Remote Access Your Users Will Love

White Paper

By making user experience a top priority, you can go beyond simply enabling remote access to giving people what they really need and want: simplicity, consistency and a high-definition experience, no matter how or where they work. Read this white paper to learn how IT can fully address its requirements for security and manageability while delivering a solution people love, and would feel lost without

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An organization’s remote access strategy usually focuses on IT priorities such as protecting the enterprise network and avoiding unnecessary complexity. While these are important factors, the ultimate customer for a remote access solution is the user who depends on reliable access to apps and data outside the office or on mobile devices to get work done. What matters most to them is gaining the freedom to work on the devices they choose, in the locations where they can be most effective and productive, without having to worry about security details, differences in device form factors or multiple access methods for various networks.

Citrix, a leader in mobile workstyles, has long recognized that remote access has to address the needs of users as well as IT. With an entire team dedicated to user experience, Citrix has developed secure-by-design remote access solutions that make it simple for people to work the way they choose, anywhere and on any device, to deliver optimal productivity and business impact for their organizations.

Mobile workstyles bring remote access to the forefront

Not long ago, remote access was limited to a few types of workers, such as traveling executives and salespeople, while most people worked exclusively in the office on a wired network connection. This has changed dramatically in recent years, as the need for greater mobility and agility in business has led people to work in more places, and move more frequently among locations, than ever before. While remote access once required a dial-up connection, people can now connect instantly from anywhere on laptops and mobile devices. Simple, pervasive connectivity and device-independent computing have become central to the modern consumer lifestyle, and people increasingly expect similar mobility and flexibility in the way they work.

As more people connect in more places, on more types of devices, over more networks, the complexity of the remote access challenge grows enormously. It’s not enough for IT to think through its remote access strategy from the perspectives of administration and security; it’s equally important—and can be equally challenging—to ensure a consistent, high-quality user experience in every scenario. To be fully productive, people need to be able to get right to work on the devices they choose, anywhere they go, without frustrating security or usability roadblocks.

Growing user challenges with remote access

People often encounter changes in their user experience for remote access as they move across locations and devices. Instead of having a single, consistent way to work, as they did in the wired desktop days, they might need to learn one way to access resources within the office and another outside the office, and learn different interfaces for their laptops, tablets and smartphones. Internal company URLs might differ depending on whether the user is inside or outside the office. Remote users often have to authenticate through an SSL VPN, and might need to use different sets of credentials based on their current location and device.

Once people are connected, they can encounter significant differences in the way they can work as well. An employee working on a laptop in the office typically enjoys full access to their applications, while a mobile user may find many apps unavailable. Often, the ways employees interact with apps can vary by device as well. Most remote access solutions focus on making apps accessible on remote devices, but don’t address the usability implications of various device form factors. A solution or application that assumes the availability of a mouse, especially one with a right-click button, will be difficult or impossible to use on a tablet or mobile device offering only touch controls.

Data poses another set of challenges. Inside the office, data can be easily stored and shared in a corporate file share, but these internal network locations are often inaccessible from outside the firewall, or require people to learn new access methods. For users on mobile devices, the absence of the classic folder paradigm can make accessing and sharing files highly confusing, making it all too tempting to fall back on unmanaged consumer file sharing services beyond the security and control of IT.

Users may also create additional problems through their own activity. While many employees are becoming more savvy about technology in terms of devices and applications, this rarely extends to enterprise security. Assuming that security is IT’s job, many workers expect that the tools they use are secure by design—including their remote access solution—and might not think twice before downloading and running the latest apps on their smartphone or tablet while having an open connection to corporate resources. Educating employees about the risks inherent in various remote access scenarios, and what they should do to minimize them, would be an uphill battle with little chance of complete success. In effect, the assumption by users that their remote access is secure by design means that IT has to make sure that the solution is indeed secure by design.

To give people a remote access experience they’ll love, while meeting IT’s requirements for security and manageability, your remote access solution strategy should encompass:

  • A single point of self-service access for all the apps and data their work requires, with a consistent user experience across devices and locations
  • The ability to access IT services over any type of network connection without adding complexity for users or IT
  • A high-quality user experience no matter what type of device they choose to use
  • A simple, consistent remote access method regardless of whether they connect on an internal or external network
  • Convenient and secure data access, sync and sharing on any device in any location
  • Complete functionality for Windows applications and desktops on touch-screen devices

Delivering the best experience for remote users

Most enterprise technology providers develop solutions tailored strictly to the priorities of their buyers in the IT organization. While Citrix is no less focused on addressing requirements for security, control, manageability, efficiency and other IT considerations, we place equal emphasis on user experience. People are most productive, motivated and satisfied when empowered with a simple, high-quality experience no matter how or where they work. This helps them drive greater value for the business, as well as leverage the full value of the IT investments made on their behalf. Simply put, by making the user experience a priority in our product design, behavior and performance, we help people work better to deliver better results for their organizations.

By applying this user-centric focus in every aspect of the end-to-end experience, Citrix delivers a remote access solution people love. Key aspects include:

  • A single point of self-service access to apps and data via Citrix StoreFront. This provides users with a consistent, high-definition experience on any device, across any network, while IT gains a comprehensive single point of aggregation and control for all apps, data and users.
  • A secure-by-design architecture for desktop and application virtualization. With Citrix XenApp apps and data stay secure within the datacenter, and only mouse clicks and keystrokes traverse the network. This eliminates the need to create a tunnel from the secure corporate network to user devices on unsecure networks.
  • User independence in device, form factor and operating system with Citrix Receiver. The easy-to-use, easy-to-install Citrix Receiver universal client delivers a high-definition user experience by dynamically adjusting settings based on the user’s activity. This is enabled through Citrix HDX technologies including HDX MediaStream, which leverages endpoint processing power to render multimedia content; HDX VoIP optimization, which processes voice streams locally using advanced voice routing; and HDX RichGraphics and 3D Pro, which optimize the performance of media rich and graphics-intensive 2D and 3D applications
  • A consistent remote access method over any network. Unlike with a VPN solution, remote access works the same way whether the user is on an internal network or external network. In many cases, Citrix customers choose to treat every user—local or remote—as a remote user, allowing them to use the same Citrix access point and credentials no matter where they are working.
  • Easy data access, sharing and storage on any device, in any location. Citrix ShareFile provides a centralized repository for all of a user’s data, which remains protected within the datacenter. Remote users can access their data from any app or desktop, and share it securely with colleagues inside or outside the company, the same way they would inside the corporate network.
  • A touch-friendly experience for Windows apps and desktops. The Citrix Mobility Pack automatically re-skins Windows apps for tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. By tailoring the user interface and user input method according to the specific device being used, the Mobility Pack ensures an unimpaired, high-definition experience for on-the-go employees.
  • Secure access controls for data and apps through Citrix NetScaler Gateway with SmartAccess, which acts as a reverse proxy to encrypt remote access traffic and allow IT to dynamically adjust access levels by policy based on device configuration, location and user identity.


Remote access is quickly becoming a regular part of work for more and more people. By making user experience a top priority, Citrix delivers a solution that goes beyond simply enabling remote access to give people what they really need and want: simplicity, consistency and a high-definition experience no matter how or where they work. IT can fully address its requirements for security and manageability while delivering a solution people love, and would feel lost without. For the business, a more mobile and flexible workforce increases productivity and agility.

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