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Going hybrid

Calvin Hsu, Vice President of Product Management at Citrix, explains the benefits of hybrid work – and why it’s a trend that’s here to stay
Going hybrid

This article first appeared in our COP28 issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 30 November 2023. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

As organisations around the world continue to redefine their policies on hybrid work, Citrix technology is helping to lead the way by supporting flexible work initiatives while lowering costs – with an emphasis on security, performance and sustainability that business leaders can get behind.

Hybrid is all the rage: hybrid work, hybrid offices, hybrid data centres – the definition of where and how we get work done has changed dramatically.

The traditional workday is a thing of the past for many organisations, and this has brought associated benefits to productivity, quality of life and sustainability.

Data centre strategies in enterprise IT are being re-evaluated as well. The traditional IT model was overloaded in both real estate and server hardware – focused on overprovisioning and redundancy, with a push for multiple data centres and excess server capacity.

Newer startups, on the other hand, have seen the benefits of on-demand resource provisioning and cloud hosting, which offer a more sustainable footprint at the expense of direct control of their resources.

As organisations redefine their practices, a new model has taken hold – the hybrid data centre, which leverages the advantages of both cloud and on-premise resources.

As a leader in hybrid work, Citrix has a key role in helping to tackle global environmental challenges. Its technology drives productivity and security while also reducing an organisation’s carbon footprint.

The Citrix platform enables IT to capitalise on the benefits of a global, flexible workforce, while building towards a sustainable future that takes advantage of both data centre and cloud investments.

Striking the right balance of technologies enables businesses to save costs while slashing emissions and driving sustainability.

Citrix solutions have enabled hybrid work models for organisations worldwide, facilitating an effortless shift to more sustainable practices.

Hybrid work setups with Citrix solutions do not merely focus on enhancing employee flexibility; they inherently reduce the carbon footprint of IT.

Supporting flexible work

Citrix solutions centralise employee access to applications, resources and data from anywhere. That means businesses can support all types of flexible work and reduce the need for daily commutes to office locations.

The resulting decline in daily travel directly contributes to a significant reduction in carbon emissions, aligning with broader global efforts to combat climate change.

By using Citrix DaaS and VDI technologies, employees can operate efficiently and securely – whether from home, remote locations or offices. This reduced dependence on traditional centralised offices results in decreased energy consumption associated with office spaces, offering a considerable environmental benefit.

As organisations increasingly adopt hybrid work models, the positive environmental impact is not just a side-effect but a pivotal advantage that supports a sustainable and eco-friendly culture.

Sustainable devices

With Citrix, there’s no need for your apps and data to reside on the endpoint. By centralising the processing of tasks and storage away from the end-user device, organisations can shift to more energy-efficient devices while adopting a stronger security posture.

Traditional desktop systems are often replaced every few years due to performance issues or outdated hardware, which creates significant waste.

With the lightweight Citrix client installed, and apps and desktops running in your hybrid data centre, the lifespan of existing devices can easily be extended by years.

Many Citrix customers have even moved to a zero trust model, with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies that allow end users to bring their own laptops to the workplace, promoting a more mobile and versatile work environment.

Laptops are inherently more energy efficient and portable than desktop computers, reducing the carbon footprint associated with traditional office space.

Security policies protect corporate data and ensure that even if a laptop is lost or stolen, corporate data remains protected.

Reducing e-waste

Citrix-enabled thin client devices offer another sustainable option that provides a streamlined computing experience.

These devices are less susceptible to hardware failures and security vulnerabilities due to their simplified nature, resulting in longer lifespans and lower maintenance compared with traditional desktop computers.

Some Citrix client vendors even offer thin operating systems, which will convert existing hardware into secure, managed endpoints.

By adopting these changes across user populations – extending the lifespan of existing end-user devices, or moving to lower powered thin clients, Chromebooks and laptops – IT has the power to dramatically cut e-waste while retaining, or even improving, user experience.

Hybrid data centres

The hybrid data centre model integrates on-premise infrastructure with cloud-based services, optimising operational efficiency and resource use.

