An interesting shift has taken place with the proliferation of tablets (i.e. iPads) and smartphones (Android, iPhone) – PCs are no longer the preferred device.
People have realized that tablets and smartphones provide a touch interface that’s fantastic for consuming content (i.e. casual web browsing, social media, video, games, email) while also providing portabilitity and constant connectivity. They also typically have a longer lasting battery and easily tuck away when traveling. These unique benefits have driven tablet and smartphones sales through the roof, at the expense of Windows PC sales (which have fallen off a proverbial cliff).
Yet, despite these strengths, tablets and smartphones are not great for typing up lengthy documents, editing large graphics, running accounting apps, and the like. For such use cases, the traditional Windows PC (likely Windows XP) sitting on each employee’s desk is a preferred device.
In short, a hybrid device approach is key to success for anyone wanting to service the IT needs of a modern, mobilized workforce. That’s why thousands of businesses are allowing staff to use their own devices for business use. But that can be a risky proposition…
That’s because there can be false savings in offloading the costs of company owned computers by allowing staff to BYOD (bring your own device). BYOD rails against the very things that help reduce IT management costs – namely, device conformity and software standardization. IT management costs can quickly balloon if IT staff are faced with having to support a plethora of devices and operating systems using their existing tools. To effectively support a hybrid device approach, an investment in VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) technologies like Citrix Xenapp, XenDesktop, or VMware View is required.
Furthermore, there is a significant risk of data loss due to the fact that almost nobody uses full device encryption on personal devices and most people use inherently insecure, public WiFi hotspots. Many staff, in frustration, are quietly turning to consumer based file sharing systems (i.e. DropBox) that don’t adequately secure corporate data or provide any accountability.
What’s needed is a unifying experience that:
- Allows staff to safely BYOD, without compromising security, from wherever they happen to be
- Provides staff with the flexibility to use whichever device makes sense to them and their use cases
- Provides a consistent user experience, regardless of device or location
- Isn’t going to incur huge capital costs, perpetual licensing costs, or staff retraining costs
Citrix powered hosted desktops and apps, combined with an enterprise file sharing and sync (EFSS) platform, provide that unified experience.
So, when the use case demands a touch interface for content consumption, staff can turn to their BYOD tablet or smartphone.
When staff need to quickly view company documents, a BYOD tablet or smartphone can be used to access the EFSS directly. Or, alternatively, staff can seamlessly run a remote Windows app right from their tablet or smartphone.
When staff want to work from a PC or Mac, using a full keyboard and mouse, they can run a Cloud Desktop or run individual Cloud Apps.
Regardless of use case or selected device, a hosted Cloud Computing infrastructure will ensure encrypted and secure communications, flexibility, and a consistent user experience that’s simple to use. Afterall, BYOD isn’t about device ownership, it’s about flexibility.
Shameless plug: by selecting VCIT Consulting as your hosting partner, you can forego any IT infrastructure costs and risky in-house VDI projects and instead lean on a team of VDI experts who’ve been providing hosted cloud apps and desktops since 2006.