Citrix Systems Inc. is a world market leader in networking, virtualization, and creation of cloud computing infrastructure that enables businesses and individuals to work efficiently. The company has been in operation since 1989 and has excelled in creating technology solutions that help to build, manage, and secure virtual and mobile workspaces. The company creates mobile and computer applications, networks, and data services that can be used on any device, network, or cloud.
Over twenty-five years, Citrix has actively pursued a vision of enabling consumers of information technology to live and work in a way that suits their specific needs. Thanks to the innovative culture at Citrix, the company has been at the top of several technological waves such as; device mobility, cloud services and creation of computer applications that create efficiency in performing business.
Citrix produces a variety of desktop and virtualization applications such as; Citrix XenDesktop, Citrix XenApp, Citrix Receiver, XenClient, XenMobile, NetScaler, collaboration and data sharing products as well as professional services in the information technology sector. To accelerate the rate of product development Citrix has entered into partnership with other major software and computer hardware technology companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Fujitsu.
Research and development is an important segment in technology-oriented companies. Research drives the growth of technology companies, which face intense competition. The company focuses its development efforts on new products and core technologies in core markets to improve the functionality, performance, reliability, and flexibility of new and existing products (Anthony, 2013, p.12). The best approach to conduct an audit of the innovative capabilities of Citrix is on a corporate level. The information derived from a corporate level audit provides additional insight into the operation at business level. The information for product development is derived through a feedback system that involves consumers. The research and development team represents a major competitive advantage for Citrix Systems. The company has a dedicated research team that is involved in prototyping, creation of intellectual properties and applications that change the information technology sector.
Citrix invests heavily in its research and development program. The company spent approximately $516.3 million in 2013, $450.6 million in 2012 and $380.7 million in 2011 (Citrix Systems, Inc. Form 10-k., 2014). The increase in research costs represents an increasing commitment by the company to creation of new and innovative products, efficient delivery systems, and services. The investment in research represents 17.6% of the total net revenue. Competitors in the technology field invest nearly equal amounts in research and development of products. Some of the major competitors in the mobile and desktop virtualization sector are VMware, Oracle Corporation, Good Technology, and F5 Networks Inc.
The technology sector has high demand for highly skilled employees. Citrix had an employee force of 9166 workers as of December 31 2013 (Citrix Systems, Inc. Form 10-k., 2014). The company-employee relations are governed by local and national regulations. Citrix employs a rigorous hiring and recruitment scheme to ensure that it gets high quality, talented workers. In addition, the company offers competitive and attractive remuneration and benefit packages to ensure that it maintains its employees in active service. The recruitment and training of staff is an expensive and on-going process for many firms in technology sector. Citrix employs highly talented individuals with degrees in relevant fields and other job-oriented qualifications.
Citrix has developed distinctive competencies in creation of desktop and application virtualization products, networking and cloud communication technologies, collaboration software and data analyzing products. These products are mainly targeted toward institutional and enterprise clients, who make up seventy per cent of Citrix’s market.
Understanding competitor’s innovative strategies and multi-industry evolution
General Managers and executives at the strategic level of management play an important role in deciphering the competitor’s innovative strategies and their impact on the organization. Citrix Systems operates in a competitive industry where clients are attracted on the basis of current innovative products with desirable and attractive features. Some of the competitors in this industry have lot financial, technical, and marketing resources, putting them in a position of great advantage.
The strategic management of Citrix must understand that competition in the technology industry is not only limited to existing participants. Competition is classified in form of providers of similar or substitute products that can perform similar functions. Competition is not only limited to the United States and developed world. New destinations such as China, Taiwan, India, Korea and Japan are also powerhouses in development of technology.
Understanding the corporate technological environment
The corporate management level is tasked with the duty of providing direction to the entire company. Innovation in product development and service delivery has to be seen to emanate from the top. The company executives must create an enabling environment that encourages young minds to create new and innovative products. The use of technology is also important in inspiring employee creativity. The success of the company is pegged on engaging, retaining, and integrating executives and key employees.
According to Anthony (2013), corporate level technological competencies serve as part of the corporate strategy. An organization with a competitive advantage in identifying and developing technological resources has high chances of achieving success. The technology field is intensively competitive in poaching of highly skilled executives. Strategic IT executives at Citrix Systems are tasked with the duty of ensuring that IT services and products are developed with the best performance, availability, security, and cost. The managers should be in a position to influence and coordinate workers efforts and resources toward the achievement of strategic goals. The capacity of management executives to create strategic fit in operations of the business will ultimately lead to profitability and growth of the organization.
