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Cortado: The Next Frontier for IT: Post-PC Era, BYOD and the Cloud

 

What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2012? Find out in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

The Next Frontier for IT: Post-PC Era, BYOD and the Cloud

Contributed Article by Henning Volkmer - President & CEO, Cortado, Inc.

As we look back at 2011 and analyze what we have learned and experienced, a few things clearly stand out from the masses:  

1)   The PC is no longer our go-to device.

2)   There is no way to avoid the cloud and there is no reason not to embrace it.

3)   Users are looking to use new, mobile devices. Mobility is no longer the trend of the future. It's already here.

4)   IT organizations need to find ways to adapt to the BYOD trend. 

What does that mean for the IT professional? At first glance, it might look like IT is burdened with new, additional duties as users make demands that can't possibly be compliant with company policy. 

In order to keep up with the evolving user demands, we need to take a step back and re-define how IT works. After all, the end users are still looking to the IT professionals for advice. This poses a tremendous chance for IT to be a positive driver and make a company's business better. In 2012, IT will no longer be known as "those guys who locked down my browser home page" but instead will become "those guys who let me do business where I need it, when I need it and on the device I like." 

Taking Advantage of Mobile Devices

If end users stepped in the IT pros' shoes for one day, they would probably see several benefits of a traditional IT environment that they like and would miss. There are printers set up and well maintained around campus, file servers and databases that house all the knowledge collected from the company's customers and the projects worked on. When they log into their computers, they are assigned the resources they need for work.  But how can this traditional setup compete with new tablets, smartphones and iMacs?  

Of course, the desire to use tablets and smartphones goes beyond their immediate appeal with hip case designs and easy to use interfaces. These devices also offer a great business value as they increase mobility and ability to do business wherever and whenever a customer desires, decrease setup and
maintenance efforts and lastly, increase the ability to use the device that is right for a task.  

What IT organizations need is a gateway that helps them link all those devices to their existing, proven infrastructure via the cloud.  At the same time, IT needs ways to ensure they know which devices they allow to access the IT services and set minimal standards for security and supervision.

Finding the Right Approach

As IT pros are evaluating possible solutions that help them take on these challenges, it seems most obvious to look at the technology they are already familiar with and project it to one of the mobile devices using some form of remotely accessed virtual desktop.  However, there are two great disadvantages to this approach. First, it requires the users to be constantly online and use an interface made for a mouse, a keyboard and a 22" screen on a 7" touch screen device.  It is obvious that this will not work for the majority of users, and they will look for a way around it. IT spends tremendous amounts of time and money to build a solution that workers will not want to use and there is no way to keep them from finding a more user friendly way to work. 

The next step seems to be to allow "secure containers" on the devices, allowing the users to do anything they want as long as it is inside the container controlled by IT. While this approach seems simple, the reality is that workers find the containers pretty empty and boring when it comes to usability.  To find new and more convenient ways to work, they will break out of the container and IT will lose control over the corporate data. 

IT needs a solution that combines the best of both worlds - a strong understanding of IT requirements and needs with a user-centric view of flexible, easy to use, device-independent interface. 

While today there are only a few solutions that can truly bridge the IT and user needs and enable them both to feel in control, we will see more in 2012. With the right approach, IT departments will remain fully in control of software distribution, policy management, device inventory, security management and activity reporting/tracking. This can be done without interfering with any of the users' desires to use the device of their choice while being securely connected to corporate resources such as file servers, databases, print services or corporate web applications, Smartphones and tablets are best served by  deploying native applications to connect users and devices to the enterprise cloud, while PCs and Macs find HTML5 based applications of highest value. 

IT Back in the Driver's Seat

Regardless of which solution you will chose to deploy, don't lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish. You have a great opportunity to be known as the IT organization that helped their company build the best possible business equipped for all future challenges with a significant competitive edge and stable growth. 

While this is not a small task, it can be done. All it takes is for the IT to move forward and not get left behind is to take some calculated risks. There is no need for IT to leave doors wide open without supervision. Instead, an open door with tight monitoring of who is going in and out can lead to a path with amazing possibilities. 

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About the Author

Henning Volkmer - President & CEO, Cortado, Inc.  

Henning Volkmer is the president and CEO of Cortado, Inc., driving the execution of the company's strategy as the leading innovator of the business class of cloud desktop services across the Americas.  Volkmer has established a broad technological background and has been at the forefront of mobile technology trends for the past seventeen years. In addition to holding various positions within the Cortado group, Volkmer served as part of a project team focused on reducing costs in the network infrastructure division with what is now Nokia Siemens Network.  Under Volkmer's direction, ThinPrint brand has increased its lead as the premier print management software, while Cortado brand has become recognized as a pioneer business solution, shaping the future of the cloud desktop.  Originally from Berlin, Germany, Henning currently resides in Denver, CO.   

Published Thursday, December 01, 2011 6:30 AM by David Marshall
Comments
VMblog.com - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - January 4, 2012 7:08 AM

I'd like to personally welcome each and every one of you to the start of 2012! As we begin what will certainly prove to be a fantastic new year, I wanted to make sure to thank all of the loyal member's and readers of VMblog.com. Once again, with the help

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