In mobile computing, the core IT issue shouldn’t be so much the management of the devices as much as the workflow they enable. Citrix, for example, has been expanding its definition of enterprise mobile management (EMM) to include not just the devices, but also applications and workflow processes.
Case in point is ShareConnect from Citrix, which gives end users direct access to files and applications on their desktop from their Apple iOS or Google Android devices without having to install those applications or download a file. Instead, the applications running on the desktop are remotely accessed from the mobile computing device.
Brian Dye, general manager of the Citrix mobility group, says the ultimate goal for mobile computing in the enterprise should be to allow end users to seamlessly move between mobile and desktop computing environments, including being able to edit and annotate documents without necessarily having to have a copy of the application that originally created that document installed on the mobile computing device.
In effect, Dye says mobile computing shouldn’t necessarily be about replicating the entire PC environment on a mobile computing device. Rather, mobile computing needs to be about enabling end users to create personalized workflows that leverage the productivity made possible by having a mobile computing device without having to buy two copies of every application that runs on their desktop.
To achieve that goal, Citrix has developed a suite of Workspace mobile computing applications that are easier for enterprise IT organizations to deploy and manage. Dye says that, overall, Citrix is working to reduce the number of tools and applications that IT organizations need to deploy and manage in order to enable mobile computing in the enterprise.
In the meantime, the time has clearly arrived for IT organizations to take a more strategic approach to figuring out exactly what it is they need to accomplish. Otherwise, organizations either wind up throwing tools and applications at end users in the hopes that a mobile computing strategy will somehow magically emerge, or end users take it upon themselves to develop one. Naturally, over time, something akin to a strategy will actually present itself; it will just be four times more painful to implement and manage than absolutely necessary.