A MIT Technology Review Insights Executive Brief: Anticipating cloud work’s most common side effects

The right technology choices can minimize complexity and help workers stay focused

Workers need access to information from a variety of sources whether they work from the office, at home, or at a coffee shop. But the more apps and devices employees use, the harder it can be for them to find the right information and stay focused.

To help employees stay ahead of the sprawl, organizations need platforms that allow users to sign on once, wherever they are, and gain access to every app they need, based on their roles and tasks. 

Such a platform would provide ‘a single point of view, a single pane of glass, where any device can actually provide the same experience. It would identify what I need for my day, whether I log in from home, a Starbucks, or an airport.
Christian Reilly
Global Chief Technology Officer
Citrix

Citrix has built such a platform, called Citrix Workspace, and it runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, and Android devices.

But when work moves to the same devices that employees use for everything else, there can be side effects, such as the productivity losses that accumulate with constant task-switching. Once a task has been interrupted, it takes information workers an average of 23 minutes, 15 seconds to return to it, as discovered by one group from the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine.

Citrix is studying how to use artificial intelligence (AI) to provide nudges that help workers stay on task. One of the benefits of a platform like Citrix Workspace is that it allows organizations to build a data model of each employee – a picture of how, when, and where they do specific tasks. This creates the opportunity for the platform to open specific apps or provide necessary data proactively.

Understanding how various cloud apps can work together can help keep employees engaged and content at work.

Read the full paper.

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