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How Work Experience for Many is A Dumpster Fire and Why it’s Time For Something Completely Different
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How Work Experience for Many is
A Dumpster Fire and Why it’s Time
For Something Completely Different
Transcript of a discussion on the future of work and the new ways of exploiting what technology
does best to deliver intelligent workspaces that prioritize and personalize tasks.
Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Citrix.
Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and
you’re listening to BriefingsDirect.
Worker productivity gains -- despite 30 years of computing technology roll outs -- remain
hard to define by economists. Ask a worker, however, and you are increasingly likely to
get a hard, cold assessment.
A huge amount of time these days, they say, is wasted on the inefficiencies of
technology run amok. Only a sliver of time is going to the creative and innovative types
of work that employees crave -- and employers gain the most value from.
Stay with us now as we explore the future of work and the new ways of exploiting what
technology does best to deliver intelligent workspaces that prioritize and personalize
To learn how the newest digital work strategies help unburden those saddled with
deflating productivity, please join me in welcoming Fouad ElNaggar, Vice President of
Future of Work Products at Citrix. Welcome, Fouad.
ElNaggar: Hey, Dana. Thanks for having me.
Gardner: Fouad, why, when we walk through the front
door of our office buildings are we being teleported back
ElNaggar: Well, it’s kind of crazy when you think about it.
Every one of us has this nice black rectangle that sits in
our pocket, and when you think about what that rectangle
enables us to do, it’s crazy.
In the world we live in today, I can push a button and a
car shows up and takes me wherever I want to go. I can
swipe right and I am on a date. I am old. I remember
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when you had to go up and talk to people at a bar or restaurant or at a concert and do
this big dance to get them to go out with you for a meal. Now I am swiping right.
Life is great; work is a grind
When I started working, I used to memorize five different routes to work. I would get
together with my friends and we would share secret shortcuts on how to save two or
three minutes off of our commute. Now I hit a button on Waze, type in my address, and I
am getting to work and back home in the fastest way possible.
I can push a button on my phone and a pint of ice cream comes to my house so I can
eat away the disappointment of another Philadelphia Eagles loss. This is magical. The
world that we are living in today is magical.
If I had to explain this to a young Fouad in the mid-1990s and say, “Imagine this.
Imagine this world.” … When I started working, I remember showing up to my office the
first day and laughing at people still using typewriters, okay?
The world we live in today is so insane and amazing. But then you walk into the front
door of your office, guess what? That Fouad from the mid-1990s, starting out in New
York, would 100 percent recognize that office: Bad guest Wi-Fi; signing in on a clipboard
where people are writing Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck; plugging a laptop into one of
those light bulb and fan projectors that’s got a VGA adapter on the end of it, and working
on some horrible, crappy laptop that takes two minutes to open a big Excel file. It’s
crazy. It’s crazy.
The Fouad from 20 years ago could
not have imagined the consumer
world we are living in today, but he
was actually working in the same
work world we are in today. It’s
amazing, every one of as a consumer
has these amazing experiences with
our devices. But then you walk through the front door of work and it’s like taking a
wormhole back to the 1990s. It’s insane.
Gardner: It’s like we took what used to be client-server business applications, put a web
interface on them, and gave up. Not much has happened since then.
So what’s the solution? How do we move from this inertia of workplace innovation? Do
we just keep adding on more old stuff, or do we reinvent?
ElNaggar: You bring up an incredible point. I live in Silicon Valley, so it’s probably the
worst year -- where people are bringing out medieval bugles and blowing the horns to
celebrate the wonderful world of software as a service (SaaS) software. And the crazy
thing is, they think that because they took Siebel Systems and put it into a web browser
Every one of us, as a consumer, has
these amazing experiences with our
devices. But then you walk through the
front door of work and it’s like taking a
wormhole back to the 1990s.
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and called it Salesforce, and they took PeopleSoft and put it into a web browser and
called it Workday, that they are somehow dramatically changing how work happens.
When you actually look at those systems side by side, it’s the same tabs, menus, and
workflows. Salesforce is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, and literally nothing
has changed. The way you use those systems is the same way you used those systems
in the 1990s. Like you said, they just took client-server apps but put them on the web.
