Today’s fast-paced business world requires IT organizations to supply the tools that allow employees to quickly react to the demands of a competitive environment. Whether they are in the office or remote, employees need to readily and securely access corporate resources. This is the mobile workstyle – but how did we get here and how can Citrix help? This is the first in a three part blog series that looks at the evolution of the mobile workstyle and how Remote PC Access, as a key component of Citrix FlexCast delivery technology, can help enable mobile workstyles.

Many of you reading this blog will have your own mobile workstyle story. Whether it be working remotely on a permanent basis, adjusting your schedule to be around your family when they need you, or having professional demands that mean work is not a contiguous period of time. Being able to work when it is required, in harmony with your broader life enables you to deliver better outcomes to your customers and employer.

The mobile workstyle is fast becoming the behavioral norm used by workers globally, from all disciplines and across all sizes of business. However the concept is not entirely new and its roots can be traced back to the early 90’s when remote access was becoming all the rage. These initial solutions were by current standards primitive, and it took many advances in devices, networks and applications to get us to where we are today.

Figure 1: The history of mobile workstyles.

In the 1990′s, dial-up networking was the prevalent connection model for access – many organizations would securely connect back to resources with laptops and IPSEC tunnels. The dawn of the new millennium saw SSL VPNs (non IPSEC) come to the forefront and Microsoft introduced RDP for Windows XP with SP2. Citrix admins then began to publish RDP in Metaframe as a way to reduce the VPN/IPSEC footprints, and allow broader device choice.  Many XenApp customers still employ this method today.

More recently, smartphones and tablets changed the game, allowing a significantly greater proportion of the population to embrace a mobile workstyle. At Citrix we believe mobile workstyle solutions are a combination of the people, apps and data you need to get your job done. In recent times our mobile workstyles solutions have expanded from virtualized applications and desktops delivered by XenDesktop, to encompass multi-faceted components like ShareFile, GoToMeeting, Podio and @Work apps.

Mobile workstyles have emerged to meet the needs of both businesses and employees in this radily changing and demanding world. Supporting teleworking, enabling workshifting, dealing with unplanned events such as natural disasters and broadly driving towards a more productive business are but a few the few of the reasons embracing mobile workstyles makes sense.

Figure 2: There are numerous business initiatives driving mobile workstyles.

Application and desktop virtualization solutions, such as XenDesktop with FlexCast technologies, are crucial to enabling mobile workstyles. They provide users with ubiquitous access to their Windows apps and data whilst simultaneously keeping valuable corporate data safely within the perimeter of the datacenter. In the next installment of this blog series we’ll take a closer look at how Remote PC Access helps to enable a mobile workstyle.

As a final note, for further reading take a look at the Citrix whitepaper:  Desktop Virtualization For All.