Bring you own anything, says Citrix

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Citrix Systems is going mobile.

The virtualization and cloud service infrastructure vendor laid out its vision for mobility and a “bring your own anything” world at its annual Synergy user conference on Wednesday, with a series of cloud-related product announcements.

Under the umbrella of mobile workstyles, Citrix’s moniker for the new style of working anywhere, from any device, the vendor discussed how its portfolio of cloud services and IT infrastructure solutions allows the enterprise to deliver any application or desktop seamlessly and securely to any device, allowing workers to work how they want while IT still maintains corporate standards for compliance and security, and isn’t handed a device management headache.

Citrix CEO Mark Templeton told attendees that businesses want to go mobile, driven by three key factors: consumerization, a new digital generation that needs to be recruited and retained, and the possibility of business disruptions such as natural disasters or even terrorist attacks.

(Mark Templeton makes a point. Photo by Jeff Jedras)

“Even if you think the person you’re going to serve is going to sit in that desk for years, the truth is you don’t know,” said Templeton.

Citrix used Synergy to make several product announcements, including the launch of XenDesktop 7, which helps a business deploy a Windows desktop or apps to any mobile device. It has been rebuilt on a cloud-style architecture with new tools for automation and configuration, and HDX Mobile technologies that allow Windows apps to function intuitively on any mobile device.

The launch of XenMobile Enterprise combines mobile device, app and data management and a unified corporate app store with Citrix’s own WorxMobile productivity apps, including secure e-mail and web browsing. In addition to a growing stable of secure enterprise apps, the offering allows an enterprise to wrap enterprise-grade security around existing apps with little to no additional coding.

Also new is support for Microsoft SharePoint and network drives in Citrix ShareFile, which provides a common, and secure IT-managed platform for cross-enterprise file sharing and content management.

“Cloud services is really the next generation IT infrastructure you need to have to make mobile workstyles come to life,” said Joe Keller, Citrix’s vice-president of solutions marketing. “Mobile workstyle is about empowering people to work when, where and how they choose.”

When it comes to this mobile vision, Keller recommends the IT department get out ahead of its users by diving into the new technologies with demos or trials, learning about the new tools and how they can enable mobility for their users, but within corporate standards for security and compliance. Particularly as the data is pretty compelling to show that, if IT doesn’t enable mobility, their users will still go there anyway.

“It’s our mission to give IT the technology to give them the kind of control to allow them to enter into this new world that allows them to modify their role from having to do it all to becoming a partner with their users,” said Keller. “Users are willing to step up and do more of the work than before, such a provision and enable their own devices (within a corporate app store), provided they measure up.”

That’s the vision, but Citrix admits it will take some time for the market to catch up. Particularly in Canada, where adoption of new technologies tends to lag the U.S. by about 12 months according to Michael Murphy, Canada country manager for Citrix.

“We continue to be out ahead of our customers, and even more so in Canada,” said Murphy, noting that a survey of Canadian customers last year showed concerns about data security and privacy remained a barrier to wider bring your own device adoption.

“Having said that, when customers have seen the WorxMail and the WorxWeb, they agree it shows tremendous promise and they want to have it. They’re just not set up to deploy it yet,” he said.



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