Citrix: We're dodging the cloud bullet

The Citrix CTO has said the virtualisation player is successfully transitioning its business to the cloud.
Written by Tim Lohman, Contributor

With more and more applications delivered through the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, application and hardware virtualisation player Citrix has said that it is not faced with cloud-driven obsolescence. In fact, its CTO says cloud is driving demand for its offerings.

"Like all companies in the technology space, Citrix has to keep up with a changing market, and historically, we have done a very good job of that," Sheng Liang, CTO Cloud Platforms Group at Citrix and founder of Cloud.com, told ZDNet.

"Citrix used to be a 100 percent Windows desktop-focused business as recently as seven or eight years ago, but we have managed to pretty much grow two businesses out of nothing, our SaaS business (GoToMeeting and our ShareFile business) and our networking business, to become major market leaders."

Unsurprisingly, the growth of these two new businesses was outstripping the growth of the vendor's core virtualisation business, Liang said.

"The good thing is that the move to cloud has almost been a happy surprise, because our core business continues to grow," he said. "We are not in the situation like some of the PC hardware businesses, where there has clearly been a decline in the shipments of desktop PCs.

"Part of the reason in the declining shipment of these desktop PCs is that people have started to run desktops and apps in their datacentres, and are starting to access those desktops and apps through a thin client, a tablet, or a MacBook.

"In a sense, Citrix is benefiting greatly from the shift to cloud."

Liang said that to stay relevant, Citrix has gone about making a number of targeted acquisitions of companies already playing in the cloud and mobility spaces; in particular, the purchase of his company, Cloud.com. In this way, Citrix is better able to bring new products, such as XenMobile, to market.

"We are very well capitalising on two of the biggest growth areas in enterprise computing: Back-end cloud services powered by our cloud platform, and the front-end mobile work style powered by XenMobile," he said.

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