The corporate culture refers to the beliefs, attitudes, and behavior of employees in an organization. The corporate culture plays a major role in the success of a business (Chesbrough, 2013, p.99). Citrix Systems encourages a culture of openness and creativity among employees. The Citrix Innovation Award was developed to recognize and appreciate the most innovative partners and customers. The Citrix Innovation Award is meant to inspire customers, partners, and employees to think differently about the role of information technology in changing the lives of ordinary people. In this award program, Citrix recognizes the essential role played by customers and partners in the creativity and innovation process.
Citrix Systems has entered into a number of partnerships with several companies in the technology industry. These partnerships are essential in attaining competitive advantages, sharing immense research and development costs, reducing duplication of effort, sharing resources such as employees and machines and creation of synergy. Citrix has partnered with Microsoft in various networking and virtualization projects, with Cisco in creation of solutions that help users to simplify and accelerate large-scale desktop virtualization deployments (Citrix Systems, Inc. Form 10-k., 2014). The formation of partnerships with other technology-oriented companies and financial institutions has assisted Citrix with a source of funds for impromptu development initiatives.
The dominant beliefs and definition of success at Citrix Systems is embodied in the company motto, ‘work better, live better.’ This mantra directs the company to build technologies that enable formation of a seamless continuum meant to reduce the distance between work and life. The company goal is to ensure that individuals are exposed to technologies that make office work so much easier than the traditional way of operating. The new era individual as envisioned by Citrix will not have work and home life as competing variables. The company aims at easing the load of work by providing smart technological solutions to individuals and companies all over the world.
Strategic management capacity to deal with entrepreneurial behavior
The strategic management of a company plays an important role in ensuring the future sustainability and profitability of a company. The strategic level managers are involved in making day-to-day decisions that affect the company’s future. The long term strategy is defined by members of the strategic management group. They define the company’s vision, the mission, objectives and provide resources to ensure that objectives are met (Anthony, 2013, p.28).
Entrepreneurial initiatives are highly encouraged by the strategic management team of Citrix Systems. The company encourages the innovative and risk-taking nature of entrepreneurs as embodied in the statement of core values. Citrix Systems reward the entrepreneurial spirit through provision of seed capital for startup business ventures. Citrix Systems has provided thousands of small and medium enterprises all over America and Europe with startup capital through the Startup Accelerator program.
The sales and marketing channels for Citrix products and services are a potential source of opportunity for Citrix Solution Advisors; value added distributors, system integrators, hosted service providers and independent software vendors (Citrix Systems, Inc. Form 10-k., 2014). Citrix Systems makes use of existing distribution channels to market its products. The company does not sell any of its products directly, thus creating an opportunity for employment to thousands of individuals.
The strategic managers at Citrix Systems recognize the competitive nature off the technology industry and the rapidly shifting market positions of companies. The growth and sustainability of companies operating in this industry is solely pegged on innovation and ability to connect with customers by providing error free, applicable solutions to life problems. The competitive position of companies in the computer technology industry is affected by the ability to protect proprietary information such as; patents, procedures of production and other proprietary information.
Recommendations to maintain, develop and improve innovative capabilities
The role of training and development of workers in the production cycle cannot be over-emphasized. Human resources are the most important resource to technology-oriented organizations. Companies such as Citrix Systems spend millions of dollars annually to identify, recruit, and train employees. Highly productive employees are on high demand in the technology sector, thus making it even more important to institute measures to retain the most productive and key employees of a company (Chesbrough, 2013, p.79).
The top management of a tech-oriented firm must work to create an enabling environment that encourages creativity and innovation in the work environment. Citrix Systems has built a reputation in the industry for developing life changing innovations that ease the way of life and provide higher efficiency to daily activities. Such innovations are only possible in an openly creative environment where employees, customers and other stakeholders are encouraged to participate freely in the innovative process(Anthony, 2013, p.72).
Industry consolidation is a common trend in the technology industry. Companies amalgamate and reorganize to create efficient work systems through partnerships and collaboration. Citrix Systems has adopted this method of growth by forming partnerships with industry leaders and other companies that ensure productivity and efficiency of operation is attained.
Innovation audits are designed to show the operative practices and innovation environment in organizations. The audit provides room for improvement by analyzing areas that may be lagging and provides management with unbiased and objective outlook of the business. The emphasis on innovation has been underscored by scholars and management professionals who cite its ability to affect long run profitability and survival of the firm.
Anthony, S. (2013). The Little Black Book of Innovation: How It Works, How to Do It. Boston; Harvard Business Press
Chesbrough, H. (2013). Open Business Models: How to Thrive In the New Innovation Landscape. Boston; Harvard Business Press
Citrix Systems, Inc. Form 10-k. (2014).United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved from>>http://investors.citrix.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=877890-14-7&CIK=877890