It’s sad when you think about it, because for the first 30 years of enterprise software --
the investments that went into digitizing the back office, of giving people personal
computers, connecting those computers to the Internet so we had email and could
communicate with people in our companies or around the world any time of the day --
those investments changed the way we worked.
Those investments drove huge changes in the employee experience, in employee
engagement, and in employee productivity. You could do so much more. We were
doubling individual productivity every 20 years. Think about that. It used to take two
Fouads to do what one Fouad can do today.
And so we had all of this incredible investment and innovation -- and then all of a sudden
we hit a roadblock. Look at the last 15 years of enterprise software, and what’s really
changed? Again, it was taking a client-server system and putting it into a browser, and
then taking some crappy, over-bloated implementation of those same systems to a
mobile device that nobody wants to use. That’s not really innovation, right? That’s not
changing how we work.
And so when I think about the future of
work, I think we are going to have to attack
that fundamental problem -- our processes
and workflows haven’t really changed.
That’s where you have to start.
Gardner: What’s changed for me is instead of spending just two hours a day on email, I
am spending five hours a day on texts, chat, Slack, Teams, and email. But I don’t seem
to be getting anything more for it. Am I unusual?
Interruptions disrupt productivity
ElNaggar: That’s exactly right. Collaboration is a big part of work. When you think
about the whole premise of a corporation, and about why corporations were even
formed, the idea was that if we put specialists in different functions together as a group
we could achieve more than we could as individuals.
Yes, collaboration is important, but also being able to deliver on your special skill is
important. And as we keep layering on more “collaboration tools,” we have ended up in a
world where there is just a ton of noise.
In the future of work, we are going
to have to attack that fundamental
problem – our processes and
workflows haven’t really changed.
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To your point, it’s … “Great, I have an email notification. Great, I have a Slack
notification. Great, I have a Teams notification. Great, my salesperson just texted my
There was some research that came out earlier this year. We are interrupted 1,100
times a day at work -- 1,100 times. Think about that for a second, it’s insane. How can
we even get any work done? To your point, you used to do email for two hours a day.
Now, the typical person does about 17 hours of email a week, okay?
And then on top of that, we have all of these other systems and vectors for people to
interrupt us, to try and communicate with us, try and collaborate, and a lot of times it’s
I don’t know if your email inbox looks like mine, but mine is like a dumpster. It’s an
unprotected place where people can sit there and buy my email address off of Rainking
and Discover , right? Or they can just guess it and try one of those ways to get to me.
And so what does my inbox end up looking like? Well, I have random vendors and
people that have my email and are spamming it. I have Groupon in there. I have
Nigerian prince scams. My wife maybe auto-fills an email and it goes to my work email
instead of my personal email. And in the sea of all that noise and distraction I am
expected to get my work done?
And these chat clients? I have talked with CIOs at some of the biggest companies in the
world and they measure what happens in Slack and Teams -- and it’s a bunch of noise.
It’s like, “Hey, guys, there is a cake in the kitchen. Hey, guys, here is a funny new
animated GIF, here is a meme.”
It’s a bunch of noise. And so we are
adding a lot to the noise and distraction
levels. What’s been lost in the mix? It
really hurts the employee experience,
employee engagement, and it really kills
Gardner: Sadly, my solution was to work on Saturdays so that I wouldn’t be interrupted.
I would wait and do all my creative work -- and actually get something done. It allowed
me to concentrate on the same subject for more than 20 or 25 minutes. But that’s not
good because now I’m working six days a week.
How else do we let workers be creative and exploit what their brains were designed to
do? How do we get out of this interruptions rut?
Going through the motions
It’s a bunch of noise. … It really
hurts the employee experience,
employee engagement, and it
really kills employee productivity.
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ElNaggar: It’s a great point. What I will add to it is that you are actually engaged in your
work. You love what you do. You want to work on your skills to be successful, so you
work on the weekends to get your stuff done.
But what I should frame this whole discussion with is two-thirds to 80 percent of
employees are not engaged with their work. They are not emotionally aligned with the
mission or goals of the company. Whereas you will sit there and say, “Okay, I have to
get my job done. I want to be great at this. I want to be exceptional at this. I am going to
sit there and work afterhours and on the weekend to get things done.” A lot of people
don’t. They are punching the clock. They are not engaged with work. They are
disengaged with work. And that’s a huge problem.
