As the world transitions through a “work shift” with remote workers increasingly collaborating online, success will be defined by the companies that can adapt to the new realities. This is the main message of Brett Caine, president of Citrix Online, who shared at the GigaOM Net:Work conference, how his division of Citrix Systems is helping companies weather the transition.
As companies ramp up their hiring, they’re encountering more workers who expect these capabilities, Caine said. That has shifted the balance of power in IT to empowered workers, who are demanding more flexible tools and the ability to connect remotely.
That’s helping boost sales of Citrix Online’s tools, such as GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar. Caine said GoToMeeting, for example, is the only collaboration tool that has been gaining share in the last five years. Companies must learn to offer the kind of simplicity that employees demand, Caine said. “The technology should be invisible, it should go away and allow you to solve problems without getting in the way,” he said.
Recent research conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Citrix shows where companies ought to focus their efforts. Caine said surprisingly 50 percent of boomers use social media compared to 40 percent for Generation Y, something he said may be due to older generations using the tools more for work and having the stature and time to use it more freely. Only 33 percent of American workers use video chat compared to 63 percent of Europeans. And only 14 percent of small and medium businesses use video conferencing as opposed to 40 percent of enterprise companies. Finally, 91 percent of people surveyed said they still prefer e-mail, phone and face-to-face meetings. “There is enormous amount of opportunity to transition the global workforce,” he said.