Organizations replace their existing Citrix desktop and application virtualization platform for various reasons. Some want to augment their technical feature set, such as acquiring advanced image and app management functionalities. Others want to introduce a secure, integrated digital workspace platform that offers flexibility and the advantage of unified endpoint management.
Whether your desktop and application virtualization migration is a standalone project or part of a broader initiative, the degree of success relies on an effective technology rollout and a people-centric approach to the change. Regardless of the size, these projects involve various stakeholders and introduce shifts in how IT teams and employees work. To learn about successes and challenges when migrating from Citrix to VMware Workspace ONE and VMware Horizon, we researched several migration projects in various industries in the United States and Europe and summarized our findings in this whitepaper.
Here are four best practices to help make your organization’s migration seamless.
1. State your vision
Successful organizations create a shared vision of the project by articulating what they are trying to improve, plus the new opportunities foreseen by implementing the new platform. Highlight the benefits for the organization and the stakeholders involved to facilitate alignment among all those impacted by the change, such as the Infrastructure & Operations team and end users. Don’t forget all the stakeholders required to make the change happen, such as application, networking, and security leaders.
An effective way to get your point across is to create a clear vision explaining how the replacement of disparate point solutions will create a consolidated, integrated platform.
2. Define what success looks like
Create a dashboard to track the project’s most significant KPIs and milestones. Your KPIs need to reflect the expectations of your stakeholders and sponsors. For example:
- Technology adoption KPIs and milestones, indicating which technical capability to deploy and by what date. Metrics showing progress in SaaS and cloud adoption are also important to many organizations.
- End-user adoption KPIs to track onboarding, consumption of the new technology, and user enablement advancement.
- Employee experience and satisfaction metrics.
- IT operations KPIs to measure the progress made in optimizing critical tasks, such as workspace provisioning, application distribution, and image management.
- Impact on end-user productivity, tracked through KPIs around the speed of onboarding, login time, workspace performance, and downtime.
- Security KPIs, including days to patch, overall security posture, and compliance ratings.
- Realized value KPIs, such as return on investment.
3. Build a roadmap for the change
In any migration, but especially when the objective is workspace management modernization, it is essential to mitigate risk by breaking the project into minor changes. Creating a consumable plan that was shared with IT and business stakeholders and showed how the technology led to the desired outcomes was crucial in almost all the success cases we examined. The project owners, sometimes with the support of VMware or a VMware partner, developed the plan starting from their end-state vision and working their way back to define a prescriptive roadmap for the transition, with stages and milestones.
4. Assess the impact of change on people and processes
Successful organizations use formal or informal readiness assessments to lay the groundwork for software deployments by revealing what is needed to support the “people” aspect of the project. This list might include communications, training, and documentation, and could unveil potential risks or resistance areas to address.
Although desktop and application virtualization technologies are mature, some differences in approaches, features, and processes exist between Citrix and VMware. However, these differences do not prevent an existing Citrix admin team from acquiring the skillset required for the project and becoming well-versed in VMware Horizon. A readiness assessment helps identify the level of training and enablement required. VMware and the partner community can support the IT team with various resources, including the guide “Introduction to VMware Horizon for Citrix Administrators” and learning options.
Understanding end users’ requirements and testing their experience in various working scenarios is equally essential. Use monitoring and digital employee experience tools such as Workspace ONE Intelligence for capacity planning and IT infrastructure sizing, and monitoring Horizon KPIs that impact the employee experience.
As a last step, remember to prepare a plan to inform employees about the change ahead, explaining why the organization has decided to switch to a different desktop virtualization tool and giving details on how their processes will change and when. VMware has created a wide range of End-User Adoption resources to facilitate this work.
Successful migration to a digital workspace platform like VMware Workspace ONE, including Horizon desktop and application virtualization, involves technical, people, and process changes. Read the full whitepaper to learn more about these four best practices with real-life examples of how organizations have accelerated the value that desktop and app virtualization migration delivers to IT admins, end users, and the organization.