Today, Citrix crossed an important milestone in the way enterprises will view apps for work. We announced the general availability of the Citrix Worx App Gallery – an app ecosystem with over 100 committed apps.

So, what is an app ecosystem? Apple and Google created big app ecosystems for iOS and Android that drove the adoption of those platforms, Facebook launched their App Center for social media apps, and Salesforce.com created the App Exchange for SaaS apps. Similarly, the Citrix Worx App Gallery is an ecosystem for enterprise-ready mobile apps.

The enterprise app challenge

End users wish to use different types of apps for work. However, enterprises looking to mobilize apps face a big burden of tasks in order to make apps enterprise-ready and available to their end users. App security tools in the form of app wrappers or SDKs have been bandied about as tools to protect apps. But, for IT there is very little clarity on how an app makes its way from an app vendor into their end users’ device with the necessary policies and controls in place. Often, the solution involves the enterprise identifying apps or app categories that it needs, executing contracts with the app developer, getting the app binaries, applying the security wrapper, verifying the app and then deploying it for end users in an enterprise app store. This process would then start all over when the app or mobile OS is updated, or when the enterprise mobility vendor changes the app security SDK.

Mobile app ecosystems and mobile application management

What is needed for enterprise-ready apps?

A reliable and repeatable mechanism for the creation, deployment and management of enterprise-ready apps made us look at the components that are required to make the process simple for IT and end users, safe for enterprises and valuable for our ISVs. The Citrix strategy for enterprise-ready apps brings together three key components: 1) a platform – the Citrix Worx App Gallery, for the delivery of secure enterprise-ready apps; 2) the product – Citrix XenMobile, which provides mobile application and content management with end-to-end app and data control policies; and 3) a program – Citrix Ready Worx Verified, which gives ISVs access to Citrix resources for verifying apps and various go-to-market tools.

Simplicity for IT and end users

  • Both Citrix apps like ShareFile,  WorxMail, WorxWeb and GoToAssist and third-party ISV apps like Office HD and Adobe Reader are secured, verified and made available as part of the Worx App Gallery. Unlike other solutions, the Citrix app ecosystem approach doesn’t require ISVs to create a separate secure app to be made available through the public app store (like Apple App Store or the Google Play Store). Instead, Citrix app security code built-in by ISVs within their apps remains latent until the app is used in a Citrix protected environment at which point, all of the app controls become available.  For enterprises (and ISVs), this eliminates app proliferation, version management headaches, and end user confusion about the correct apps to use. IT can focus its efforts on being responsive to end user needs while keeping enterprise data in mobile apps secure.
  • End users no longer need to hunt for apps that will make them productive at work. They simply open up their enterprise app store on their mobile device to find the list of Worx enabled apps provisioned by their IT department for which they have permissions.

Safe for enterprises                                    

The Citrix Worx App SDK (http://www.citrix.com/go/worx-app-sdk.html) provides enterprises one of the industry’s largest and most comprehensive app and data protection and control policies. For example, only Citrix XenMobile can block users from accessing sensitive corporate data from an unsecured Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop or conversely enforce the use of a specific wireless SSID for an app to gain access to the corporate assets.  These capabilities combined with powerful interapp communications for data leakage prevention and sharing data among protected apps, flexible online and offline authentication controls, single-sign-on, and app-specific hardware controls, represent nearly sixty different granular policy controls.

Go-to-market benefits for ISVs

All Worx-enabled mobile apps have been secured and put through a rigorous verification process. Citrix ISVs can have the confidence that they are part of long-term, stable app ecosystem which provides them access to the 3,000+ person Citrix sales force, 10,000+ channel partner community, and the 260,000 strong Citrix customer installed base. Through the Citrix Ready Worx Verified program and the Citrix Worx App Gallery, ISVs benefit from a powerful route to market with an integrated lead-management system, Citrix marketing and branding assets and tools, and the Citrix demo cloud environment to drive go-to-market efforts with Citrix sales and channels.

With over 100 committed apps and a rapidly increasing pipeline of new apps added on a daily basis, the Citrix Worx App Gallery is the fastest growing mobile app ecosystem on the market today.

The use of mobile apps for work is a trend that is only going to increase with more and more end users and business leaders looking to drive mobile productivity.  So, the next time your employees or lines of business ask for an app to read or edit office documents, share content with colleagues, take business notes, or manage expenses, you can say “yes!” and rest assured that the app meets your users’ needs while keeping your enterprise safe.