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Interview: Adopting consumer IT in the enterprise

T.C. Seow | Jan. 23, 2013
IT-savvy employees are ruling the enterprise with their own devices. Is this trend a boon or bane? What things must be done right to embrace this trend? CIO Asia talked to Yaj Mallik, Area Vice President (ASEAN) of Citrix on what issues enterprises need to be addressing in the era of BYOD and consumerisation of IT.

Has the enterprise finally accepted the intrusion of consumer IT?
The consumerisation of IT trend is virtually unstoppable, and bans on personal device usage in the workplace are universally regarded as difficult to enforce. Only 14 percent of organisations worldwide claimed to not have problems enforcing such a ban, according to the Citrix Workplace of the Future report. Instead of placing restrictions and constantly monitoring and controlling activities allowed on devices, organisations need to look at bigger solution-based, enterprise mobility management solutions, such as a private enterprise application store. For instance, Citrix provides its customers with CloudGateway, a unified storefront that leverages cloud computing to securely deliver mobile, Web and Windows apps and data to any device, providing a native mobile experience.

Organisations in Asia Pacific need to recognise that mobile workstyles are or will be considered the norm in the near future. They risk being left behind in today's uncertain and competitive economic climate, should they choose not to embrace solutions such as cloud computing and desktop virtualisation that help enable mobile workstyles.

Why is there a need for a broader mobile enterprise strategy today as compared to current mobile device management policies?
Employees today want the freedom to use any device they choose and access any app they need. For organisations, this scenario raises real concerns about governance and security—especially in a world where it is all too easy to lose or leak sensitive corporate data through device loss or insecure cloud-based data services. As a result, CIOs face the twin challenges of having to give employers the choice and freedom they want, while maintaining control over corporate apps and data.

Escalating the problem is the increasing number of different form factors, applications, platforms and devices coming into the workplace. Enterprise applications are no longer the only standard. Micro applications and alternative applications (like Gmail, Google docs) are on the rise in the enterprise, replacing more traditional enterprise applications. This complexity makes it impossible for CIOs to find one solution or set of solutions to secure these devices.

Organisations are forced to deploy a mix of products from multiple vendors, often resulting in complicated deployments, expensive overhead and a poor user experience. What they really need is a single, integrated enterprise mobility product line that combines the power of mobile device management (MDM) with the ability to manage mobile apps and data across any mix of user devices.

With MDM no longer able to effectively manage the impact of ever-changing devices that are coming into the enterprise on its own, a bigger and broader enterprise mobile strategy aligned with business objectives is what enterprises need. Citrix addressed this challenge head-on with its recent acquisition of MDM company, Zenprise. By integrating MDM with Citrix solutions for managing mobile apps and data, Citrix is introducing the industry's first solution for managing mobile devices, apps and data from a single, integrated enterprise mobility product line.


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