues?
In addition to providing the technical tools to create digital workspaces, we’re also sharing a lot of the tips and tricks we’ve learned over the last 30 years really talking about and leading this idea of hybrid work and making people productive from anywhere.
What makes this work satisfying and meaningful for you?
Everyone who works in public sector, especially in the federal market, we’re all trying to do good, to make the world better. I always try to focus on the customer’s mission, on making them better and more efficient.
I like that I am able to watch the news with my kids and say: “Hey, you know what? I’m working for a company that’s helping out with that.”