Sanjay Deshmukh, Area Vice President, India subcontinent, Citrix looks into the technology crystal ball of 2013 to forecast six trends that will witness substantial uptick from the perspective of IT delivery.
The top priority for Technology providers and practitioners will be to drive business transformation using technology solutions.
Given that the business environment is expected to remain volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous businesses will be under pressure to reinvent the way they work, the compute and the core business processes. The top most priority for IT will be to help businesses transform work and compute. IT service providers and practitioners will be expected to drive business transformation initiatives which help organisations optimize cost and increase productivity. IT will consider business transformation initiatives like: a) Work shifting: IT will drive programs like work from home or move work to a more optimized location and cut real estate cost and delight employees, b) Executive Mobility: IT will enable employees to work with people, apps and data from any device and any location thus increasing the productivity of employees.
The role of IT organization is changing
Today, there is a fundamental structural shift happening in the way we work. Compared to the old PC era wherein companies locked down computers allowing employees to only use monolithic products through a wired network in an office environment, today’s workers are driving change because of the empowerment they’re getting from powerful consumer devices and self-service cloud applications. So in effect, the set of assumption for IT has now been turned on its head and IT must get into service delivery. The role of IT has now transformed to respond to and for the way people need to consume “it” – the services, apps, data and information. In order to solve this problem, the only thing that will work is a holistic solution with many piece parts working together well, seamlessly to solve the problem. You can’t just solve a single-sign-on problem or a mobile device problem as an island. These narrowly defined problems are now being stacked on top of each other and are much more interrelated and need to be solved in an inter-related fashion. The other way in which the role of an IT organization has changed is that they need to think of themselves as "internal service providers" - and having to "compete" against commercially-available apps/products. The "IT-as-a-Service" trend extends to service-providers, who are able to provide Windows and Desktops more efficiently than the IT organization itself – and IT shops are compelled to source desktops from outside their walls. IT's security/control/compliance models shift from the "locked-down" device, to the virtually-issued and controlled device.
Consumerization of IT is here; but how we view Consumerization and mobility will continue to change.
The levels of complexity will get even deeper with a plethora of heterogeneous form factors, platforms and devices coming into the workplace. IT will not be prepared to support and/or secure these devices with one solution alone. The core challenge here is that about delivering and securing the app and the data, not the device. With this difficulty, it will become impossible for IT to find one solution or set of solutions to secure these devices. To add to this, the heterogeneity is not just about the device, it will extend to the worker, the app, the location as well. What was once the standard office-based worker has morphed into office-based, temporary, remote, flex-time and mobile workers. What used to be primarily Windows apps has now become Windows, mobile, web and Software as a Service apps and workers need secure access to all their apps regardless of where they are “located”. And location becomes heterogeneous. Apps may be delivered from the datacenter, from the web, or native on a mobile device and they will be delivered to many more locations than before.
Mobility is a lot more than just devices or apps.
The purview and definition of mobility will undergo a change as organizations will now need to consider how they will deliver all these apps to any user at any time regardless of the device. Mobility will not be just about user mobility but app mobility and moving apps around from datacenter to datacenter to cloud. An application may be delivered from two different locations to a user that could be anywhere. In the context of these newer realities, mobility won’t really be about the device that enables it but being able to do what we want, where we want and when we want.
BYOD hits mainstream and impacts first generation mobile device management solutions
The move by IT to allow BYOD by employees hits mainstream; the corporate-issued laptop begins to become a bygone piece of equipment. IT realizes that it's able to control devices remotely through virtualization while simultaneously allowing individuals to use the devices that make them happiest and most productive. This is corroborated by the Citrix ‘Bring-Your-Own-Devices (BYOD) Index’, which surveyed 700 IT decision-makers and organizations around the globe. It was found that in India, a little over 40 percent companies already have a BYOD policy already in place. Apart from this, 95 percent of the polled respondents expect a BYOD policy to be institutionalized in their respective companies by 2013. With BYOD becoming mainstream, draconian mobile device management (MDM) measures will cease to be effective and the contours of MDM will be redefined. Companies will not want a blanket kill pill but will need to adapt to the changing devices that are coming into the enterprise. In the form of a powerful feature of app delivery, a feature of management infrastructure; a feature of data protection solutions whether in the OS, app delivery or platform, mobile device management will become an enhancement to a much broader enterprise mobility strategy.
App explosion and the shift of application architectures
Existing apps must change to accommodate the Cloud. Existing enterprise apps have always been about the local interface but with anywhere, anytime access, enterprise apps will quickly need to be rebuilt to have cloud context and a cloud interface; not just web-enabled but deep cloud integration. Apps without cloud integrations won't survive. The other facet to this is that enterprise apps are no longer the only standard. Micro apps and alternative apps (like Gmail, Google docs) are rising in the enterprises, replacing more traditional enterprise apps. Windows apps for viewers, notes apps are transforming into micro apps and cloud based services. Web-ifying and mobilizing of apps is the future. So apps are synced and can be used on any device. The enterprise level conundrum however would be granting access to any of these apps, regardless of how they were originally built and for what intended use. December 31 2012