Traditionally Citrix has not been considered to be a key component in an organizations mobile device strategy. Typically mobile solutions include; Exchange integration, BES servers, and more recently Mobile Device Management software. However with increased IT challenges resulting from the explosion of devices and user requirements, Citrix has leveraged its technology into the mobility space, and has made some great progress giving you many reasons to reconsider.
1) Security - This is the top issue for enterprise mobility. With Citrix, apps and data remain under IT control with data stored on company network or XenApp/XenDesktop servers As a result devices do not necessarily need to be managed in the traditional sense and there is no data to remotely wipe.
2) Employee owned devices - The iPhone started a trend that is extending to iPads, Androids and predictably more to come. More employees – including execs and revenue generating users require access to corporate apps to be more productive. Citrix provides IT a safe way to allow access while not letting the data to be stored on the device.
3) Compliance - Most enterprises today have policies against allowing company data to be stored on anything except company owned and managed devices. If you are supporting employee owned devices and your not using Citrix you probably need to change the policy or make an exception with a risk assessment.
4) Email - Every smartphone has a capable email client, however they also have deficiencies for corporate use. iPhone and iPad still have problems with Exchange syncing for Calendars. Androids have security deficiencies. They all have issues with employee ownership. A good alternative is to run a full Outlook ( or Notes ) client on XenApp with columns and reading panes adjusted to fit the real estate of the device. In addition Citrix is developing an Email client for Exchange that looks and feels just like a mobile email app but runs securely under IT control on XenApp. This was demonstrated recently at Synergy from both iPhone and Android, stay tuned for updates.
5) Corporate Apps - Beyond email most employees also want access to the companies apps they may need while mobile. The question is not how many apps are in the Apple or Android app store , it’s how many company apps are accessible on the target device. With Citrix virtually every company app could be available on a mobile device. These will work unmodified, however we also suggest configuring the apps to be Mobile-Friendly when possible. Also many existing tools like Xcelcius or Hyperion can be used to build Dashboards that target the mobile. A new product called PowerGadgets for XenApp can be used by non developers to create great looking mobile apps that run on XenApp and access standard company databases or web services.
6) Build Once, Run Central, Deliver Anywhere - It is clear that there will not be a single mobile platform for the foreseeable future. For enterprises that build internal apps with Visual Studio, or other standard platforms, many are now faced with the dilemma of selecting a platform(s) and gaining the skills to build mobile apps. With Citrix, in-house developers can use existing development platforms and skills to create custom apps by following simple guidelines on real estate and usability. The apps can then be hosted on XenApp servers and delivered to any device.
7) User experience - Apple has set a high bar on usability and the touch interface. Citrix leverages the native touch interface for iOS and Android so gestures like pinch, zoom and pan work like native apps. We also have added gestures like vertical swipe for scrolling and horizontal swipe for paging through powerpoint slides or other apps that use right/left key. Even though most apps will run unmodified on XenApp we recommend targeting apps and mobile use cases and following the best practices in 5 or 6 above to provide users the best experience.
8) Tablets - The iPad has legitimized the tablet form factor and there are new ones announced or rumored every month. In most cases Citrix virtual apps or desktops can be deployed without modifications and minimal effort. Tablets are good first candidates to evaluate Citrix before extending to smartphones.
9) ROI - Most enterprises already have Citrix infrastructure and skills somewhere in the company. If mobile adoption grows significantly then additional licenses/servers may be required but need to be balanced with the alternative costs such as:
A) Cost of a security breach due to a lost device - At a minimum this means impacted IT resources needed to react, contain, and explain the incident. Worse case it could be $ millions in fines, government audits, damaged brands and ruined careers.
B) Employees will buy their own device. Instead of company purchased devices many employees will gladly buy their own device and only get an expense reimbursement for the service.
C) Cost of new Mobile Device Management infrastructure and skills. Also keep in mind continuing to invest in a single platform that only supports one device will satisfy a shrinking percentage of users.
D) Premium data plans cost $40-45 per user/month. Yet with Citrix only a standard $30 data plan is required. This alone can save $180 per year per employee.
E) Redundant resources required to develop and maintain apps for multiple devices.
F) Redundant infrastructure to deploy apps to users with different devices.
10) Future Proof - The only thing you can count on in the mobility space is change and growth. Blackberry, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, WebOS, Meego (and the list goes on) all may find there their way into the enterprise. Investment in a single platform will be an incomplete strategy, and investments in multiple platforms will be prohibitively expensive. Citrix will provide Receivers for popular mobile devices now and into the future making any current investment last beyond the hype cycle. Citrix will also be leading the enablement of Workshifting and delivering apps and virtual desktops with new visionary mobile features such as the Citrix Receiver for iPhone 4.0 with Nirvana Phone capability.
If you have not previously considered Citrix for mobility it’s easy to get started. Go to the Apple App Store, Android Marketplace, or Citrix download page and install the free Citrix Receiver. There are cloud demos available to experience a number of apps to try first hand and to share with your peers.
Let us know what you think.
More details at http://Citrix.com/Receiver
Learn more at my session at Citrix Synergy Berlin