Part of the reason they get disengaged with work, where they hate how they work, is
because a lot of these systems we have put in place create friction for them. They
increasingly create busy work and the kind of work that they did not sign up to do.
We talked earlier about people being specialists in corporations. Each one of us has a
special unique skill, what we put on our résumés, and we put in our LinkedIn profiles.
If you go and look at my LinkedIn, you can check it out, what you are not going to see
are any merit badges on there because I often use Concur. You are not going to see any
credentials that say, “Fouad is really good at finding information on Tableau.” You are
not going to see anything in there that says I am “unbelievable at using the procurement
system to make things happen.” None of those things are my core skills. None of those
things differentiate me in the marketplace.
But that’s how are people spending their
time today. They are spending more than
half of their time on what they consider busy
work. There is BS stuff like expense reports,
performance reports, and finding information
across different systems and from meetings
that don’t matter to them.
They are doing a bunch of copy-and-paste work. I saw some data about two months ago
that says at work on average we copy and paste 134 times a day. I saw this and I said,
“That can’t be true, that can’t be true.” And so I started to actually track myself and you
know what I discovered? I copy and paste like 180 times a day at work. And that was
frightening to me. But you realize these things and it’s like, “Oh my God, how many
times am I in one system and I copy a piece of data and put it into an email or I copy
something out of an email and put it into a form field on another system?”
All day long we are sitting shuffling information between different systems – even though
each of us has a unique, special skill. You know what human beings want to do when
they work? They want to develop that skill, to hone their craft, and to get better at what
differentiates them, because that’s what’s going to allow them to create more value for
People are spending more than
half of their time on what they
consider busy work … finding
information across different
systems and from meetings that
don’t matter to them.
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their organization. And it also set them up for a promotion, a new job, and to make more
money. And these are the things that excite people at work.
Employees prize purpose, potential, and play
There is a lot of research out there around total motivation and what really drives
engagement. What they have found is that people want to have a feeling of play at work.
They want to feel like they are using their adaptive brains to be creative and solve
problems. They want to have a sense of purpose. They want to know why they are at
their companies and why are they doing their jobs.
There was some research that came out recently that said more than 70 percent of
people don’t know why their jobs even exist. Think about how frightening that is. Like
why does my job even exist?
So again, they want some kind of purpose. They want to know the work that they do
contributes to their organizations and how.
And the other thing they want is potential. They want to know that there is a pathway for
them to develop their skills. People want to spend their time working on their skills sets
and on individual projects in unstructured time.
If that’s a developer, they want to work and have a nice big block of time to code. If you
are a writer, you want a big block of time to focus on research and crafting beautiful
documents. If it’s a salesperson, they want to spend their time in front of customers
evangelizing their vision of the product and evangelizing how they can help the
customers achieve their goals.
Every one of us has our skills that we want to
work on. Working with a team to achieve
something greater -- that’s where people want
to spend their time, because that’s where they
get a sense of purpose for their work. They get
a sense of play in their work because they are
being creative and solving problems. They are
setting themselves up for reaching their potential, and so to move up the wage pyramid,
get a promotion, and get that next job.
Gardner: Well, the good news is those types of creative functions are exactly what
artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA)
can’t do. So it’s good that people want to do that. The problem is there is no one app
that allows me to do that. I still have 45 apps that I have to cut and paste from. So how
do we bridge this, of going from umpteen apps to having more of what’s a creative and
appropriate environment for people to be creative in?
Working with a team to achieve
something greater – that’s
where people want to spend
their time, because they get a
sense of purpose for their work.
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ElNaggar: It’s a great question, and it’s the question that we had six-plus years ago
when we started my company, Sapho, which Citrix acquired about a year ago. And we
were looking at this landscape -- the number of applications -- when I was the chief
strategy officer at CBS Interactive. And my co-founder, he was the chief technology and
information officer there, and we were looking at our universe as a Fortune 100
company. We looked at the reality of our day-to-day jobs and we said, “Oh my God, we
have all these incredible apps installed.”
