Nikhil Bagalkotkar, Chief Technologist, Citrix, spoke to Amit Singh on the company’s focus on enterprise mobility and excellent opportunities for channel partners

How is the enterprise mobility market shaping up in India?

According to IDC, India’s enterprise mobility market is expected to reach $1,871 million by 2017. With the convergence of mobile devices, smart devices, wearables, and internet of things, this market has the potential to experience major boom and will continue growing exponentially over the next few years.

Nikhil Bagalkotkar, Chief Technologist, Citrix

Taking into account the 27.5 million devices sold in the second quarter of 2016, IDC has ranked India as the fastest growing smartphone market in the world. With India’s push for mobile-first economy, smartphones are increasingly featuring in the daily operations of enterprises. This has led businesses to work actively towards enabling corporate applications to run on employees’ devices. With this as the background, it is safe to say that the enterprise mobility market is dominantly reliant on the BYOD culture as more and more employees prefer accomplishing tasks through their mobile devices.

What is the priority among enterprises and SMBs to adopt enterprise mobility? What are the parameters on which enterprises are evaluating the efficacy of enterprise mobility? 

I believe enterprise mobility is right up there in the top-3 priorities of most enterprises and SMB organizations. Enterprise mobility extends beyond just mobile devices, and represents the change in attitude towards work. No longer is work tied to fixed working hours or to a desktop connected to the office LAN.

However, the world of enterprise mobility can be pretty confusing to navigate and people often tend to evaluate workplace transformation projects using age old yardsticks like TCO and ROI. The benefits from enabling mobility is in the form of –

  • Higher productivity: Analysts peg the increased productivity between 12-15 percent, which can make a substantial difference to an organization
  • Higher employee satisfaction and talent retention: This is increasingly true for the millennials joining our workplace
  • Future readiness: App-ification is a new mantra for most application developers, with many applications being developed on the mobile-first approach and then being adopted to the traditional setups

BYOD brings new challenges in its wake as employee devices rarely feature the required enterprise-grade security features. Moreover, MDM solutions often hinder the productivity or fluidity of the work carried out on the devices. What are the solutions available to ease the employee’s work?

Even though mobile device management (MDM) as a technology has been there for close to a decade, adoption of this platform has been extremely slow and has encountered a lot of user resistance. MDM tries to manage the mobile device as a whole and enables restrictive policies on the device.

Imagine a situation where an employee walks into the office with a new iPhone 7 and the IT admin enrols him onto the MDM platform. After enrolment, the MDM policies get pushed and as a result phone’s camera is blocked, Facebook and WhatsApp are uninstalled and the user is forced to enter an eight-character alpha-numeric passcode every time he wants to access the phone. The probability of this employee being pleased is very low.

Employees are increasingly asking their organization to provide corporate apps on their BYOD devices and limit their purview of control to only the corporate apps. This concept is known as mobile application management (MAM) and Citrix has been a pioneer in this space. The MAM capabilities delivered by Citrix cannot be matched by any mobility vendor, and this has been one of the primary driving factors of our success so far.

What are the trends in the mobile application development space?

App-ification is the biggest trend in the mobility space after the tremendous success of mobile applications in fields like CRM, expenses management, and HRMS. Enterprise and SMB organizations are looking at off-the-shelf mobile apps for their corporate needs and are even putting in requisite efforts to develop their own mobile apps.

Citrix intends to bring in a huge revolution in this space through the concept of 10-minute apps. With Citrix’s secure forms, employees can create their own post forms with intelligent fields and have them published throughout the enterprise for others to use. These forms can integrate with existing backend systems removing a lot of hassles related to application creation and management.

What are the opportunities you see for channel partners (solution providers) in the enterprise mobility space?

Mobility represents an excellent opportunity for channel partners to play a transformative role in the delivery of IT services of an organization. Partners can start by using their skills to build and operate the mobility stack at an organization, while slowly diversifying into areas of mobile application creation and application stack management.

Citrix has been working with its channel ecosystem to deliver detailed hands-on training and technical know-how to successfully deploy and manage the Citrix mobility stack. Citrix on multiple occasions has leveraged its internal knowledge base on the stack, to handhold partners and onboard them onto mobility space.


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