Citrix launches Workspace Cloud with BYOD flexibility

Life today is vastly more complicated for IT managers than it used to be, thanks in large part to two key trends: bring-your-own-device computing and the growing prevalence of mixed-infrastructure IT environments.

Aiming to ease some of the pressure on both ends, Citrix on Tuesday unveiled a new cloud offering designed to give enterprises maximum flexibility.

The Citrix Workspace Cloud is built on the notion of a personal “work space” that includes all the desktop, Web and mobile apps a user needs, along with data, documents and collaboration tools. Essentially, the software lets IT administrators put all that together in a unified package and deliver it securely to users wherever they are, no matter what device or network they’re using.

Work spaces can also be tailored for each user, so executives, engineers and customer-service reps, for instance, can each get the mix of apps, desktops, data, mobility and networking services they need.

IT administrators, meanwhile, can choose what clouds or data-center resources to use in delivering their users’ work spaces, allowing them to merge on-premise and cloud environments as needed. All management functions are handled through a single cloud-based control center for global consistency and scalability.

Hybrid cloud implementations are on the rise in the business world, so Citrix’s flexible approach is both logical and potentially profitable, said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.

At the same time, the company faces considerable challenges in terms of ensuring adequate support for critical applications and making sure that company policies, such as access rules, are followed properly, he added.

Citrix also faces plenty of competition, including VMware’s AirWatch on the mobility side as well as smaller players such as Good Technology, MaaS360 and MobileIron.

“Citrix claims to offer a wider, deeper solution set than other vendors,” King said. “While that may well be, this space is evolving so quickly that customers should do their homework to be sure that a service meets their specific needs before signing on the dotted line.”

Companies can take the Workspace Cloud for a test drive online, including a walk-through of the process of publishing a pre-designed work space and access to the results for up to five people.

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