I think Symantec just released a report saying that the typical enterprise is managing
928 applications. Some of the banks that we work with have 8,000 applications. So there
is this incredible set of application programming interfaces (APIs). And by the way, the
Symantec report says the number of apps has grown by 60 percent in just the last three
years. We are not deprecating these old workloads, we are keeping them, and we are
adding more cloud-based point solutions on top of it all.
So clearly work is becoming more complex. The
typical person is using 42 apps to do their job, and it’s
growing. It’s becoming more complex.
We looked at that. And, to your point, we said, “Well, okay, how do we stop the context
switching? How do we stop the copy and paste, and how do we shift time away from
busy work and toward value creation?” And what we came upon was this idea that --
because of the evolution of APIs, of ML, and of identity access -- there is an opportunity
to build a system of engagement and intelligence that sits horizontally and plugs into all
of those systems to create a single, harmonious experience for the end users.
And that was our big “aha” moment and that translated over to Citrix and the Workspace
product. The idea is that for 30 years in the enterprise there has been the concept that
the front end and the back end of the systems that you buy have to be stuck together.
So, for example, as an enterprise I go and I buy an SAP enterprise resource planning
(ERP) system, and I get this incredible backend, it’s amazing. It solves all these
problems, like two-phase commit. But guess what? You are stuck with that SAP front
end, the best that German engineering can imagine, which of course is not necessarily
like a modern user experience.
How to cut through the noise
And so, for 30 years in the enterprise there was the view that if you have a system, you
have to take the good and the bad. And what we came along and said is, “No, no, no.
Keep the good, the backend, but let’s also take advantage of the API economy and what
we are seeing with that level of integration. Let’s connect into these things, abstract them
The average person is
using 42 apps to do their
job, and it’s growing.
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into their tasks, and then create a harmonious experience, a beautiful engagement layer
that allows anybody to do their work from many systems from a single point.”
They can live in Messenger, in email, in the Workspace app -- but there is one
chokepoint that delivers your work to you, that delivers you your information. It will help
you make better decisions.
Step one, we shift the amount of time you are
spending on busy work and non-value-creating
work, which today, by the way, is 80 percent-plus
of your time. We can we flip the script on that so
that people are spending less than 20 percent of
their time doing that stuff, and now spending 80
percent-plus of their time creating value, being
creative, and using their adaptive minds to solve
problems and create value for their organizations.
That’s step one in the journey. That’s what we are
doing with the Citrix Workspace now.
The next step is actually even cooler. It addresses how to supercharge the worker so
they are even better on the value-creating stuff. But those are two steps in a journey that
we are helping some very large customers through right now.
Gardner: I understand what you need to do. But why is Citrix the right organization to
help do it?
Right time, right place for Citrix
ElNaggar: It’s a great question, and I have spent a lot of time with customers. I think I
have met about 250 customers in 2019, and they ask the same question, “Why Citrix?”
They know Citrix and they go, “Oh, yeah, the gold standard in virtualization. That’s what
you guys are known for.” And what I tell them is, if you think about it, Citrix has actually
always been on the forefront of the future work because we have always sat between
the end user and their systems of record.
As we talked about developing a system of engagement and intelligence -- of being that
layer that sits between the end user and all very different systems -- guess what? Citrix
has been doing that for 30 years. Whether you are talking about multiuser, MetaFrame,
WinView, or any of these products that Citrix has rolled out for 30 years; whether it was
remote desktop access or virtualization, Citrix has always been the engagement layer
between the end user and those backend systems of record.
People know Citrix as the place to go to do their work. And now we are saying, “Guess
what? The whole conduct of an application has changed. The whole concept of work has
changed. And we are sitting in that beautiful position between the end user and their
symptoms already, so why not bring the value that we are talking about to that layer?”
We can flip the script on that
so that people are … now
spending 80 percent-plus of
their time creating value,
being creative, and using
their adaptive minds to solve
problems and create value
for their organizations.
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Can we be something more than just a thin client that sits between you so that you can
access your desktop remotely? Can we be something more than the same client that sits
between you and your virtual apps and virtual desktops?
