CIO series: Ignite productivity with app virtualization

By: Carol Zichi

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CIOs face the challenge of running legacy apps across devices and new mobile platforms such as Microsoft Windows 10 and Macintosh operating systems. Employees need access to enterprise mobility apps from their devices while traveling across the globe. Nearly 40 percent of 400 IT buyers surveyed in a CCS Insight report noted that improving efficiency drove their mobility spending.1

The solution? Virtualization and app modernization give employees the business tools they need to be productive and work smarter. Either approach provides a layer of security to manage corporate assets on devices.

Employees expect to use mobile platforms to get the job done, whether they’re in the office, on the road, in a coffee shop or at the airport. According to a recent study by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation, U.S. businesses spent a whopping $424 billion on 514.4 million domestic business trips in 2016.2

Virtualization application strategies should be considered when bringing new mobile platforms into your enterprise.

Where to start

Eighty percent of employees use personal devices for business. The key is to make sure that employees can access critical apps on any device so productivity and user satisfaction aren’t sacrificed. Most organizations have over a thousand legacy apps, which weren’t designed to run on new mobile platforms. Recoding can be both costly and time-consuming. How do you provide access to the apps quickly? You can achieve this through virtualization, refactoring or by moving to a web browser app.

The first step is to assess your application portfolio to determine if apps are compatible with new device platforms. For example, 70 percent of your apps may be compatible and run on new platforms. For the remaining percentage, create a road map to modernize your apps. During this assessment, you should also map employee usage to apps, IT policies and corporate security policies and create personas. This gives you an agile approach to introduce new device platforms into your environment.

Virtualization for legacy apps

Your enterprise can support multiple devices and protect investments in existing applications. For app virtualization on mobile devices, you’ll need specialized IT skills for migration and integration to the virtualized environment. This approach makes applications accessible from any device platform and allows you to create an environment for multiple users to concurrently run instances of a few applications. And you can align to the defined personas.

There are many benefits to a virtualized environment from support to business resiliency. IBM service handles the heavy lifting of assessing existing apps, managing the environment and providing end-user and IT infrastructure support. For example, they can enable apps for a mobile environment cost effectively — up to a 30 percent total cost of ownership reduction. On-premise, private cloud or IBM-hosted managed cloud delivery options are available.

What would you like your digital workplace to look like in the next three years? IBM can help. Talk to an IBM expert about your specific needs. IBM has the skills and the services to help you simplify modernizing legacy apps, so your mobile workforce can be hyperproductive.


[1] http://www.ccsinsight.com/blog/it-buyer-survey-reveals-changes-in-mobility-and-digital-workplace

[2] https://www.gbta.org/news-and-advocacy/newsroom/business-travel-responsible-for-547-billion-in-us-gdp-in-2016-creates-over-74-million-jobs

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About The Author

Carol Zichi

Global Offering Manager for Enterprise Mobility Management, IBM

A passionate student of business transformation, Carol Zichi is a professional with over 30 years of experience in various areas of the computer industry. She is responsible for management of strategy and development in the Mobility Service line. In her spare time, Carol volunteers at local schools and functions to help give all children a... Read more

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