For some people, this past winter it seemed like it never stopped snowing, schools were constantly closing and transit delays were the norm.  How do you work if you’re snowed in, need to stay home with the kids or the trains are stopped?  With a mobile workspace, that’s how! 

Do you have a device?  Any device?  A phone, tablet or notebook?  Great.  Do you have a network connection?  Any connection.  3G, 4G, public or private Wi-Fi?  Excellent.

With that device and that connection work can come to you.  A mobile workspace allows you to securely connect to your corporate apps and desktops, as well as collaborate and share documents with people both inside and outside of your organization.

Any Device.  Anytime.  Anywhere.

What did our workspaces look like 15, 10, even five years ago?  It was probably a desk, with a computer on/over/under it and a phone.  Punch in, log in, dial out.  Workspace.  When you left the building you also left your workspace.  Forgot to send that email, save that document, update that report?  Well, it’ll have to wait till tomorrow when you’re back at your workspace.

Telecommuting?  Hmm.  “Does that mean I can work from my couch in my pajamas?  Yes?  Sign me up!”

To mobilize a user’s workspace, we first take the distributed computing model and bring it back into the data center.  This has many benefits including performance, security and mobility.  Client-server apps perform better because the desktops are now right next to the applications.  Security policies can be implemented to control who has access to what resources (you can see these apps, but not those), and what kind of features they’ll have access to (you can print, but not save to a flash drive).

Because the applications and desktops are centrally run and managed, users just need a terminal to connect from.  That terminal can be another corporate-owned PC, a personal tablet or even a shared computer at the local library.  Citrix has been providing this level of mobility for decades with XenApp and more recently XenDesktop.

That “any device, anytime, anywhere” thing from earlier? 

The tiny computer you carry around in your pocket all the time ticks all these boxes.  Smartphones have given us access to virtually any nugget of information we desire, instantly.  What is the weather tomorrow?  What song is this?  Who directed Waterworld and have they gotten work since?  And more on topic, how many emails do I have?  When is my next meeting?  Let me send an update – tap, click, swipe.  Okay, done!  But what if that magical device suddenly disappeared?  Where did I leave it?  Who took it?  What about my data?  Contacts?  Emails?

This is where mobile device management (MDM), such as Citrix XenMobile can help.  As users enroll their devices, whether they are personal or corporate owned, security policies and application containers can be pushed to the device.  These policies can be used to turn features of the device on or off, such as the camera for instance.  Features can also be disabled based on GPS location.

I recently worked with a restaurant chain whose host staff was utilizing XenMobile managed tablets.  The tablets were configured to wipe themselves if they were more than 300 feet from the GPS location of the restaurant.  The tablet is gone, but none of their data left with it.  You can always go to the store to get another device.  Your data though, that’s another story…

…And that story brings us to data sharing.  Okay, let’s take the idea of centralizing apps and desktops in your data center and apply it to corporate file shares and even SharePoint data.  An on-premises file sharing service, such as Citrix ShareFile, can take the data on the servers and storage in your data center and allow users to connect to it remotely.  The data can even be securely shared with users outside of your organization.  Instead of dropping files into a box in the cloud, you can extend the secure storage from your data center and make it appear as cloud storage to your users.

Mr./Ms. User, your workspace is now running on my servers.  Come and use it whenever, wherever and from whatever device you’d like.

Learn more about the benefits of mobility.  Reach out to your CDW account manager for ways to put it to work in your organization.