When we talk about the mobility-transformed business, we’re talking about a fundamental change in the way people work and businesses operate. From a businessperson’s perspective, the mobility-transformed business means being able to move projects forward, close deals, serve customers and collaborate with colleagues and partners whenever you need to, wherever you may be, without having to worry about the technical details. This is as high-level and strategic as an idea gets, comparable to the invention of telecommunications or air travel—but somehow, the conversation in the industry keeps getting dragged down to the more mundane realm of devices, features, and basic functionality.
The history of technology has always revolved around abstraction, enabling people to do the things they need to without having to deal with underlying constraints or complexity. Think of the rise of written language itself, which made it possible for people to communicate directly and accurately without having to be in the same place at the same time. Jump forward a few thousand years, and the development of programming languages enabled people to write applications without having to master machine language. Graphical interfaces let people use familiar visual metaphors to navigate the computing environment instead of reading everything in green screen. Every step of the way, the more we abstract, the more productive people become.
Again, what matters most aren’t the mechanics of that abstraction, but the experiences it makes possible. The mobility-transformed business goes beyond tactical business mobility—it’s not just about being able to move a draft email from your phone to your tablet, or answer a phone call on your laptop. It’s being able to collaborate on projects, perform complex data transformations, create rich media content, process orders, manage fulfillment, complete human resources functions and anything else your work involves without having to stop and think through which devices and applications you’ll need and how you’ll access them. It’s also having seamless continuity such that getting work done doesn’t have to mean staying rooted in place.
A Mobility Transformed Business through the Eyes of Citrix Customers
Citrix customers show what it means to be a mobility-transformed business every day. One large financial institution in the Northeastern U.S. has taken internal systems that used to be tied down by the LAN, Ethernet connectivity and desktop computers, and made them fully mobile across devices, networks and locations. An executive would never think about it in those terms, of course—for him, the real value is that he can start a business process at home in the morning, continue working on it in the taxi to the airport and finish it in the lounge, without even having to think, “Will I still be able to do this over wireless 3G? What will this Windows app look like and work like on my tablet?” Everything just works—so she can forget about the tools and focus on the work at hand.
Another customer, one of our many in healthcare, has moved from a slow, file-based customer experience to a rapid, fluid and mobile digital environment where clinical systems, patient electronic medical record data and other resources are always just a few seconds away. A doctor at the hospital isn’t going to focus on the HIPAA-compliant cloud storage that powers this data mobility or the unified delivery infrastructure for her Windows-based systems, SaaS apps and mobile apps. What matters to her is that she can spend more time with patients rather than waiting for applications to load every time she changes rooms or performing batch updates at a computer-on-wheels in the hallway.
Don’t get me wrong—I’ve got nothing against features and functionality. In fact, the mobility-transformed business runs on a foundation of breakthrough features and functionality — including secure access control, smooth roaming, virtualization, device optimization, mobile device and application management, secure file sharing, cloud networking, high-definition collaboration—all the capabilities we’ve built into the Citrix Workspace Suite. But all of those innovations and capabilities were developed and integrated based on a holistic vision for the way people and organizations need to work today. That’s where your mobility strategy must begin and end. What do you want people to be able to do? If you approach it from a features perspective, you’ll end up empowering people to do a lot of things slightly more easily, without effecting the more profound change that’s there to be made. Instead, form a clear vision for what the mobility-transformed business will look like in your organization and the value you’ll realize, then build toward it. You don’t have to get there overnight; you can define your own path through the mobility maturity model over time. But when you do arrive, you’ll know it was a journey well worth making.
I am looking forward to the year ahead as we continue on this journey. In the meantime, feel free to explore the Citrix Workspace Suite with a free trial here.
Matthew Morgan is the vice president of corporate product marketing for Citrix. In this role, Mr. Morgan oversees global product marketing for all Citrix solutions. His background includes twenty years in enterprise software, including leading worldwide product marketing organizations for HP Software, Mercury Interactive, and Blueprint. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn or visit his personal blog.