The Federal CIO Council working group recently released a BYOD Toolkit for Federal Agencies. The guidance urges agencies to embrace consumerization and observes that flexibility is key to employee productivity. Several Federal Citrix customers have already realized that this is part of Citrix’s core vision – the ability to work and play from anywhere, on any device.

The guidance recommends three solution types for implementing a BYOD Program:

  • Virtualization – the concept of consolidating all data, applications and desktops into the datacenter. Remote access to these resources are given with minimal client-side processing, leaving no data-at-rest on the endpoint. This “screen-scrape” virtualization solution allows users to interact remotely with a full Windows Desktop or Application.The toolkit provides a case study of a virtualization based solution using a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Implementation.  The Dept of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobaco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) saved approximately $1.2 million in HW refresh costs using a Citrix XenDesktop based VDI solution. This not only allowed them to shift to a thin/zero client based computing solution, but also to leverage the same environment to enable BYOD mobility using the Citrix Receiver.  Full details on the environment are available in the guidance document linked below.

    The TTB is just one of several Federal agencies that have already deployed XenDesktop to enable BYOD programs, thin/zero client projects as well as mobility.

  • Walled Garden – the concept of isolating all enterprise data into a secure “container” on the endpoint. This container can be managed by IT separately from the personal components on the BYOD device.Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is leveraging a cloud-hosted MDM service in the case study listed in this toolkit, we believe a full featured MAM solution would be better suited for this scenario. Citrix’s CloudGateway can not only provide an on-premise secure mobile email solution, but also provides secure browser access to intranet websites as well as legacy Windows applications. All while ensuring all corporate data resides within the Citrix Receiver that can be remotely managed and wiped.
  • Limited Separation – utilizes policies to enforce the separation of personal and corporate data. No IT controls necessarily in place to delineate and secure corporate data. Although this is technically feasible, I typically do not encourage the use of this technique to deploy a BYOD type solution, mostly due to security concerns.

The toolkit goes on to provide sample policy documents as well as lessons learned/feedback from every case study. A definite must read for any agency looking into BYOD.

A Toolkit to Support Federal Agencies Implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Programs

With Citrix being one of the pioneers of BYOD, it’s great to see others catching on. What are your thoughts? How is your BYOD program progressing? Did the toolkit help your agency?