When The Cloud Meets Mobility: Heaven Or Headache?

When the Cloud Meets Mobility: Heaven or Headache?

The cloud and mobile computing have made an awful lot of promises to enterprise IT: reduced costs, higher productivity, jaw-dropping data analytics, rapid rollout, granular control over the IT solution stack. But have they delivered?  Unfortunately, that’s not easy to answer. In a recent Gartner survey of over 2,000 top CIOs, analytics and business intelligence, mobile technologies, and cloud computing ranked as their first three priorities (in the order).

These CIOs have high hopes for the next wave of cloud technologies.

Their ultimate goals include:

  • Allowing anywhere, anytime access to cloud-hosted data and applications on any device regardless of operating system.
  • Providing remote but secure access on any device to both private and public networks that automatically scale to meet demand.
  • Virtualizing as much IT infrastructure as possible to increase efficiency, elasticity, redundancy, and flexibility. (In other words, less stuff, more value.)

But, is this really happening? The same group of CIOs claimed that enterprises realize only 43 percent of the full business potential of the latest cloud and mobility technologies. And every CIO worth his or her salt is saying their enterprises can only leverage the full power of cloud and big data and mobility by taking an integrated, comprehensive approach. We’ve already learned what doesn’t work: a hodgepodge patchwork of SaaS solutions, API integrations, make-shift bridges, and another half-dozen workarounds.

So where do we go from here?

The technology already exists to address most of the interoperability and integration issues enterprises (as well as SMBs) have struggled with. So perhaps the better question is: Are we ready to accept them? You see, one of the biggest barriers to making the next leap in computing technology isn’t technological.

It’s not even operational. It’s cultural.

Almost every end user still associates their devices with their applications and their data. Ask 10 random people where a file is, and nine of them are likely to say, “My computer,” or “My iPad.”—not Google Drive. Not iCloud. And definitely not a data center in rural North Carolina.

For enterprises to truly embrace the full potential of mobility, business intelligence, and the cloud, they need to start moving users away from a device-centric mentality and towards a focus on hosted apps and data.

One real solution is virtualized desktop infrastructure.

With the advent of VDI, companies like Citrix have taken the complete end user solution stack and put it into the cloud. An entire virtual desktop—with all of a user’s data and apps—can be reduced to a data stream that data centers send to whatever device a user wants—desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. The device falls into the background and the experience takes front-and-center.

With VDI, enterprises really can have the best of all worlds:

  • Complete control over apps and data, regardless of platform or device
  • Minimal integration concerns
  • Full-featured desktop apps delivered as a service over a private, public, or hybrid cloud

If CIOs really want to realize the full business potential of cloud technologies, then they need to get their end users ready for a major shift in thinking. Only once end users start thinking about their desktop as something that moves with them, from one device to another, will enterprises be in a position to capitalize on the promises the cloud IT world has made to them.

But what do you think? Is there another answer we’re missing? Let us know in the comments below.

By Robert Shaw

This post is brought to you by the Mobile Enterprise 360 Community and Citrix

About Robert

Robert Shaw was an early entrant into the cloud computing sector, working as a consultant for Accenture on server virtualization and software-as-a-service migration. He has also been a technical editor for eHow and other web properties and still provides local IT consulting services.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Federal Government Cloud Adoption No one has ever accused the U.S. government of being technologically savvy. Aging software, systems and processes, internal politics, restricted budgets and a cultural resistance to change have set the federal sector years behind its private sector counterparts. Data and information security concerns have also been a major contributing factor inhibiting the…

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Cloud Architecture These days, Multi-Tier Applications are the norm. From SharePoint’s front-end/back-end configuration, to LAMP-based websites using multiple servers to handle different functions, a multitude of apps require public and private-facing components to work in tandem. Placing these apps in entirely public-facing platforms and networks simplifies the process, but at the cost of security vulnerabilities. Locating everything…

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Cloud Email Migration In today’s litigious society, preserving your company’s data is a must if you (and your legal team) want to avoid hefty fines for data spoliation. But what about when you move to the cloud? Of course, you’ve probably thought of this already. You’ll have a migration strategy in place and you’ll carefully…

Cloud Services Providers – Learning To Keep The Lights On

Cloud Services Providers – Learning To Keep The Lights On

The True Meaning of Availability What is real availability? In our line of work, cloud service providers approach availability from the inside out. And in many cases, some never make it past their own front door given how challenging it is to keep the lights on at home let alone factors that are out of…

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security It’s no secret many organizations rely on popular cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft for access to computing infrastructure. The many perks of cloud services, such as the ability to quickly scale resources without the upfront cost of buying physical servers, have helped build a multibillion-dollar cloud industry that continues to grow each…

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

The Catch 22 The very same year Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world, the Chief Information Officer of the United States was announcing a major Cloud First goal. That was 2011. Five years later, as both the private and public sectors continue to adopt cloud-based software services, we’re interested in this…