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Citrix 2018 Predictions: From Security to Cloud to AI and IoT

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by members of the Citrix executive team

From Security to Cloud to AI and IoT

As we get ready to close the books on 2017, it's time to look ahead to new ways of working in 2018.

Citrix offers a collection of predictions from visionaries across many different disciplines. As the predictions came in, an overarching theme emerged: The concept of how we work is changing dramatically and is largely driven by the move to hybrid cloud, the growth of IoT and AI, and ever-changing security threats.

Though the industry agrees overwhelmingly that the move to the cloud is the necessary next step to enabling flexible, collaborative ways of working, IT adoption of cloud creeped along much more slowly than expected in 2017. IT leaders struggled with non-technical issues, such as the move to SaaS driving spending as OpEx vs. CapEx, securing buy-in from business unit leaders, and more. The drive in 2018 will continue to push this move toward flexible workspaces ahead.

PJ Hough, SVP, Chief Product Officer at Citrix

PJ Hough 

What will be the key technology innovation in 2018? 

Hybrid cloud. There is a real convergence happening right now across technologies to bring together the best possible work environments using the cloud. Hybrid cloud technology unifies all the applications from all the platforms, whether they happen to be enterprise or on-premises applications, cloud applications or mobile applications and delivers them in a consistent way across any device. Companies no longer need to even own the applications, they just have to subscribe to an application that someone else is delivering. As things move to the cloud, people have a higher expectation that things will just work, that services will always available and will always help them get things done quickly. There's an expectation that every app is simply going to work, whether they're on the beach, in a plane, or staying at a hotel. So, as rapidly as technology is innovating to create the future of work with the cloud, there's a hungry audience who can see that vision and understand that a hybrid model will get them there the fastest.

How do you think technology will change the way people work in 2018 and beyond?   

It will provide greater mobility. The cloud is giving people the mobility they want in a job today, while giving IT the security controls they need. Work is becoming increasingly more location independent. More people today are succeeding in careers that allow them the freedom to move in time and location, and still contribute greatly to their work. Secure cloud technology will simplify mobility of people moving not just between locations but between projects and allowing them to bring skills from one part of the company to the other.

What tech concept do you think has been widely talked about, but will really see success in 2018? 

The cloud will continue to be the biggest driver of change in 2018. The challenge that many organizations face today is the pace at which they can absorb and integrate technology. And this is why you see people doing things like move to the cloud or move to an application delivery platform or move to a more open device management policy, because it allows those parts of their business to move at the speed of the cloud, the speed of mobility, the speed of applications - not at their speed. IT teams are well aware that shifting to the cloud is the next big move to make, and I am certain we will see even greater cloud adoption in 2018 than we have this year.

Steve Shah, Vice President of Product Management, Networking, Citrix

steve shah 

What will be the key technology innovation in 2018?

2018 will be the year of the anti-innovation - the boring cloud technologies that we've had for a while are hitting a critical inflection in the maturity curve where our ability to consume them and the cloud's ability to make them work well are finally coming together. Thus, the hybrid-multi-cloud will become the reality for a lot of enterprises that want to move towards shifting select workloads to where it is cheapest to run while keeping special applications on-premises under the same management framework.

How will technology change the way people work in 2018?

As cloud comes to building management systems, the ability to cost effectively leverage IoT to improve the quality of the workplace will become real. We're learning all kinds of new things about how everything from the quality of the air we breathe inside the office impacts our cognitive function to the way that we run meetings and use conference rooms.

What tech concept do you think has been widely talked about, but will really see success in 2018?

Face recognition as a form of biometric identity will become a talking point as initial offerings from consumer technology haven't worked as well as was hoped. This will lead to a broader discussion around biometrics as a form of identity and which biometrics are acceptable and which are not. This will particularly become a hot topic as the broad availability of fingerprint scanners and cloud APIs from Microsoft and Google have made biometrics as a second-factor in multi-factor authentication the new normal.

Steve Wilson, Vice President, Cloud and IoT, Citrix

steve wilson 

What do you think will be the key technology innovation in 2018?

