As a test, I tried to count how many times I look at my phone in one day. It’s not even noon and I’m already over 50, so suffice it to say, it’s a lot. As part of the infamous millennial generation, many would say I’m addicted to my mobile devices and I’m sure they are not wrong, but it’s a reality of what we see in the world today. Most people have at least 3 devices that they interact with daily for both personal and business use. These devices keep us constantly connected meaning we are often expected to respond to things instantly regardless of what time we get them. How many times have you heard a colleague going on vacation specify that they were going to ‘go offline’ for the duration of the trip? No longer does a flight to an exotic location qualify as a vacation, unless you are able to completely disconnect you are simply working remotely.

I’ll leave the debate about whether this trend of being constantly connected is a good thing or a bad thing to the experts, for me though it’s a reality. So why fight it? I’m lucky to work for a company that not only embraces the influx of mobile devices in the workplace, we are also drivers of technologies that allow workers to be productive on these devices. These technologies when combined create a mobile workspace. As a user this means having access to the apps, desktops, files and services I need to do my job no matter what device I’m using or where I am.

Now if you think about that as a concept, many of us have already embraced a mobile workspace today, finding ways to use our own personal devices to be productive in the workplace. We use the mail client on our smart phone to access our email on the go, there are any number of cloud services that allow us to sync files across multiple devices and no matter where our colleagues are in the world, they are only a couple of clicks away. For a user, the proliferation of mobile apps means no matter what you’re trying to do there is almost always an app for that. For IT though, it’s a different story. This help yourself mentality to IT services means that if IT is not providing it to their users they are going to get it somewhere else, and security is probably not top of mind for them.

Delivering a complete mobile workspace has 6 key components that are critical for employees to do their job while still meeting all the needs of IT.

Here’s how I use them on a day to day basis:

  1. Whether I’m in the office on my laptop or working from the road with my iPad, I need to have access to all my applications, including Windows, mobile and SaaS apps where ever I am. Not that I’m lazy, but when I have to do something I want to be able to grab the nearest, easiest to use device not worry about which one has the right applications installed.
  2. Data is king, without access to my files it doesn’t matter what else I have on my device, I won’t be productive. Storing files in the cloud in now commonplace with plenty of solutions to choose from, however many of these services don’t deliver the right level of security for IT. I need access to my files on all of my devices while still being in compliance with my company’s security policies.
  3. Like many of us today, I work with people all around the globe (just another reason I don’t have a 9-5 work day). While you can do some things over email, many tasks require more collaboration, whether you all need to see and edit the same file or you just need a face to face chat. Tools that enable me to effectively collaborate and share files with colleagues are essential for me to be productive.
  4.  How often do you find yourself outside of the office needing to access something inside the corporate firewall? Trying to type in your corporate password and additional passcode on a smart phone is an incredibly frustrating experience mobile users face all the time. Simple but secure access to the company intranet and other internal resources without having to jump through hoops is a big time saver.
  5. Access over any network including (in my case especially) 3G and 4G networks is critical. I need to know that, regardless of what network connectivity I’m dealing with, I can access my apps, desktops and data where ever I am, be that my office, in a coffee shop or at a conference.
  6. I have five devices that I use regularly for both personal and business tasks, which is slightly above the average. The millennial in me not only expects to be able to get access to everything I need from any of my devices, I also expect the experience to be seamless.

Given all of these requirements, what is Citrix bringing to the table? For the last 25 years, we’ve has been allowing people to work their way by providing access to the applications they need to do their job no matter where they are. As we’ve marched toward this new world of mobility, we’ve continued to make strides to expand on this offering to embrace the new devices and workstyles we see in the market today. Citrix is the leader in mobile workspaces delivering access to desktops, apps and IT services securely over any network and from any cloud, including private, public or hybrid environments.

Find out more about mobile workspaces and how Citrix is helping to deliver these today.