Demise of the desktop [continued…]

February 8, 2010

Some of you may remember one of my recent blog posts “2010: Demise of the desktop?” well, a recent report by business consultancy Deloitte, published in Computer Weekly, supports my sentiment. The article states that companies will increasingly allow their workers to choose their own devices to link into the corporate network. Interesting to note it also supports the idea of a self-maintenance or ‘car allowance’ type agreement that will help to drive adoption.

I think adoption of Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD) will see organisations drive applications through web services or a common architecture ‘shop window’ like a browser. There is also the possibility to use a terminal server or desktop emulation software to ensure the processing stays within the organisations data centre. Exciting stuff!

However, the first hurdle in any move toward HVD is the perceived risk associated with loss of control. These risks include; security of your company’s network and data, as well as the means of accessing your company’s electronic assets; after all the information contained within these networks is the life blood of any organisation?

So how does a company lay down enough governance to protect itself? Well, one way of course is for organisations to continue to dictate security standards i.e. making it compulsory for staff to run Anti Virus (AV) software. But moving to HVD definitely needs wider consideration – it’s a potential mine field of regulation and risk. But once standards and policies are in place, I believe there are real business benefits to be enjoyed.

So what would your top three considerations for governance in providing the ability for you to adopt the notion of employee ‘self provision’ for access to corporate compute resources?

I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to use my Apple laptop for work or maybe in a few years even an iPad!


Snowed in but logged on!

January 12, 2010

Well what a start to the year! It seems like everyone has been experiencing some sort of extreme weather! In most cases it’s proved a challenge for people to get to work. Last Wednesday, just like most of the UK, I was stuck at home; snowed in – car unable to move. Those with a 4×4 may have found themselves in a privileged position – able to at least get out of their drive!

Over the last week you could not ignore the continued weather reports in the media. Twitter streams such as #uksnow also provided instant updates on the weather throughout the UK.

Even our friends in Oz have been affected by extreme weather with Melbourne experiencing its hottest temperatures since 1908!

So how was it for you? How prepared was your company in either providing access to computer systems or alternative offices/transport during this peak of extreme weather? Lucky for me, my company has excellent plans in place for such events and all systems are securely available through the internet – so I was ok working from home. The cogs continued to turn; our operational teams were all in place, our data centres were manned, everything was working as normal.

However, not everyone is as fortunate. If you look at a report published after last year’s snow by the federation of small business (FSB), one in five people (a total of 6.4 million workers) could not make it to work – denting the UK’s economy at an estimated £1.2billion! Reports on the front pages of some news papers suggest that this year the cost is expected to be ten times higher! So how can you keep your business up and running and ensure that not extreme weather conditions don’t affect you?

This question leads me back to my recent post on hosted virtual desktop (HVD) [see the demise of the desktop]. The opportunities discussed in that post empower staff to access your systems anytime, anywhere. Therefore, HVD provides an effective solution to the issues of extreme weather and lost productivity.

Of course, you would need to have access to the technologies that enable you to ‘swing’ your IT and provide an ‘access anywhere’ service to necessary stakeholders e.g. employees and suppliers. But as long as employees have a half decent internet connection at home, you would be able to continue to deliver service to your customers…

In 2010 more organisations should start to pilot technology like HVD within a cloud/Infrastructure-as-a-Service … surely extreme weather alone is now a serious case for deployment? What’s your thoughts?

2010: The Demise of the Desktop!?

December 17, 2009

2010 will be an interesting year for the IT market.  All predictions for future tech trends will only be successful at the right price, yes price… New trends will need to be value for money; show great ROI (return on investment) and demonstrate sustainable TCO (total cost of ownership).

Bar predicting (hoping) my team Tottenham Hotspur does well in the league … Let’s look at what could possibly become more than a pilot, idea or POC (proof of concept). Here are two ideas to start with that I think will be big trends:

1. More companies moving to Office web apps in the cloud, like Microsoft Azure, Google Apps for example, and…

2. The demise of the ‘traditional’ desktop – a move to hosted HVD (Hosted Virtual Desktop) driven office technology environments!

Let me explain my thinking behind this second one…Companies in 2010 will look to ‘buy into’ cheaper technology to ‘lower’ cost of entry.  As a possible alternative they could even think about providing a ‘car allowance’ type proposition to their staff where the employer provides the employee a monthly payment to ‘subsidise’ their own laptop or netbook and utilise HVD to connect into the companies centralised desktop infrastructure.

OK maybe radical thinking but 2009 has seen companies desperate to keep hold of their capital.  Could providing monthly payments in relation to the cost of running the business start to see such a prediction take off in 2010?

I myself would be more than happy to have an allowance and take ‘ownership’ of my own platform of choice and the maintenance associated with that device… but of course I’d say that – I am a techie! Does it work for everyone?  I am not so sure – I know security and control will be a big factor to consider but organisations are already going down the road of “self-support” for desktop users.

 So, let’s think about security – lots of ‘private’ devices connecting to a company network every Monday at 9am? Could you just open up the office network to be pure Internet access and have all the companies systems ‘zoned’ securely in the data centre. Employees could connect over an SSL (Secure Socket Layer), for example, over VPN (Virtual Private Network) to the hosted HVD environment?

 Could we start to see a progression to HVD? Where it’s not just the ‘bleeding edge’ organisations that take steps towards the demise of the desktop?

 What are your thoughts, would it work for you? Or more importantly, why wouldn’t it work for you? Will it be a tech trend that becomes common in the workplace? Over to you!!