Those things are still important. People are still going to need to access virtual apps and
virtual desktops in a secure way. But, we are sitting there right now, ingrained with these
systems already. We are trusted by 99 percent of the Fortune 500 already. Why not use
this position to help shepherd businesses through their journey? And it’s always a
journey. I laugh when I see people out there selling silver bullets or magical switches
where they are going to solve the employee experience with the snap of a finger.
It is journey. We have that engagement layer already to help our customers through that
journey of organizing work more effectively. Can we drive people through their work
more effectively and automate their work more effectively? We can drive this needed
shift and value-creation so that people aren’t spending 85 percent of their time doing
busy work and garbage and can start spending 85 percent of the time creating value.
That’s Citrix, and hopefully it makes sense because
there are a lot of people really interested in the
Workspace. They look at this and say, “Oh, my God,
this is the future.” Our employees have already been
trained by consumer applications on what they can
expect. They want a hub, a place that brings them
stuff from all across the Internet to a single location
so that they can consume it effectively.
They want AI to disappear into the background of the system and yet still make them
better off. I talked earlier about Waze. I don’t think about Waze as consumer AI. I don’t
want people to think about Workspace as enterprise AI. Waze just weaves into my
natural experiences and makes them better and makes me better. It gives me minutes
back in my life. I get somewhere faster.
That’s what we think about with Workspace, of weaving experiences right into the
solution so it can empower people, help them focus on creating value, and help them do
the work they really want to do.
Gardner: Okay, Fouad, give me the elevator pitch, in three minutes. Tell me what Citrix
Workspace is, what it does, and why I should want it.
Workspace works for your work experience
ElNaggar: Citrix Workspace is an experience-driven platform for work. We have done
all of the work to make it easy for people to integrate into all of their different systems of
record and unbundle those systems of records into micro flows and micro applications.
We have done all the work building the intelligence at the user level so that people can
[Employees] want a hub,
a place that brings them
stuff from all across the
Internet to a single
location so that they can
consume it effectively.
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build ML and AI to make work better. We have built the infrastructure to enable micro-
automation from the ground up, not from the top down like RPA.
We have done all that so we can again
organize, guide, and automate people to work.
With the Workspace, when I can go there, it
feeds me all of my different tasks and the
insights and information I need to make
choices. It allows me to work at the edge. I don’t have to log into 50 different apps to get
my work done. My work comes to me. That’s the key. Bringing work to the individual,
assisting them through their work, guiding them through their work, organizing their
work, and reducing the amount of time that you have spent having to find stuff. Then you
can spend your time doing stuff. That’s what we are about now. That’s the product that’s
gone into general availability in November 2019.
And again, it’s a journey. It’s a journey for every customer because you have to really
think about, “Hey, what’s our workflow and process today? How can we make it better?
How can we unbundle it?”
That’s what we are delivering, a chance for people to unbundle and rethink how work is
done, to rethink how workflows are done, and to automate non-value-creating repetitive
tasks and busy work to ultimately deliver intelligence augmentation to the end user.
It’s a platform for work, a place where people can get their work done quickly so that
they are not spending 20 percent of their time finding information or 50 percent of their
time filling out testing procedure specification (TPS) reports. We want to minimize all that
stuff so you can focus on your special skill, focus on your unique craft, and get better at
your job so you can create value for both yourself and your employer.
Gardner: Thanks. If I want to customize my Workspace, but not to the point being an
application developer, how do I address customization?
ElNaggar: It’s a great question. Being able to customize without being a developer or
investing in a bunch of spaghetti code is something that we spend a lot of time thinking
about. When we were at Sapho, and we [were] brought over to Citrix, we spent four-and-
a-half years and spent $30 million building an incredible integration hub.
For a person who can at least use a business intelligence (BI) tool to develop a report,
so maybe a business analyst, somebody who can build something in Tableau, for
example, that level of person; we’ve made it really easy for that type of person. They
can, number one, integrate into their systems -- whether that’s a software as a service
(SaaS) system, an on-prem, off-the-shelf system, or a homegrown system. Incidentally,
that’s where a lot of value is, in these wacky homegrown systems that have been around
for 20 years but are still running critical workflows that you want to modernize or enable
people to access on different devices and via different channels. We made it really easy
to integrate those things, and to build in and inherit any business logic that you have to
understand, “Hey, here’s the event that should drive a workflow.”
