The way work gets done is changing. Think about how you expect to be able to work today versus what you expected 5 to 10 years ago. For me, I have an expectation that I can work anywhere, be it the office, my house, or in Paso Robles if I really need a break :-). I expect to be able to work on any device – for me, this is my MacBook Air, my Galaxy Tab, or my iPhone. And, I also expect to be able to be able to go to a doctor’s appointment or a lunch event during the day, knowing that I will get my work done after dinner.
I know I am not alone here. According to a recent Forrester Research study, 61% of information workers work outside the office, be it at a Starbucks, their home, while traveling, or the soccer field.1 This means that more than half of employees need access to corporate resources while outside the office.
Unfortunately, these needs are not being met. Seventy-two percent of employees feel that they do not have the technologies available to them to get their jobs done when they are outside the office – technologies such as VPNs, access to apps and data, and tools that enable them to collaborate wherever they are.2 Given the number of people that work outside the office, this disconnect is leading to massive productivity hits for organizations.
However, the reason of this disconnect is pretty simple. Security. With so many people working from various locations, IT is struggling to securely deliver the apps and data people need, especially when they are using non-corporate devices. A recent Forrester study told us that 67% of technology decision makers are concerned about the lack of data protection capabilities on mobile devices.3 It makes sense as today’s workers want to use their personal devices, most of which have no security software on them – a double whammy for IT. When I speak with customers, the top two concerns I hear are: 1) how do we protect data on these mobile devices and 2) how do we control data on personally-owned devices.
And then there is the issue of the exponential growth of smartphones and tablets. Workers want to use their devices for both work and personal activities. They have fallen in love with the fact they can get an app to accomplish just about anything. But, this in itself is a problem. With so many people creating apps, security is not a top priority. According to Gartner, through 2015, more than 75% of mobile applications will fail basic security tests.4 While IT organizations can put their business apps through vigorous security testing to ensure that their apps are secure, they still struggle delivering these apps and associated data down to mobile device as workers don’t have the same opportunity to put their personal apps through this testing, leaving the IT organization open to data protection concerns. It is not an easy problem.
To address all of these challenges, an emerging market called “mobile workspaces” ensures that people, regardless of their location or device, have secure access to all of the content they need to get their job done. This new market is the integrated capabilities of many core tools we all use (or wish we had access to) every day. At Citrix, we define a mobile workspace as a portable, always on, always connected working environment that follows an employee no matter where they go, no matter what device they chose to use, and no matter what connectivity they happen to be leveraging.
This “containerized” workspace will recognize the employee’s device, adapt the user experience accordingly, and deliver the right corporate content seamlessly and securely, all while being completely protected from personal content on the device. Mobile workspaces will address some of the major workforce challenges today: providing access to corporate resources to workers who are anywhere, on any device, and need additional security controls to ensure that corporate data and apps stay protected and in IT control at all times.
Today we announced the great success our customers are having improving the productivity of their workforce by providing them a secure mobile workspace. Over the next few months, you will hear more about Citrix Mobile Workspace solutions which are designed to put the content people need at their fingertips to truly enable new ways of working.
1. Source: Forrester Research, Inc.’s Business Technographics Application and Collaboration Workforce Survey, Q4 2013
2. Source: Forrester’s Business Technographics Telecom And Mobility Workforce Survey, Q2 2013
3. Source: Forrester’s Business Technographics Security Survey, Q2 2013
4. Source: Gartner Research Document, Gartner “Predicts 2014: Mobile Security Won’t Just Be About the Device”, November 22, 2013