Mobile Cloud Integration Drives Desktop Virtualisation

Mobile Web

Regular readers here know that I firmly believe that the future of cloud computing is mobile. The growth of the tablet and smartphone market has been nothing short of phenomenal and there is no reason to believe that this quantum leap in the mobile cloud will stall.

One company which knows more than most about virtualisation is Citrix and a new survey commission by the company shows that desktop virtualisation is being driven in part by the mobile market.

Desktop Virtualisation

The survey found that 55 per cent of responding companies will deploy new desktop virtualisation for the first time by 2013. Of those surveyed, 86 per cent said security was the biggest reason, and that desktop virtualisation is a strategic choice for improving security in an age of multiple devices.

The white paper describing the study noted that “familiar advantages of desktop virtualisation include the ability to enable a more flexible workplace,” provide support for mobile workers, and effectively manage the variety of devices typically found in an organisation. It noted that security now joins savings as a reason in favour of desktop virtualisation.

The kinds of security that are driving desktop virtualisation include the need for secure access or mobile and user-owned devices, increased security requirements for apps and data, the desire to be able to accommodate an increasingly mobile workforce, and simplified risk management.

Tighten Security

Reading between the lines we are looking at organisations tightening up desktop security under the pretence of getting ready for better mobile access to corporate systems. Benefits in this methodology is that compromised apps can be immediately sidelined and isolated, not to mention the ability to completely wipe data from mobile devices.

Interestingly the Citrix survey showed that virtually all of those interviewed felt that that virtualisation was effective in protecting information, while still allowing employees the ability to get the information they needed to do their jobs.

To me this is a major step change from a year or two ago when similar surveys showed CIOs and other senior protectors of the corporate crown jewels going pale and uttering “no freaking way, man” when the topic of mobile access to data was raised.

Smokescreen

Now I don’t know if I was you but it is becoming apparent that there is a bit of a smokescreen being created by companies who are “looking at” mobile inclusion by 2013 but who are, I suspect, developing systems which could be rolled out this year – yes, it is already 2012! – and wanting to steal a lead on rivals.

Let us not forget the “invisible” driver – that of RIM and Blackberry being waist deep or higher in manure after near fatal service failures last year which has led to a significant drop in share price and corporate confidence.

Easy integration of corporate email systems through iPhone, iPad and Android devices that do not reply on passing traffic through a third party (RIM) server system must be looking increasingly attractive to CIOs and CTOs.

Take this and the advantages of tightening up desktop systems and the adoption of mobile strategies must on hell of an incentive. From my fell-side eyrie it looks as though the once technological Anti Christ of mobile cloud computing could be a saviour!

Kevin Tea is a journalist and marketing communications professional who has worked for some of the leading blue chip companies in the UK and Europe. In the 1990s he became interested in how emerging Internet-based technologies could change the way that people worked and became an administrator on the Telework Europa Forum on CompuServe. With other colleagues he took part in a four year European Commission sponsored project to look at the way that the Internet could benefit remote communities. His blog is a resource for SMEs who want to use cloud computing and Web 2.0 technologies.