I don’t have to log into 50
different apps. My work
comes to me. That’s the key.
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We made it really easy for people to unbundle the micro flow, build little micro apps, and
get them into any of these different channels. We said, “Okay, every time we build an
integration we want to make sure that we’ve got a bunch of build-out-of-the-box micro
apps that are ready to go.”
These are things we see at lots of different customers. We say, “Here you go, customer.
You now have a bunch of things that you can start using on day one. We already know
they create value, that they hit use cases that a lot of people have.” But then on top of
that we made it really simple with drag-and-drop tooling for people to go in and actually
build a custom micro flow and micro app that they need on another system. Because a
lot of times these are user-initiated workflows that people want to build easily. We have
built the tooling -- and this is a new thing for Citrix -- but we’ve built this awesome tooling
that makes it really easy for people to do that.
To build a better interface for engagement intelligence -- that sits horizontally across
these systems -- you have to make sure you can get into all of those systems. And every
organization is going to have their little skeletons in the closet. They are going to have
Workday, or Concur, or Microsoft Power BI, right? Sure, they are also going to have
Salesforce, and that’s great.
We make sure we have the stuff ready for them for those. But they are also going to
have something gnarly, like BMC Remedy or PeopleSoft, or some homegrown system
that’s still running on an AS400. And so you have to be able to empower those
customers, too, to build better experiences on top of those things. That’s what we do
with the tooling, the integration layer, and event tracking, along with the micro-flow
builder and orchestration layers.
All of these things are designed to make
it easy to not have to sit there and write
code to deliver these things, but to drag
and drop components into place and
that makes it possible.
Gardner: You mentioned that the latest Citrix Workspace becomes generally available
in November, but you also mentioned that there is another shoe to drop around
intelligence augmentation. Where does this all go next when it comes to augmenting the
Intelligent augmentation in three steps
ElNaggar: Intelligent augmentation is the guiding North Star for Citrix. We want to have
intelligence-assisted workers. I’m sure you have seen the research out there about AI in
chess, for example. It was really hard for grandmasters to be AI-driven in chess against
things like IBM Watson until they started working in conjunction with AI. Now they can
[It’s] designed to make it easy to
not have to sit there and write code
to deliver these things, but to drag
and drop components into place.
Page 12 of 15
use an average Elo-score chess player to beat a Watson because they are working in
parallel with AI -- and that’s the world that we are trying to build.
By abstracting workflows out of
these monolithic systems and
turning them into simple micro flows
and micro apps at the individual
level, we are also building datasets
around what happens at work.
Because we are tied into the
systems of record -- it’s not like RPA where we are screen-scraping and guessing at
stuff -- we are actually connected into the system. So we can say, “Okay, this event is
happening 1,000 times, this action is being taken 1,000 times. Okay, great, let’s hotspot
that and get rid of that repetitive task.” That’s step one.
Then step two is saying, “Okay, what are these stacked actions that we see? What are
the things that we know every time your vacation is approved, for example? What are
the next four things that will usually happen?”
Well, for most people, number one they go to their calendar and they mark the days that
they are going to be on personal time off (PTO). Then when they go on PTO, they
change their away message to say, “I am on PTO, if you have an emergency, text me at
this number.” Maybe a week before PTO, they will email their team and say, “Hey, I’m
gone for the next week, if you have anything critical, let me know, so I can do it now.”
Maybe they will go into their Outlook app and create like a VIP escalation rule for an
email from a customer so that it also goes to their boss. Now, because we have broken
things down to that micro flow, micro app level, we can automate all of that. Once your
PTO gets approved, we will do those next four steps on your behalf.
Now we have taken that customary workflow away from you via automation. But there is
a next phase of automation that we call system-learned. System-learned says, “Hey,
every time Dana gets an expense report under $50, he approves it without even looking
at the receipts.” Because, guess what? You are busy, Dana, you want to work on
creating great content, you don’t care about the time that you are spending doing
So now the system says, “Okay, 50 times out of 50, Dana approves an expense report
under $40 without looking at it. Why do I need to send him 50 notifications about
expense reports under $40? Let me approve them on his behalf, and here are just the
two that look riskiest.”
