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CIO Summit 2012 Malaysia: Virtualisation Asia—A Status Report

F.Y. Teng | Sept. 5, 2012
What is the next virtualisation "frontier"? Here are some ideas.

One of Citrix's customers using application and desktop virtualisation to improve end user mobility is Malaysian retail chain, Mydin Mohammad Holdings. With the aim of delivering better products and faster services to its customers, Mydin used Citrix XenServer and Citrix XenApp to consolidate and standardise its business applications, providing on-demand application access to their employees. Additionally, Mydin made use of Citrix XenDesktop to expand and convert existing thin clients to mobile, task-oriented devices for their employees. Over 500 key personnel can now access its core business applications, 'One', from any location, at any time, via any enabled device, over any connection.

The beauty of desktop virtualisation is that it helps organisations to leverage the latest mobile devices to drive innovation and workforce productivity, while taking advantage of centralised delivery, management and security. One of Citrix's customers in Asia, solutions integrator, Metro Systems, adopted desktop virtualisation so that their employees can work on-the-go from their personal mobile devices, ensuring business continuity regardless of any disruption. 

Similarly, by eliminating the need to provision a full-featured PC for every worker, organisations can support their workforce with a mix of lower-cost devices-and even eliminate corporate devices entirely for some workers-to escape the high ongoing costs of traditional endpoint hardware cycles. For example, a customer of Citrix in the healthcare sector, Singapore's National University Health System (NUHS), successfully enabled its 400 clinicians to log onto a limited number of mobile tablets at work with a single sign-on on a daily basis. A suite of clinical applications would be accessible to any authorised clinician who logs into the system, despite the clinician not having ownership of the device.

How well are organisations in Asia going about leveraging their respective virtualisation strategies?
The workplace of the 21st century is undergoing a remarkable transformation, driven in part by innovation in consumer technology, and Asia is no different. People are increasingly bringing the smartphones, tablets and other devices they use ubiquitously in their personal lives into the workplace. This 'consumerisation' is driving rapid change in business and IT, dissolving the lines between work and play. Desktop virtualisation is thus steadily becoming a business imperative, as it provides organisations with the flexibility to embrace the consumerisation of IT with control.    

The Malaysian workforce is becoming very digitally savvy, and so organisations here face increasing pressure from the workforce itself, including both established senior personnel and a new generation of digital natives, to work anytime, anywhere, on any device. In particular, the banking and finance sector, retail sector, manufacturing industries, public services and telecommunications sector are looking at desktop virtualisation as key to their business strategy.

Work-life balance is increasingly lauded by the Singapore government as the pre-requisite towards sustainability and growth for the city-state, who are in the process of conducting pilots on home-based work and smart work centers. There are also a range of government initiatives, which provide employers with incentives for putting in place flexible work arrangements. Desktop virtualisation has thus emerged as an essential technology strategy to support this cause.


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