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Implementing an Effective Mobility Strategy With the 'Core Four'

Get out of the mindset of locking down individual devices and providing remote access to resources.

Mobility. A requirement for today's workforce. Gone are the days when simply providing an employee access to her email on a mobile device would count as a mobility strategy. Today's workforce has unprecedented levels of expectations from IT. They want to be able to work from anywhere, on any device, and have access to the same apps, data, and services they have in the office.

When building a mobility strategy, get out of the mindset of locking down individual devices and providing remote access to resources. Instead, focus on abstracting the services that people need and delivering them to any device, over any network, from any cloud. Which core services should you focus on?

  1. App services. To remain productive when outside the office, people need access to the same applications that they have when sitting at their desk. Whether these apps are Windows, web or mobile, ensuring people have the ability to use their apps from any device, from anywhere is a top priority. To do this, look to application virtualization and mobile application management technologies that can deliver all of your apps to any device.

  2. Data services. Apps are nothing without the data they manipulate. Ensure employees have access to all of their data regardless of their location or the device they are on. For business data, including sensitive data that needs protections, use enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) technologies that can give employees their very own secure (encrypted) data repository that is available wherever they are. For more restricted data, centralizing it for access via desktop virtualization technologies ensures it never leaves the datacenter.

  3. Collaboration services. Mobile employees need to remain engaged even when outside the office. To do this, collaboration and unified communications technologies need to be available to them wherever they are. Ensure employees have access to video conferencing technologies and project management software so they are never more than a click away from their colleagues, customers or partners.

  4. Security services. Security remains the top concern from organizations embracing mobility, as people are now using more devices and apps than ever, accessing more data, and connecting from various locations, including hotspots and 3G/4G networks. To secure the computing environment of mobile individuals, look to technologies that understand context, such as employee or business-owned devices, and can deliver the right level of security to these users. For example, a business-owned mobile device should be locked down with mobile device management, while an employee-owned device should not be locked down; it's the corporate apps and data that should be controlled by IT, with technologies like mobile application management and EFSS. The list of security services available for mobile implementations is large, but the goal is to use those that are built-in to the other services being delivered. 

While this may seem easier said than done, there are many organizations adopting mobile workspace technologies to make this wish a reality.

What is a mobile workspace? A mobile workspace is a portable, always on, always connected working environment (including apps, data and other services) that follows an employee no matter where she goes, no matter what device she chooses to use, and no matter what connectivity she happens to be leveraging. This workspace makes it possible for people to get their job done from anywhere, securely.

Driving an effective mobility strategy isn't easy, but focusing on these four services, delivered to any device, over any network, from any cloud will ensure a successful mobility implementation. Employees will benefit from seamless, secure access to all of their apps, data and services wherever they are and on the devices of their choice. IT organizations will benefit from the ability to securely deliver these services over any network and from any cloud, including private, public or hybrid environments – and manage them all from a single platform. And finally, organizations will remove limitations by providing people with the information and tools they need wherever they are.

About the Author

Natalie Lambert is a Senior Director of Integrated Product Marketing at Citrix.

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