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The results are in: Mobility plans are just getting started

Do you think you are behind in crafting your mobility strategy? Are you struggling to determine the right technologies, practices and policies for your organization? How about the apps mobile workers need – have you determined which apps to “mobilize” first?

If not, you are not alone. While building out a mobility strategy has been a top priority for organizations for years, the reality is that mobility initiatives are still in their infancy. This is according to a commissioned study, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Citrix. In this study, questions were asked to IT decision-makers at organizations with more than 1,000 employees around specific challenges related to the proliferation of mobile devices, applications, data, and employee work locations. Here is what we found out:

  1. Mobile deployments have a long way to go. When it comes to deploying mobility technologies, only 11% of respondents said they were fully implemented. More importantly, the study found that 68% of respondents are currently expanding or upgrading their mobile implementation and 21% are planning to implement mobile technologies over the next 12 months.

Citrix Take: To date, organizations have “dipped their toes in” when it comes to mobility. They have started small, likely an MDM and VPN deployment, and will add new capabilities. However, too many silo’ed deployments will create a management and support nightmare for IT. Instead, focus on what your workforce really needs – the apps, data, and services – and find a solution that can aggregate this content into a portable workspace that is available to people wherever they are.

  1. Support for BYO is growing, slowly. Only 42% of respondents support BYO tablets and smartphone and 38% support BYO laptops. But better news is on the horizon as plans BYO are in place: 35% of respondents plan to add support for BYO smartphones and tablets and 25% plan to add support for BYO laptops.

Citrix Take: BYO has tremendous potential and some organizations have been seeing the cost and productivity benefits for years, including KLA-Tencor. However, still many organizations are struggling with the privacy, compliance and risk management concerns of this device ownership model. Organizations should mitigate these risks by focusing on securing the data and applications people are using instead of focusing on the device. This ensures that no matter what device is used – an employee-owned device or a corporate-owned device – the content itself is protected.

  1. More application support is coming to mobile devices. Approximately three-quarters of respondents already support email, calendar and a web browser on mobile devices. While these apps are fundamental to any mobility strategy, they are not enough to make people as productive on a mobile device as they are in the office. And, IT decision-makers know this. In the study, respondents stated that the next wave of apps they are looking to support include CRM, file sync and share, note taking and collaboration.

Citrix Take: Support for email and calendar on a mobile devices is table stakes for mobility. Organizations must evaluate their application portfolios to determine how best to make the rest of their applications available to mobile users. Applications like SaaS apps are instantly “mobile” in that they are available via a web browser. But how about Windows apps? Some of these apps may be candidates for creation of a new mobile app but for those that aren’t, application virtualization solutions “mobilize” apps by making them available to any device – even non-Windows devices. Combine this with a mobile app management solution that can securely deliver mobile, web and SaaS apps, people can easily have access to all the apps they need to do their job.

Workspace delivery solutions were designed to address these requirements. These solutions bring together virtualization, mobility management, and networking technologies to deliver personalized workspaces to every person. They can unify all apps, data and services and securely deliver them to any device. And, when I say any device, this includes BYO devices that will become instantly supportable as these solutions give IT control over the business apps and data, and leave the rest of the device in the control of its owner. Finally, when it comes to apps, a workspace delivery solution supports them all. Whether it is a SaaS-based CRM, a mobile file sync and share or a Windows note taking app, people will have access to every app they need, when they need it.

To get more details and hear what Forrester has to say, read the March, 2015 Technology Adoption Profile “Bridge The Mobility Gap With Application And Data Access From Anywhere” here.

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