App wrapping is one of those in vogue technical solutions for securing mobile apps without interfering with the development of those apps. Despite its flavor-of-the-day-ness, if done right, the technology can be powerful.

Delivered as the Worx App SDK or a generic wrapping tool that can be applied to apps post-compile, Citrix MDX Technologies centralize IT configuration, management, security and control for any mobile app, whether created by a third party or enterprise IT. With MDX, corporate apps and data reside in a container, separated from personal apps and data on the user’s mobile device. This allows IT to set comprehensive policy-based controls such as data leakage prevention and the ability to remote lock, wipe and encrypt apps and data.

Who really benefits from Worx and what’s the WIFM (“what’s in it for me”) ? In creating Worx, our intention was to marry simplicity with a robust underlying MDX Technology to make it easy for our customers and partners to Worx enable their apps. This gives them a powerful leg-up in their development process and in the value they’re able to provide to their users or enterprise customers.

Who benefits from Worx?

There are three primary audiences for Worx:

  • Independent software vendors (ISVs) can embed MDX to deliver “enterprise-ready” Worx apps more quickly and take advantage of the Citrix customer installed base.
  • Systems integrators can take advantage of Worx to build “enterprise-ready” custom apps while focusing on features that transform their customers’ business and increase account stickiness.
  • Enterprise IT can use Worx to deliver secure line-of-business apps more rapidly while increasing the value of their investment by ensuring interoperability with the Citrix app ecosystem.

Independent Software Vendors

ISVs are moving at lightning speed to develop mobile apps and stay ahead of the competitive curve. As they target enterprises, they need to deliver not only differentiated functionality in their field, but also capabilities that make those apps “enterprise-ready”, such as common configuration, management and security.

Because these capabilities are not necessarily core competencies to the ISVs (who may be focused on developing business intelligence, workflow or productivity apps, or apps targeted at a specific vertical use cases such as in healthcare or retail), being able to plug in a common set of enterprise features with little development effort can result in more robust apps delivered more quickly. With a single line of code and the Worx SDK its possible to Worx enable any app. This also includes the MDX MicroVPN that provides a single app with secure access to data behind an enterprise firewall.

Beyond delivering better apps faster, ISVs also benefit from having their apps exposed to the Citrix customer community. Citrix is enabling more than 250,000 enterprise customers to support their users’ mobile workstyles. By Worx-enabling their apps, ISVs can take advantage of this installed base and the myriad marketing opportunities that Citrix provides, starting with listing on our Citrix Ready Worx App Gallery.

Systems integrators

According to a recent Citrix survey, 80 percent of enterprises will develop custom mobile apps this year and more than half of those apps will be developed by a third-party such as a systems integrator. This means that SIs will have more than their fair share of custom development work. In the rochambo of development, those features that create a return on investment in the enterprise customer’s environment should take priority.

However, custom app development also means creating a set of plumbing features that are required to make those apps “enterprise-ready”, such as common configuration, management and security. In order to grease the skids on custom development projects and decrease their customers’ time-to-value, SIs will benefit from having a toolkit to plug in these robust enterprise features with almost no extra work or time investment.

Beyond delivering better apps faster, SIs will also benefit from delivering a set of apps that use a common management and security framework to their enterprise customers. The more apps they deliver that are developed with this framework, the stickier the SI will become in the account.

Enterprise IT

According to a recent Citrix survey, nearly three-fourths of enterprises are deploying mobile apps for line-of-business use this year, and over half of those will be mission critical. Given the strategic importance of mobile apps to enterprises, IT is increasingly focused on creating apps that drive ROI, scale with the business, and keep the network and enterprise data safe and secure. In an effort to move at the speed of mobile, IT needs to prioritize those features that truly transform business process.

However, custom app development also means creating a set of plumbing features that are required to make those apps “enterprise-ready”, such as common configuration, management and security. In order to grease the skids on custom development projects and deliver apps more quickly to lines of business, enterprise IT will benefit from having those features as plug-ins to their apps – whether by adding a small snippet of code to app code pre-compile or wrapping custom apps post-compile – with almost no extra work or time investment.

Beyond delivering better apps faster to lines of business, enterprise IT will also benefit from developing custom apps using the same framework as other commonly-used enterprise mobile apps – whether delivered by Citrix, its ecosystem of ISVs or its SI partners. Using the same set of mobile capabilities that the healthy Citrix ecosystem uses will increase the value of enterprise IT’s mobile development investment.