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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What to know before deploying a Citrix XenMobile Enterprise solution

Citrix XenMobile Enterprise is currently one of the most prominent solutions for mobile device management, also known as enterprise mobility management. At its core, MDM/EMM is about enabling organizations to secure and oversee the many mobile devices (mainly smartphones and to a lesser extent tablets) in use by their employees. But in order to be effective, MDM/EMM requires striking a delicate balance between, on the one hand, the convenience and familiarity provided by modern mobile hardware and, on the other, the ever-evolving set of corporate cybersecurity requirements designed to ward off a broad spectrum of threats.

BYOD for devices such as smartphones is one of the central challenges in enterprise mobility management.BYOD for devices such as smartphones is one of the central challenges in enterprise mobility management.

Why and how mobile devices are used in the enterprise

According to Citrix's own Mobility Analytics Report, enrollment of mobile devices into enterprise MDM/EMM solutions increased 72 percent between 2013 and 2015 as bring-your-own-device initiatives surged in particular in the Americas, Asia and Oceania. A 2016 paper from Crowd Research Partners also revealed that the number of mobile devices in use worldwide would surpass 12 billion in 2018 and that half of employers would require BYOD in 2017.

The latter document also shed light on why and how mobile devices take root in the workplace:

  • According to its survey of 800 cybersecurity professionals, the top reason for BYOD adoption - cited by 63 percent of respondents - was to improve employee mobility.
  • The runners-up in this category were greater employee satisfaction (56 percent) and increased employee productivity (55 percent). Cost reduction (47 percent) was also a widely cited motivation.
  • For 40 percent of respondents, BYOD was available to all employees in their respective organizations. Another 32 percent stated that BYOD was open only to select employees.

At the same time, security was by far the largest perceived impediment to BYOD adoption, with 39 percent identifying it as an inhibitor (in second place were privacy concerns, at only 12 percent). Any worthwhile MDM/EMM solution should be able to address the security pitfalls that, if left unaddressed, can ruin a BYOD initiative. 

Why security is a constant problem for enterprise mobility

There are many possible causes of BYOD security trouble, but the same usual result: The IT department ends up getting swamped with help desk tickets and other requests for technical assistance and cleanup. More than one-third of the Crowd Research Partners survey respondents said that they had to divert additional resources to IT for mobile security, while 27 percent reported heavier workloads for their help desks.

The Crowd Research Partners report also highlighted the prevalence of malware infections and unsecured Wi-Fi networks (e.g., public Wi-Fi hotspots) as major triggers of security incidents. Overall, smartphones and tablets are fundamentally harder for IT personnel to secure since these device are, by definition, routinely on the move instead of stationed at a desk in an office. Along the way, they may connect to many different networks and download personal apps in addition to business software.

How an organization can use XenMobile Enterprise to boost its mobility projects

Given these challenges, it is no surprise that the market for what Citrix itself calls "end user computing" (a combination of virtual client computing and MDM/EMM to ensure proper oversight of mobile devices) is now enormous.

"The dominance of Citrix is an excellent reason to sharpen XenMobile skills."

VCC encompasses technologies such as application and desktop virtualization - the bread and butter of the Citrix product line - and IT research firm International Data Corporation estimated that in May 2016, Citrix's combined annual revenue from VCC and MDM/EMM was more than $1.5 billion, making it the largest vendor in the space. MDM/EMM as a whole is projected to be a $5 billion sector by 2021, according to MarketsandMarkets.

For current and aspiring IT professionals, the dominance of Citrix is an excellent reason to sharpen their skills with solutions such as XenMobile Enterprise by becoming a Citrix Certified Professional - Mobility (CCP-M). XenMobile solves many of the problems we have outlined here, through features such as:

  • Easy creation of mobile apps via Citrix Secure Forms.
  • Extensive, secure support for Microsoft Office 365 on mobile devices.
  • Unified endpoint management for maximum convenience for admins.
  • Safe delivery of business apps to any device, anywhere.

By becoming a CCP-M, you can master the nuances of XenMobile, learning how to design, deploy and maintain the numerous apps that employees will need to regularly access as part of a BYOD initiative. XenMobile is one of the most trusted options for MDM/EMM, plus it includes additional capabilities for app and content management as well as secure network gateways.

To get started on the road toward a CCP-M certification or one of the many other available Citrix distinctions, take a look at the technical courses available at New Horizons Computer Learning Centers and find a location near you today.

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