Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Excerpts from IEEE Cloud Presentation July 2011 on Cloud Concerns at Large Enterprises

Recently I presented at the IEEE Cloud Concerns Panel in Washington DC in July 2011.
   Large Enterprise concerns regarding the public Cloud revolve around three main issues: (a) Security (b) Performance and Reliability and (c) Cost.
   My presentation addressed strategies that can be adopted to deal with these concerns.
   Excerpts can be accessed at http://www.scribd.com/doc/60405768/Cloud-Concerns-Excerpts-for-Blogs

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bring Your Equipment (BYOE)

Its the next logical step in consumerization of IT.

Before the smart phone revolution, IT departments dictated what devices could come to the workplace and connect to corporate networks. Then the iPhones and Androids and personal Blackberries changed all that. iPads re-wrote even any of the remaining rules from the old era. Senior Management wanted iPads and IT was not going to stand in the way.

Now the consumerization of IT has reached a point where some hitherto forbidden questions are being asked openly. Why cant I bring my personal laptop to work ? (because you know, I have a faster, bigger, more stylish laptop that I like carrying around vs the corporate, drab, standard issue from Dell, IBM or HP) ?

Progressive IT management is no longer saying that is out of the question. They are turning this question around: How can we benefit from this trend ? How can we make this a win-win for both our users and for our organizations.

What if we gave users a fixed stipend at the time they joined the company and repeated every say three years to cover the cost of a laptop and dock etc. The user would get what they liked and perhaps augment the stipend with some personal spending and get the laptop of their dreams. The user in turn takes on the task of maintenance of the laptop and its support.

Well then, how do you maintain Security and Support for all those different form factors ? Isnt that terribly expensive ? The answer lies in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Corporations can setup what essentially comes down to Virtualization Hardware farms running software form VMWare, Microsoft or Citrix and project a standard desktop on to the personal laptop, ensuring that all corporate activity happens within this sandbox, with no leakage of data to the outside of the sandbox. Standard desktop image and standardized support within the sandbox. For support outside the sandbox, the user is invited to talk to the vendor that they got the laptop from.

So what is stopping this trend from taking off ? Two things

  1. The Economics of Virtual DesktopVirtualization(VDI) has not yet become attractive for this to work. However as scale goes up and this technology gets commoditized the prices will come down as they always do in IT. 
  2. IT departments are not quite ready internally to take on this task, change is difficult and will be slow in coming.
Expect some early adopter moves in 2012 aqd more mainstream adoption in 2013.