Mobility no longer an option for enterprises; management must design mobility into business processes from the outset
Citrix unveils three new major software suites to help enterprises support a much more mobile workstyle philosophy
A CONFLUENCE of forces – some of which are beyond anyone’s control – is coming together to compel enterprises to adopt mobile workstyles; these organisations need an effective strategy to deal with these changes or risk losing out, according to enterprise software player Citrix Systems.
In his keynote address at Citrix Synergy 2013 Conference, Citrix chief executive officer Mark Templeton (pic) noted that mobility is dominating mindshare across most organisations and is by far one of the most pressing issues on the minds of most chief information officers (CIOs) today.
“Whenever I go out on the road to see them [my customers], this is what I hear over and over again: CIOs tell me they want to mobilise their businesses,” he said in his opening address.
Held at the Anaheim Convention Centre in Los Angeles, Citrix Synergy 2013 is the company’s annual conference for customers, partners, analysts and the media.
Templeton said several key factors are driving this change and unfortunately some of these are not within any one person's control. That said, forces that are within an enterprise’s control -- through the use of technology -- should be addressed, he added.
An example of a trend that is beyond anyone’s control is the ‘consumerisation’ of IT and how it has affected everything from devices to apps and data -- even where people work and how they think about computing as a service.
“It’s bring your own everything now, it’s a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) network, personal cloud service, bring your own data and identity,” he said. "This is a big issue and why they [CIOS] want to mobilise their businesses.”
Another uncontrollable factor is the generational gap – the so-called Gen-Ys, who are digital natives or born to this new world – where a new and young workforce needs to be recruited, retained and engaged.
“The web builds for this generation, but not the IT infrastructure. [So] mobilising the business is about addressing the workflow and workstyle environment to get the best [of these Gen-Ys] into the organisation and to retain them.”
“And finally, there is the reality of disruptions and natural disasters, which we see over and over again. These things are not within our control,” said the 61-year-old CEO, who was referring to the devastating tornado which pummelled Oklohoma City earlier in the week.
Templeton pointed out that while organisations cannot control the aforementioned factors, there are several other trends that can be addressed using appropriate technology.
These trends include tele-working, the expansion and off-shoring of organisations, the re-organisation of companies, and mergers and acquisitions – all of which will require change.
When asked what strategies and advice enterprises need to take note of if they were to transform themselves into mobile workstyle organisations during the Asia Pacific media conference following the keynote address, Templeton offered three.
“The first best practice is to mobilise the apps and data that you use every day to run your business,” he pointed out. “Secondly, enterprises ought to get their business policies around mobility and the whole idea of tele-working right, and to get these policies articulated well.
Templeton said doing so would enable enterprise IT personnel to make sense of policies and translate them into relevant decisions when purchasing the right solutions for their needs.
Finally, senior management must have a ‘mobile first mindset’ – the whole idea that encourages designing everything from devices and app stores to wireless connectivity – with being mobile in mind, he said.
“[If you do this], everything you do will be at lower costs and more flexible for the organisation. When you design with mobility in mind as an exception rather than the rule, it will become incremental and it will cost more. [By going mobile first] you get way more leverage on your investment in the mobile infrastructure.”
At last year's Citrix Synergy 2012, Templeton spoke about BYOD, and how enterprises must embrace a new workstyle paradigm or risk losing out. He also acknowledged that BYOD still suffers from adoption challenges and that legacy – both IT and culture – is holding back the trend; adding however that these barriers are beginning to break down, led by a new breed of Gen-Ys leading the charge and demanding new ways of working.
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