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3778910786_9583c1063b_m.jpgAs a sales engineer at Citrix I spend a good deal of my time working with customers as they investigate our desktop virtualization technologies.This means I rarely work from the same location for more than a day or two at a time. I definitely consider my home office my primary workplace, but I could just as easily be at our local corporate office, a customer’s office, one of our partners’ offices, or camped out at the nearest Panera or Starbucks in between meetings. It’s pretty obvious I’m a workshifter and I love the lifestyle, but even better is that I get to work with some of the best technologies for enabling workshifting.

I’m regularly brought into meetings to discuss topics like device mobility, desktops and applications that roam with the user and secure remote access solutions. Most of the time my customers are trying to target a specific problem area like disaster recovery, supporting their branch office desktops ordealing with the increase inlaptop usage across the enterprise, but lately I’ve heard more and more questions about supporting mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. It probably doesn’t hurt that I’m a heavy user of my iPadin meetings, but when you’re dealing with hospitals, media companies, law firms, or accounting firms – to name just a few – it’s no surprise to hear these types of devices are already showing up in their user communities. What’s great is that I can show them how I leverage my iPad in conjunction with our internal implementation of desktop virtualization to work from anywhere. It’s just as easy for them to implement a similar solution for their users.

They may not realize it, but the organizations that implement desktop virtualization are paving the way for workshifting to become a more widespread and accepted practice. They may be looking to solve a specific business problem, but in the process they’re changing the very nature of how their users interact with and consume their desktops and applications for the better. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way implying that desktop virtualization begets workshifting, but I honestly believe that as desktop virtualization usage expands within the enterprise, the rate of workshifting will also increase.

If you work for an organization that’s implemented desktop virtualization, do you use it on a regular basis? Do you have secure remote access to your desktop or is it only used internally? I’d love to hear if you’ve been able to use it to workshift and how your experience went. I think the two are a perfect fit, but I want your feedback.

Photo Credit: Aranath

  • http://mikelamoureux.net/ Mike Lamoureux

    Hi Landon.

    I think I agree with what you are saying. I would remove the word “desktop” from the title, though. At first, I was thinking to myself: “I run Parallels on my Mac, is that what he’s talking about? ”

    Virtualization has lead to enabling the cloud and the centralization of IT. As IT centralizes, we have services we use that are available anywhere. One of those services can be your desktop, which is essentially your portal into your customized business environment. Unfortunately, my day-time employer is not quite there yet. For a consulting firm, these types of technology are ideal.

    • landonf

      Mike,

      I completely agree and see where you’re coming from. Desktop Virtualization covers a wide range of competing/complementary technologies that allow users much greater flexibility and control over their PC/Mac. Your example of running Parallels is right up there and in my mind would fall under the broad Desktop Virtualization umbrella.

      I think a lot of the workshifters out there that are consultants/freelancers/solo-preneurs/etc. may be in a similar situation as yourself. Instead of having an employer provide a virtual desktop you’ve taken it upon yourself to use virtualization directly to create business/personal “workspaces” or whatever break down makes sense in your world.

      Appreciate the feedback. I’ll remember to take my enterprise-focused blinders off in the future. ;)