Repurposing Citrix for Streamlined Healthcare Ecosystems

David Brim, Director Enterprise Technology, SCL Health
David Brim, Director Enterprise Technology, SCL Health

David Brim, Director Enterprise Technology, SCL Health

In the light of your experience, what are the challenges you’ve witnessed happening with respect to leveraging Citrix?

Being able to provide our employees with support for any device they bring to work, is one of the pain points for us.We have been working on a thin client strategy and have run into some speed bumpswith audio/video conferencing. We were not able to support the kind of high resolution that is needed. It’s all determined by understanding what device people might be using and the interoperability with other applications.

We have a large virtual desktop program that includes movingto Windows 10. As part of this program, we have discovered that a few applications will not operate in a virtual environment,and in even in some cases, is causingvirtual desktops to lock up. The good news is that Citrix enabled us to virtualize the majority of our applications.Additionally, we started implementing a cloud first methodology to overcome many of these pain points. This enabled us to run applications via a supported browser.

Another challenge wehave experienced is peripherals. For instance, we would like to virtualize desktopsthat allow our employees to take customer payments. However, Citrix does notsupport devices such as a credit card or check readerson a virtual desktop. The data transmitted through these readers is sensitive and PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) standards do not allow it.

From a healthcare perspective, we find there is a need to support many peripherals on a single device. For instance, in a patient’s room, there may be a bar code reader to read a patients’wristband, a badge reader for ‘Tap-n-Go’, a mouse, and a keyboard.Peripherals are the critical point to keep in mind when you are looking at devices. It is important to consider two requirements before you purchase a device. First, the device should have the required horsepower to handle all the peripherals, and second, it must have enough USB ports.

  There are a lot of new features and services coming up with the Citrix Workspace app and I would encourage people to look at​ 

Could you shed some light on the latest trends that you believe are impacting the landscape?

The Citrix cloud strategy allows companies to move their control plane and, in some case, their entire Citrix infrastructure to the cloud. We are also working in the same direction.We did roll out mobile applications a few years ago into a cloud environment.We see more cloud strategycoming this year. At some point we even plan to start running some virtual desktops in the cloud.

How can companies leverage these trends to re-plan their processes?

I would recommend companies explore the new CitrixWorkspace Services.Workspace has brought together applications, including SaaS applications, desktops, and files into one pane of glass. Also, with the acquisition of Sapho, Citrix now provides the ability to create micro apps which improves access via mobile devices.

How do you see the evolution of the Citrix arena a few years from now with regard to some of its potential disruptions and transformations?

I would suggest companies consider moving their control plane to the Citrix cloud.Additionally, with Microsoft’s release of their new cloud based virtual desktops, this opens up many opportunities to stop buying high-end desktops and move users to the cloud.This provides companies the flexibility to allow users to access their desktops anywhere without having to manage that infrastructure around the Citrix environment.

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