by Theresa Miller, Citrix CTP

If you work in a technology role, then it won’t be any surprise to you when I say organizations have pivoted from specialist IT job functions, such as Citrix only roles, to making sure the infrastructure team can support many workloads.  The adoption of cloud technologies has also created support for this approach because our infrastructure teams are doing less architecting and more application configuration and user work. So, with fewer specialized technical experts, and a general shortage of Citrix experts, maintaining a specialist approach is likely impossible. What are enterprises doing to cope?  Let’s take a closer look at how IT teams are doing more with less.

The Beginning of IT Teams doing more with less, started with Cloud

The pivot of Infrastructure teams needing to do more with less started several years ago when cloud adoption became more typical.  However, there was an inaccurate perception that just because an application was being deployed to the cloud that architects and administrators now suddenly had more time on their hands.  As a practitioner during this phase, my opinion on this is that it was very far from the reality. Whether I was deploying Citrix or another application, me and my teams were still busy adjusting to architecting in the cloud.  I did observe that even the large enterprise I was employed in at the time also transitioned from a specialist model (ex. Citrix teams, Microsoft Exchange teams, storage team, backup team, etc.) to a generalist model where everyone was expected to learn everything leaving a gap in specialist expertise.  There were of course some exceptions to pivoting to the generalist model, but this became more standard than in the past.

So why is this continuing to occur?

In my opinion, organizations are used to the cloud adoption strategy, but in 2021/2022 when the great resignation was in full gear, people were rapidly changing jobs for higher paying roles elsewhere and especially in the tech space.  The effect on organizations was a skills gap in technology roles because many people quit their jobs without new ones, leaving the teams that were left to do all the extra work in addition to their own.

What can be done to cope?

I have a few key takeaways for coping with this shift on your teams. It requires looking out for the employees that you do have on your teams and finding strategies that can automate and ease the intense workloads they were left with. Let’s break down some of the keyways for Citrix workloads, and for all IT applications as well:

  • Deploying tools that ensure the Citrix team and infrastructure team can function more agile, with more automation. Leveraging intelligent software for this use case not only provides the necessary data but can help correlate and interpret them as well. This likely means continuing to leverage cloud or hybrid deployment models for Citrix workloads and others as well.
  • Looking for out-of-the box ways to automate workflows and only leverage scripting where it makes sense, then removing the manual one. Scripting can be a great option, but the extra time to complete the work needs to be considered.
  • Leaders and their teams need to rethink and redevelop processes where possible, even between IT and the business. When bottlenecks occur because a process that is simple becomes overcomplicated, time can be lost.  For example, an organization that has a process that takes 8-10 weeks to evaluate and approve a new software vendor before a project can kick off is a process that should be re-evaluated.

While these are some critical ways to get the necessary shift in workload to ease the burden on our teams and avoid burnout, there are more.

Concluding thoughts

As we have made a pivot to fewer IT specialists (Citrix included) and more generalists, leaders should be looking for ways to support their teams with the right tools to automate their workloads and refine their processes. Augmenting the team with tools can help fill gaps due to fewer specialists.  Also, continue to deploy workloads through the cloud where it makes sense for your business needs, looking to consolidate tools so there is less to manage, and lastly, be sure to redevelop processes where IT and the business need to work together in a more expedited way.

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