It all started when someone, somewhere, brought an iPhone to work. Then, someone else brought an Android device; then an iPad appeared. Just as a blizzard starts with a single snowflake, so the BYOD revolution began quietly, building gradually to the point of an irresistible force.
Like a beleaguered public works department, IT has responded with a patchwork of policies and management tools. But the time for ad hoc responses is over. Continuous improvement of consumer devices has meant that the home user experience has become the standard by which corporate IT end-user services are measured. It’s time to rethink the corporate computing environment.
There are two main issues: 1) Sound IT management, including security, and 2) A great user experience. If you address one but not the other, you’re only doing half the job. Still, some IT departments take care of management and security and stop there. But it’s far better to provide a superior user experience as well.
Mark Templeton, CEO of Citrix says IT’s goal should be to create an irresistible experience for users, “An experience they want to use, not one they have to use.” If you’re an employee, that’s what you would want, isn’t it? The Citrix vision for a mobile workspace includes both solid IT management and a great user experience. The Citrix mobile workspace is built on a layer of virtualization. But it doesn’t stop there, it also encompasses mobility management, networking and SaaS solutions.
Citrix mobile workspaces incorporate a range of services, including XenApp, XenDesktop and XenMobile. Citrix technologies deliver apps and data to any device, while managing a single instance of the apps and data on a central server. For BYOD users especially, XenMobile delivers Web apps, Software-as-a-Service, and apps designed specifically for mobile devices. The virtualized architecture keeps apps and data, including precious intellectual property, off the BYOD device, a critical requirement for sound IT management.
There are complementary components as well, such as GoToMeeting for virtual meetings, ShareFile for document sharing and synchronization, WorxMail for secure mobile email, and WorxWeb, a secure browser service. In addition, NetScaler optimizes application traffic. Each service is worth examining individually, but taken together, you have all the pieces for enterprise-class IT management and security.
But you have much more than that. You have a productive, even irresistible user experience that goes above and beyond the task of merely enabling BYOD. That’s the vision – and the reality – behind a mobile workspace.