Now the system has automatically approved 40 expense reports on your behalf, and you
get only the two that are potentially risky. Guess what? I have taken 40 notifications and
approvals out of your life and made work easier. That’s system-learned.
By abstracting workflows out of these
monolithic systems and turning them into
simple micro flows and micro apps at the
individual level, we are also building
datasets around what happens at work.
Page 13 of 15
Now, there is going to be another step, a third tier. Those first two tiers are like using an
autopilot. But the next level is what we call co-pilot. These things help you become a
better pilot, a better driver. At this point, the augmentation capability notices something
across these two systems that you should know about that might be able to help in your
The system determines, “Oh, I have seen another group that’s worked on a problem like
this, and here was the output. Let me serve that up to you in context.” That’s that next
level of ML and AI that we have weaved into the Workspace because we have
integrated at such a deep, personal level, at the task level, at the atomic unit of work
level, so that we can see all of these things going back and forth. We can then build
some really cool algorithms across a truly unique dataset.
If you think about it, nobody in the world has the
dataset that we have. It’s a horizontal, cross-
system-of-record view of what’s happening in an
organization yet tied to an individual. That’s really
cool and gives a lot of flexibility to shoot for the
moon on what’s possible with new types of work.
Gardner: We are just about out of time, but how should businesses and individual
workers prepare themselves for the future of work that you just described?
From book value to people value
ElNaggar: Number one, as an organization, you need to be committed to delivering an
incredible employee experience.
For 100 years companies have been valued based on book value. They took the value
of all the property, plants, and equipment – from photo copiers to the company jet -- and
said, “Okay, that’s the replacement cost of your organization. Let me multiply it by five or
six, and that’s what your company is worth.”
If you look at the S&P 500 in 1975, 80 percent of the market cap was tied to such
tangible book values. But the world now is more about intangible values. It’s about
human equity. The people who work for you are worth a huge value within your
In the S&P today, for example, 80 percent of the market cap is now not based on
physical assets, but people and the intangible assets. It’s about the knowledge that’s in
the brains of people that work for us.
If you are an organization thinking about the future, it’s time to correctly value the
people. I often hear people saying, “Oh, people are most valuable assets.” But I still
don’t see a lot of these organizations actually treating people as assets, treating them as
their most valuable assets.
Nobody in the world has
the dataset that we have.
Page 14 of 15
But some organizations are having a cultural switch, where they say, “Shoot, human
equity is what matters. I need to figure out how I invest in human equity. I need to figure
out not just how to attract the best talent, but how to power that talent to be the best
version of themselves -- and then keep them so that they are not turning over after just
22 months like many Millennials do.”
That’s what organizations need to do. For
individuals, it’s more important than ever
for people to understand what their skills
are, their craft, and then get themselves
mentally prepared to be adaptive. They
have to do adaptive problem-solving
because that’s a value they can best create. The busy work and the other stuff that eats
up 80 percent of people’s time today is going to disappear or be diminished.
Where you are going to shine and demonstrate your value to an organization over time
is focused on: Here is my skill, here is my craft, how do I hone it, how do I get better?
That’s what the individual needs to be thinking about over the next few years as the
future of work becomes more relevant.
Gardner: I’m afraid we’ll have to leave it there. You have been listening to a sponsored
BriefingsDirect discussion on new ways of exploiting what technology does best to
deliver intelligent workspaces that prioritize and personalize tasks.
And we’ve learned how the newest workspace advances are helping unburden those
saddled with deflated worker productivity. So, a big thank you to our guest, Fouad
ElNaggar, Vice President of Future of Work Products at Citrix.
Also, a big thank you to our audience for joining this BriefingsDirect intelligent
workspaces discussion. I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions,
your host throughout this series of Citrix-sponsored BriefingsDirect discussions.
Thanks again for listening, please pass this along to your business associates, and do
come back next time.
Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Citrix.
Transcript of a discussion on the future of work and the new ways of exploiting what technology
does best to deliver intelligent workspaces that prioritize and personalize tasks. Copyright
Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2019. All rights reserved.
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