With 2012 shaping up to be a year defined by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, organizations are faced with unfavorable market conditions and budget constraints. At the same time, the consumerization of IT has become more prevalent with a myriad of user-owned devices entering the workplace.
To cope with these challenges, today’s enterprises will need to take a proactive approach to address both the internal demands of mobile employees, as well as external issues such as increased competition, weaker demand and uncertain economic conditions.
At the forefront of these developments are cloud computing, information security and desktop virtualization, which will move from being a ‘nice-to-have’ option to a critical ‘must-have’ strategic IT decision for CIOs in 2012.
Taking control of the cloud
The past few years have seen the data center become the hub of change, and more organizations are expected to start embracing the benefits of cloud computing services. Gartner predicts that at year-end 2016, more than 50 percent of Global 1,000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud (Gartner, "Gartner Reveals Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2012 and Beyond”, December 2011).
With more organizations in Asia now taking to the cloud than ever before, it is also apparent that companies will increasingly look to achieve granular control over cloud computing resources, with a focus on directing where data sits across public or private clouds. This will allow both organizations and employees to confidently take advantage of all the benefits and resources available through cloud computing, while ensuring that protective measures are enforced regardless of the access scenario.
Today’s virtual enterprises, distributed workforces and mobile workstyles are posing fresh challenges for organizations, and desktop virtualization is a key strategy for maintaining control over information resources and the way they are accessed through the cloud.
Balancing mobility policy
As more companies adopt the practice of allowing the use of personal devices and embrace more flexible working schedules, an opportunity arises for IT to change the way they work. This includes adopting new services to proactively monitor, manage and support the mobile workforce, ensuring business continuity and minimal lost productivity of people working away from the office. IT managers also need to be able to work more efficiently, supporting people and machines from anywhere.
By moving beyond a traditional IT focus, organizations can create and enable ‘Bring Your Own’ (BYO) policies in an environment where employees can benefit from greater work flexibility that encourages higher productivity and job satisfaction. Information security will therefore take on greater significance in 2012, with the expected increase in the number of organizations turning to desktop virtualization solutions to protect their data.
Citrix has long held the ideal that an effective information security strategy must ensure the security of an organization’s data and application resources while allowing workers to access the resources they need, when and where they need them — a balance made possible only through desktop virtualization. Whereas legacy access control systems have failed to keep pace, desktop virtualization provides the basis for a layered strategy for desktops, applications and data to be delivered securely on-demand to any device.
Security by design
Expect to see major developments in a ’secure by design’ approach to information security, based primarily around desktop virtualization.
In a recent global market survey commissioned by Citrix, an overwhelming 86 percent of senior IT decision makers polled believe that desktop virtualization offers a strategic approach to improving information security — regardless of whether or not they intend to use desktop virtualization within their own organization.
With a security strategy centered on desktop virtualization, organizations are able to centralize and secure enterprise data in the data center and, when needed, isolate and encrypt it at the endpoint. Such an approach will effectively facilitate secure access and collaboration for any employee, by enabling granular access control policies and at the same time supporting any enterprise- or user-owned device with secure delivery of desktops and applications.
Desktop virtualization also significantly enhances information security and data privacy, allowing organizations to embed a critical infrastructure level of information governance to cope with changing compliance requirements.
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