by Saadallah Chebaro, UAE CUGC Leader
Unified Endpoint Management, Modern Device Management, User Environment Management, Digital Workspace, Workspace Cloud, Workspace App and End User Computing all have one thing in common: it’s all about the end-user experience…!
Aside from the general perception of cloud computing benefits such as availability, cost, management, OPEX and so on, Citrix Cloud Workspace offering enables seamless correlation, unification, and integration, of different services such as EUC, UEM, ADM, ADC, MCM, and Analytics to the ultimate aim of making end-users more productive and IT admins less reductive.
To win over end-users, which represents the biggest challenge in any workspace digitalization initiative, enhancing front-end user experience should be the ultimate aim. To establish that, users must at least experience less hassle in accessing whatever apps, documents, and resources they need to conduct business on top of having a WoW factor in place to seal any annoyances faced during such a digital business transition.
We are beings of habit and resist change no matter how beneficial that change might be simply because it represents an unnecessary risk. Though this resistance requires a strategy on its own to overcome, part of that in a workspace digitalization project should be enabled by the platform itself. Citrix Cloud is not just a platform to enhance user productivity but is also an integral part of a workspace digitalization plan that can help overcome resistance and other critical non-technical issues represented by such an immense change in the way business is conducted.
To the ultimate aim of an end-user experience that does just that, I want to propose some minor enhancements required on the part of Citrix Cloud that would, in my opinion, immensely boost experience, satisfaction, and ultimately mitigate many of the problems introduced with digital change:
- Auto Discovery: Users need to input the Citrix cloud-provided URL X.cloud.com to access their resources which is not adequate from an end-user experience. Auto Discovery would allow users to just use their email addresses to enroll to their cloud workspace suite. The same has been done with Endpoint Management so the same concept can be applied given that Workspace App is able to communicate with the service and interpret the same.
- PasswordLess: The latest trend in IT security is a password-less approach to authentication where “something I know” is always perceived to be the weakest link in security. Now that TOTP is cloud native to Citrix Cloud (Tech Preview), adding “something I am” would provide native 2-factor authentication with a no password approach. Face recognition for thick devices and/or Biometric authentication for mobile devices would act as the primary method of authentication and TOTP as a second factor. Adding this functionality to Workspace App through Citrix Cloud would prove a major shift in Workspace security enabling IT CISO’s to benefit from native security features on top of making it easier for users to interact with their digital workspace without having to remember or compromise AD passwords.
- CNAMEs: I love the cloud.com domain, I really do, it lives up to the expectation of having a cloud service, nevertheless, many customers just want to use one of their subdomains. CNAME would allow customers to use their own sub-domain which would point to the X.cloud.com URL but as of now it does not work with Citrix Cloud and Workspace App. Before moving to the cloud.com domain, at least the web part of CNAME did work, just receiver didn’t but since the move both do not work when using CNAMEs.
- Endpoint Management Gateway: Citrix Endpoint Management Service still requires Citrix ADC (NetScaler) to be deployed on-premises; needs to be Advanced licensing to support Content Management; and requires HA which means double the price. Gateway service supporting Endpoint management through cloud connectors and application connectors would not only save money but would also boost cloud adoption, ultimately allowing end-users to benefit from new features (since CEM features are only introduced to cloud going forward).
- Secure Chat App: Almost all customers want to secure communication, at least confidential business chat, which is a hideous job given that many vendors don’t give out their application’s source code for wrapping. WorxChat was dropped and was not a good idea since it did rely on Lync/Skype for business, so, why not just build a chat app? Nothing fancy, just a secure chat app that connects to Citrix Cloud as a service, integrates with MAM apps and MCM for all other features.
- Workspace App Support: The simple task of sharing logs with IT support or even Citrix support is a mess and users can never figure it out on their own (End-Users want to send logs to their support not to Citrix). I believe a support button needs to be added to the main screen of Workspace App, one which can be customized to include, for example, enrollment procedure or other ways to contact support.
Citrix Cloud has advanced quite extensively in the last year or so given that two years ago, it did not exist. So, we know it is work in progress. The work being done on transitioning to a full management web cloud service, for instance, from what is now an ICA HTML5 session running Studio is a huge undertaking but Citrix should not lose sight of the ultimate aim and outcome of the cloud transition: Enhance the end-user experience! Oh, and make money on subscription model licensing.
Native TOTP, UEM in Workspace App, and branding are a game changer for customers and Citrix alike in terms of a secure unified digital workspace promise, yet Citrix needs to work out the little details affecting end-users to help businesses make the transition to cloud.