Planes, trains and automobiles…The face of mobile working

Admit it now, we all do it, don’t be ashamed – we all people watch. When we’re out and about or travelling, waiting to catch a train, plane or other form of public transport. The eyes begin to wander and the brain starts to think, “I wonder where they’re going?” or “what they’re doing?” On a recent train ride to London, the 7:15 to Euston was busy with commuters and my brain was in ‘people watch’ mode. I began to notice that most people were using/carrying a combination of phones, iPads and other tablets, a work bag, personal overnight bag and of course a laptop and laptop bag. My observation at the time was that it all seemed a little excessive, I’ll explain why…

In my time at Innov8 I have only ever worked on a Citrix terminal in the office, I am fully aware of the technology’s capabilities and fairly regularly access my work applications from my laptop at home or on my iPad on the go. For those not too familiar with Citrix, in short it enables a full computer desktop experience to users of many different devices over a LAN or an internet connection.

As the train pulled out of the station and people started settling into their seats, plugging in laptops and VPN’ing some even with secure-keys (I should add that some of these laptops were the standard work issued laptops that appear as a throw-back from the 90’s), now I understand the need for security, it is important to protect data, but for the 21st Century this just seemed cumbersome and out-dated.

I wanted to check my work emails on my personal iPad (using my phones 3G to tether the data). The ‘Mail’ app doesn’t have my work email set-up partly for personal reasons and partly for security. I loaded the ‘Citrix Receiver’ app instead, entered the credentials and opened Outlook with all my emails there. If I wanted to, I could access business applications such as Sage or open Word/Excel documents and the like all on the go!

For a lot of people on the train that day they did not need their laptop to work, they could have utilised the technology they were already carrying and still worked effectively if only they employed Citrix.

The technology on offer has clear business benefits, which have recently been strengthened by the Citrix acquisition of Zenprise, mobile device management (MDM) specialists. With the Zenprise technology now part of the Citrix range (known as XenMobile) working remotely on mobile devices has just got easier.

Improving remote working, bring your own device (BYOD) and ensuring security are all current topics within the business IT market and businesses increasingly are starting to pick-up on and exploit the benefits.