Organisations with thousands, or tens of thousands, of users often have sprawling data centres in multiple locations to provide for redundancy and burst capacity.

Citrix’s approach to hybrid data centres aligns with sustainability principles by offering a flexible, scalable and energy-efficient IT infrastructure.

By strategically combining on-premise servers with cloud services, businesses can scale up or down based on workload demands.

This scalability minimises the need for maintaining constantly powered, under-utilised on-premise servers. This reduces unnecessary energy consumption and the associated carbon emissions.

Also, by leveraging cloud providers with renewable energy commitments, companies can further improve their sustainability goals.

The flexibility of hybrid data centres enables the optimisation of resource allocation, for cost, sustainability or application performance.

Citrix technology empowers companies to route workloads to the data centre or cloud of choice, expanding workload locations as needed to adapt to changing user demands.

The environment can scale up to meet daily demand early in the morning, then back in the evenings – or even adjust for seasonal business changes.

As companies transition towards hybrid data centre models, the broader impact is not only on operational efficiency but also on minimising the environmental footprint of their IT operations.

Citrix offers insights and tools to help IT choose the most efficient processing options and maximise the density of user sessions, to help IT reach its sustainability goals.

Maintaining an existing footprint of on-premise technology allows organisations to extend the life of existing data centre investments, while leveraging eco-friendly cloud providers with renewable energy commitments contributes to overall sustainability objectives.

This model can reduce IT infrastructure spending and environmental impact, while still providing the same levels of business continuity and user experience that employees expect and business leaders demand.

Saving costs and the planet

Implementing a hybrid data centre strategy with Citrix technology brings not only environmental benefits but also increased cost efficiency.

Citrix offers an adaptive infrastructure that aligns with a business’s financial objectives, through the flexibility of a hybrid data centre.

Citrix technology allows for the seamless integration of on-premise infrastructure with cloud services, enabling businesses to shift workloads between these environments.

This flexibility reduces the need for maintaining extensive, constantly powered on-premise servers, effectively decreasing operational costs associated with energy consumption, cooling and maintenance.

The hybrid data centre model optimises the allocation of computing tasks, enabling companies to route workloads to the most cost-efficient infrastructure.

By intelligently managing resources across various environments, businesses can harness cost savings by using cloud-based services during peak demand and scaling down during off-peak times. This reduces unnecessary expenses related to overprovisioning.

Citrix solutions also empower organisations to make informed decisions regarding data storage, processing and overall infrastructure management.

The detailed insights and analytics provided help in identifying cost-efficient data storage options.

Companies benefit from reduced energy consumption, optimised resource allocation and informed decision-making, leading to significant cost savings.

By adopting this strategy, businesses not only reduce their environmental impact but also reduce expenses, making sustainability and cost efficiency mutually achievable goals.

Business and positive change

As companies navigate an evolving technological landscape, the role of Citrix technologies in supporting sustainability, particularly through hybrid work and hybrid data centres, is clear.

Hybrid work, enabled by Citrix, embodies a sustainable approach by redefining the traditional work model. It offers employees the flexibility to work from diverse locations and devices, reducing the carbon footprint associated with commuting and office energy consumption.

By providing secure work environments from anywhere, businesses can tap into a wealth of benefits, including reduced emissions, enhanced productivity and improved work-life balance.

The integration of hybrid data centres allows IT to extend the life of existing data centre investments while expanding to the cloud as needed.

Companies can intelligently manage their infrastructure, minimising unnecessary resource consumption while maximising operational efficiency.

The flexibility in this approach ensures resource and spending optimisation, while significantly reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Citrix empowers businesses to leverage the most cost-efficient and environmentally friendly data storage and processing options, thereby driving down operational costs while supporting sustainability goals.

The Citrix commitment to sustainable technology reflects not just a trend, but a conscious step towards a greener, more efficient future.

Businesses can leverage Citrix hybrid technologies to streamline their IT operations, but also to achieve a more sustainable, eco-friendly business, ensuring a positive impact for their employees, their bottom line and the environment.

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