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Virtualisation: Technology behind mobile workstyles

26 Nov 2012

Desktop virtualisation is enabling the new mobile workforce, says Nabeel Youakim, Citrix Systems Asia Pacific vice president products and Microsoft alliance.

The world of work is undergoing a significant change, and there’s no better way to illustrate this than by looking at our current relationship with the traditional nine to five workplace.

These days, work is no longer thought of as somewhere we go, but rather a thing we do. With the consumerisation of IT and increasing availability of enterprise-class devices, the adoption of mobile workstyles such as workshifting, which allows staff to work regardless of the time, location or device, continues to rise.

Organisations are looking to maximise business agility and productivity while retaining the best possible talent.In yesterday’s PC era, workshifters were the exception to an overwhelmingly office-centric workforce, where technology was built for a wired world. In today’s cloud era, they are becoming the assumption.

For employees, the ability to work efficiently from a number of locations, on their preferred device, at any time, is now a core requirement.

However, the ability to be productive from any device requires real-time access to applications, data and services as well as the ability to share resources, collaborate or meet, regardless of the location of the participants.

According to the Citrix Workplace of the Future Index released in September 2012, which surveyed 1900 senior IT decision makers worldwide, 91% of organisations have implemented mobile workstyle solutions or have plans to do so by 2020.

The same survey revealed that while 84% of organisations admitted to once banning employees from bringing and using their own devices for work, only one-third of organisations are still enforcing that ban.

This demonstrates the increasing trend of incorporating mobile workstyles into an organisation’s IT strategy. With just over half of organisations citing requests from employees as a key driver to allowing them to bring in their own devices, this trend is clearly being led by the demands from workers.Primary enabler

As the majority of companies are adopting and encouraging mobile workstyles due to employee demand, the channel can capitalise on these trends by understanding the technologies organisations are relying on to manage their current and future mobile workstyles strategies.

Desktop virtualisation is considered by many to be the primary enabling technology for mobile workstyle solutions, while providing a secure and flexible IT environment, meaning all data and applications remain centralised.

This gives the IT department the ability to securely control enterprise applications and data regardless of who owns the device or where it is used.

By freeing users from their traditional desktop device, desktop virtualisation allows workers to access their Windows desktop and applications at any time, from any device (regardless of the device’s operating system), and immediately gain work/life, productivity and reduced travel time benefits.

Where the channel can really succeed is by making customers understand that the shift towards mobile workstyles is inevitable and that the benefits being recognised by the employee result in increased productivity for the organisation.

Ultimately, desktop virtualisation is making this possible.