The Impact of Consumerization on End User Computing

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I can’t remember the last time I walked into a bank branch to deposit a check.

It’s a reflection of the incredible strides we’ve made in the past decade to perform tasks from increasingly mobile scenarios—in my case, using a mobile app to make bank deposits. This is a good example of consumerization changing my quality of life while providing new freedom. Consumerization is creating a major shift in user expectations which, in turn, is driving IT shops to think differently about how they deliver more simple and effective computing services to employees and customers.

Not long ago, my laptop was my go-to flying companion on business trips. Now, most of the time, all I need to get my work done is my smartphone. I’m not unique in this case; everywhere you look, you can see the effects of the consumerization of technology.

Today’s productivity tools look a lot like our favorite consumer devices. In a growing number of cases, they are the same device.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) plans are quickly becoming the business norm. Some analysts predict that, by the close of this year, nearly all large enterprises will offer some form of a BYOD or CYOD option to employees.

The effects of consumerization extend beyond devices. Business users also expect their business apps to behave like consumer apps. They want an app experience that follows them across devices, like Netflix. And they want to be able to toggle easily between an Internet experience and “on device” experience when connectivity isn’t available.

While end users are focused on simplicity, IT departments are more concerned with security and efficiency.

IT’s role is to ensure that company data and applications are protected as they move between devices and networks. This is accomplished today through unified endpoint management, which allows for security policy creation, implementation and authentication throughout the environment.

Unified endpoint management provides a single plane of control for security and access policies across all devices. In this way, users get the simplified and flexible access they need without compromising security and compliance. Unified doesn’t mean uniform; every enterprise will have their own timetables and requirements as part of their BYOD/CYOD strategy. For example, some enterprises may adopt a hands-off approach, letting users pick any device and manage it themselves, while others may limit the choice of devices but let users manage it, and still other enterprises may dictate the device type and manage the policies themselves.

Whichever method an enterprise chooses—low, medium or high device control—business applications will need to reside in or be delivered through a secure digital workspace.

This method has many benefits for the enterprise:

  • It allows users to access applications from a variety of devices;
  • It increases security posture and mitigates risk;
  • It lowers IT’s operational management costs;
  • It increases employee satisfaction and allows enterprises to adopt flex/remote work schedules;
  • It delivers a much faster onboarding/offboarding experience with minimal IT effort.

A secure digital workspace can be hosted in the data center or in the cloud. The key to success isn’t where it’s contained, but rather where the application’s back end resides and what it contains. Specifically, a secure digital workspace should feature:

  • An application delivery platform that can push apps to any device in any location;
  • A single application portal with one sign-in for all apps, whether they reside on premise or in the cloud;
  • Security intelligence that provides proactive alerts and analyzes user behavior to spot threats;
  • Secure wipe functionality to ensure that a personal device can be freed of any company data or apps without risk of personal data loss on the same device;
  • Security and policy enforcement across every device that protects enterprise data and upholds compliance/regulatory requirements.

There are several methods for creating a secure digital workspace.

You can piece it together from different vendor applications by taking a best-of-breed approach, or you can build it from a single, unified suite featuring VMware applications. By combining VMware’s Identity Manager, Horizon Suite and AirWatch products, enterprises have everything they need to support and deliver a secure digital workspace. For additional security such as East-West firewall protection, enterprises can add VMware NSX to microsegment their network and safeguard it against ransomware and other cyber attacks.

The goal of a secure digital workspace is ultimately to consolidate and hide the complexity of technology from the user, so they can focus on being a technology consumer rather than a technology manager. If you’d like to learn more, call us and we’ll be happy to arrange a free demonstration of VMware Workspace One for your business. You can also see a product demonstration in my recent webinar, Digital Workspace Delivery. ▪