Mobile Devices & BYOD – Bring Your Own Desktop?
The plethora of mobile devices with smartphones and tablets leading the wave of a new era of computing, CIOs and IT managers wake up to a nightmare i.e. mobile management. Mobile management spans both, the platform or the mobile devices and content which in the case of enterprises would be sensitive business data which an employee accesses and perhaps stores on the mobile device.
PC sales are in slump while mobile devices have made their inroads, landing right into the hands of consumers around the globe and then strategically seeping into the enterprise. This has left CIOs scrambling to grasp the reality of the modern enterprise where mobile will eventually become the centerpiece in IT – not dedicated workstations, PCs or laptops.
Cloud’s deep penetration into the enterprise is a reality, serving enterprise applications directly from the Cloud has become a reality, delivering on the promises of increased productivity and cost reductions in IT operations. One of the primary implications of this paradigm shift has been the separation of “dedicated PC/laptop” from enterprise application/s of the enterprise employee. This would mean that organizations would no longer be able to have tighter controls on what devices they allow at workplace, probably due to popular demand and the fact that employees will, in any case bring their own mobile devices to work.
Desktop on the Cloud
Beyond these “enterprise applications”, there’s a shift of the whole workstation to the Cloud. With advances in desktop virtualization, there are now a range of new services and startups focusing on providing desktop virtualization solutions to consumer as well as enterprise users. From the perspective of an IT manager, serving the desktop through the Cloud to any mobile device which has a “thin client” app installed is a better position to be in, compared to apps, for example, CRM being accessed from a personal mobile device. When you serve the desktop through the Cloud, you give access to the processing power and a familiar (PC) experience to the users, not to mention the support for not-so-old (I’m not saying ‘legacy’ just yet) enterprise applications. Perhaps, cloud desktop could help transition to true mobile – enterprise applications served through the Cloud with frameworks and policies in place for data security.
Mobile Management –Device and Data
Mobile management spans both data and device and combines, it presents a formidable challenge, one which the industry has yet to respond to and with the market for enterprise mobile applications expected to grow to a $55BB market by 2016, the demand for managing the devices and the data they feed on will only surge. In terms of ensuring safe and secure access and usage of data living on the mobile devices, there will never be one-solution-fits-all option.
Mobile Management, Increased Productivity and Cost Reduction
The notion that the entire or significant part of the enterprise workplace going mobile, IT infrastructure costs will naturally decline may be true but only when you look at one side of the equation. When you factor in the increase in mobile management costs for example, the story of cost reductions does not hold true. This is evident in a survey by ComputerWorld which concluded that in 2011, there were 2.9 IT workers per 1,000 mobile devices. Last year this grew to 3.6 and this year, an estimated 4 dedicated IT workers will be needed for every 1,000 mobile devices. This reflects the growing need to manage mobile, both devices and data.
By Robert Smith