Citrix chief executive Mark Templeton spoke at the Citrix iForum event last week about the need to change the way IT in large organisations is delivered, and for it to become more service-oriented.
Such changes are necessary in order to cope with ever-growing demands on IT in businesses, and a growing disparity between the convenience of consumer services delivered over the web and the experience of using enterprise IT.
Citrix showed off a technical preview of its Dazzle self-service portal,
designed to allow workers to provision the applications and services they
Dazzle is intended to work with Citrix Receiver, a single cross-platform client that enables users to access applications, virtual desktops and thin client sessions.
At the same time, the company announced the availability of its XenServer 5.5 virtualisation platform, and the associated Citrix Essentials management suite, creating a broad-ranging portfolio of products that addresses a number of enterprise IT requirements.
However, Templeton explained that Citrix has an underlying strategy that ties everything together, and builds on the firm's existing strengths in application delivery technology.
"We are not trying to be everything. What we are looking to do is play an important role as IT embraces consumerisation," he said.
Citrix defines 'consumerisation' as the need for IT departments to adopt more of a self-service model, and stop trying to control everything.
"IT wants to control everything, but to hold down costs you need to get rid of that and only control what you need to," Templeton said, citing online banking services as an example.
Banks do not dictate what device, operating system or browser its customers
use, but step in to control security when the users perform a transaction, he
But many of the technologies Citrix is developing will depend on companies ha ving existing Citrix infrastructure, such as XenApp (formerly Presentation Server), a fact that Temepleton conceded, but defended by saying that the aim was to repurpose a lot of what companies already have, preserving existing infrastructure and eliminating some things that have proved costly to maintain.
"Dazzle works with traditional Citrix infrastructure and pretty much everything you already own. The opportunity is to centralise more and virtualise more, so you end up controlling more, but in a centralised way," he said.
XenApp forms a big piece of this puzzle, according to Templeton. While Dazzle builds on XenApp, customers do not need it to make use of XenApp's delivery mechanism, it just makes it easier.
"We are trying to create an end-to-end solution, plus a full stack at the datacentre, to help you deliver it out to any device. You don't have to use all our technology, but you get the best results when you use it together," he explained.
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