In the near future, people are going to have a very different set of devices to access work on a daily basis. It was just a few years ago where the only questions people were asked when they showed up to their first day on a new job was whether they wanted a PC or a Mac. Today, people demand to work from the device and location of their choice. There's also an increasing number of IoT devices, such as the inexpensive Raspberry Pis that cost less than $100 - that can do everything that a PC used to do. For example, with a Raspberry Pi integrated with Citrix technology, an employee can sit down, hook up a keyboard and a mouse with a monitor to it and use it as their computer. They can also use it as an embedded device, hide it under their desk and attach it to speech recognition, voice recognition, virtual reality or augmented reality.

How do you think technology will change the way people work in 2018 and beyond?

IoT will move from being seen as a massive security risk in the Enterprise, to a critical part of an Enterprise's security posture. Concepts, such as Bluetooth beacon technologies, GPS, biometrics, facial recognition, and pervasive analytics on user behavior will give much greater confidence in a user's identity, which will lead to greater assurance that people are getting access to the right things.

What tech concept do you think has been widely talked about, but will really see success in 2018?

Voice/speech shows promise and I feel we've reached this inflection point where it's getting so much better at such a rate that it's very usable for a set of tasks today. In 2018, we're going to see it go further as we figure out the applications for it. It'll be similar to a time, years ago, when people actually preferred DOS because it could do things compactly with a small set of text commands, once we figure out how to talk to something in a natural manner and say, for example, "rename all the files that start with the letter Q," then that action is automated - that is going to become tremendously powerful. A combination of some of those AI technologies wrapped around voice will be really big. Another example are startups now that now only specialize in building bots, which are not physical robots but chatbots; you can put voice in front of that or type commands or text messages to it. Imagine how transformative it will be when natural language interaction is added in, whether it's typing or talking!

Calvin Hsu, Vice President, Product Marketing, Citrix

calvin hsu 

What will be the key technology innovation in 2018?

Cloud-based predictive analytics will transform the way employees securely access their apps and data in 2018, enhancing security and driving productivity for enterprises.

How do you think cloud-based predictive analytics will change the way people work in 2018 and beyond?

When it comes to cloud-based predictive analytics, we're just beginning to see a sliver of its true potential. By combining information on behavior patterns with advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence, we can implement security processes that are invisible to end users, which means they don't need to do anything extra to comply with security policies while they work. Meanwhile, with the analytics running in the background, we can identify when someone's access privileges might be compromised, or use virtualized secure browsers to route risky employee behavior into a protective online sandbox to prevent security breaches.

We can also identify where we can streamline workflows and adapt them to individual work habits to make it easier and faster for people to complete their tasks. Analytics can also inform business managers and IT about broader work patterns, and what their employees need to do to efficiently get their work done. With those insights, managers can identify opportunities for improvement, either through coaching or by providing additional tools and services. Even better, analytics can also drive real-time, autonomic recommendations to those employees based on what their peers are doing.

We see a day when we will:

  • Streamline workflows and processes to help employees work faster and more efficiently.
  • Anticipate a disruption in one cloud, giving IT time to re-route apps and services to another cloud to prevent a service failure.
  • Identify when an employee's identity has been compromised and prevent the theft of sensitive data, malicious activity or other potential cyber-criminal behavior.
  • Shift an employee into a secure browsing environment in the event they accidently click on a dangerous link.
What tech concept do you think has been widely talked about, but will really see success in 2018?

This year, we've emphasized how Citrix has become clearly focused on transitioning the entire company to a cloud-first mindset. That's because that cloud-first model enables us to provide value in ways that simply are not possible with a traditional on-premises deployment of our solutions. (To be clear, I'm talking about the Citrix aspect of the infrastructure - the management control plane. Customers can run their workloads on-premises, in the cloud, or some hybrid of both and still get the advantages of a cloud-based Citrix solution.) 

While a lot of attention focuses on the operational and integration benefits accrued through cloud services, we're just beginning to see the tremendous potential available by combining the telemetry gained when employees access their apps and data in the cloud.


Published Tuesday, December 26, 2017 6:45 AM by David Marshall
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