Home > All, BYOD, Citrix > BYOD = reality or just a vision? – Part 2

BYOD = reality or just a vision? – Part 2

Ok, where did we end part 1.. yes, it was around my personal view around why it’s not that easy for enterprises to adopt a BYOD concept similar to what we at EnvokeIT have.

(If you haven’t read part 1 you can do that here.)

So why can we work this way and not the enterprises, well there are many answers to that question. One reason may be that they have IPR etc that is important to protect and a legacy IT environment that has been around since the mainframe era with a lot of in-house developed apps, it’s a legacy that we newcomers don’t have! And they also have a much more complex organization with difference roles and requirements. It’s sometimes hard to tell a developer to work on any device with no development tools installed locally and only work in a remote desktop which requires him/her to be online. These users would perhaps want to be able to perform their development work from their vacation cabin up north with limited connectivity or wherever they can’t be connected. And the whole world doesn’t have the connectivity that we in europe are used to.

So could this user be happy with a BYOD model? Or shall we go halfway and say that he at least should be more flexible in his way of working, this user is also most likely using the “standard” services that the regular office user is like Messaging & Collaboration etc. And why can’t we then enable him to at least use these generic services to start of with from the “Any” device and “Anywhere” like Citrix use to say? And I agree, this user should be able to time-slice his days in the way that fits him best from a personal and work way. And when performing his development work he should use his productive device (which also could be VDI as well), but when being somewhere else and on any other device he will be using basic services like messaging and collaboration etc. But this then mainly for the purpose to stay updated or respond to emails etc on a “consuming” device. And the same is when he’s on the bus going home, he may have to be able to approve orders or catch up on emails, review a design workshop presentation and so forth. But this way of working is most likely not productive work, it’s more consumption of information and functionality rather development work. And does Citrix have  long-term play in these “simpler” business functions? I’d say both yes and no, Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop based services to deliver Windows and UNIX apps and desktops to the any device is only there to support getting legacy apps out there. Or of course if you have a developer like the use case above so that you have remote connectivity to the development environment. But long-term Citrix is getting in a good position to deliver the new apps with CloudGateway, NetScaler etc where most of these new apps are offline-capable, provided as a SaaS apps etc. And that’s why I believe in the Citrix stack because it does cater for a majority of the use cases and business needs.

So where am I going with this…? Well, all in all I agree that there are BYOC/BYOD models that work for some use cases and companies, but far from all. And there is for sure not a “1 size fits ALL” model! BUT the concept is applicable to most organizations for a subset of the workers. Take for instance contractors that are hired for some months, do they really need a corporate managed device to perform work for you that you then have to take care of or get stuck with for 36 months from your service provider? NO, in the agreement you make him liable to bring a device that is compatible with the remote access service you provide and then let him connect into a Hosted Shared Desktop or a Hosted Virtual Desktop (VDI) instead. This enable you to bring him onboard and be productive from day 1, and it ensures that the IPR stays with you and not on the users device or a USB-device. It also enables him to work from any device, anytime of the day and you can terminate the service the day he leaves and re-use instantly by someone else (you could do that with a laptop as well of course but it involves more logistics etc.). So for some use cases this BYOD model is great and it should be applied now!

Cost wise though this new requirements around the mobile workplace adds pressure on the IT organizations! Will this lower the cost of IT? I doubt it, but the whole concept can add other added values like; increased productivity (but how do you proof and measure this??), enables time-slicing, employee satisfaction etc. but it’s hard to build a business case for it unless you really know what your business really needs are and do the correct service offerings with a very clear understanding of your cost items. And don’t forget about the changes this will require on your organization and existing IT service providers. Because one thing is clear; this requires changes to both you as a buyer of IT services as well as to the existing client services provided by service providers today. You may want to purchase a managed Windows or Mac client as a service for 36 months, but are the requirements the same on this service? No! And do you want something on top of this managed device service? Yes, I bet that you want a Follow-Me-Data service, perhaps a hosted shared desktop service to be able to do real work from another device etc.

But think long-term about the strategy and way forward, do you need a managed desktop service with expensive software management services or will you basically consume the applications, information and business functions you need to perform your work directly from whatever device? YES! The Windows desktop as a container that IT locks down and wants ultimate control over is just a legacy way of thinking. When messaging, collaboration, storage and applications become SaaS services and the architectures are secure enough for corporations the device will just be a device and nothing else. It’s the data that is interesting!

And it’s this IPR that you need to ensure that you control on whatever device the end-user is using. The technology is getting more and more mature to deliver this. And yes, I’m maybe a bit bias but as I see it Citrix is the only vendor out there to enable the new mobile workplace, but are they the only ones? No, of course not but the most mature I would say though they can deliver a true mobile workplace where end-users can use any device and get their applications, information and data to roam with them in a true user centric service delivery model. Then you can argue whether the Citrix story is ready for the enterprise or not, for right now I’d say that SMB’s are ok with the product suites from Citrix but enterprises have additional constraints and requirements that Citrix yet haven’t fulfilled.

More on this in a coming posts, but as a teaser I must question why the CloudGateway (StoreFront & AppController) for instance doesn’t support a multiple setup with remote access point in multiple regions? Is it then an enterprise product release? I mean do you ‘Citrites’ get one set of apps that you’ve subscribed to if you’re sent to the Ft Lauderdale NetScaler/AGEE and SF/AppControllers and another set of apps if that datacenter goes down or if you travel to Europe and is logged in into the Dublin access point? Or do you have some sort of nice database replication that you’re not sharing with the rest of us? 😉



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