How can technologist transition with the mobility movement?

N2ITN2IT Senior MemberInactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
How can a technologist keep current on mobility? It seems IT budgets are growing for this wave of BYOD. How can someone get ahead of this wave and ride it?

I am just looking for some suggestions. This with Virtualized desktops seems to be a heavy trend coming to fruition. I know of several environments that have halted purchasing laptops and desktops and have gone the WYSE terminals and other dumb terminal devices.

It really looks like laptops and desktops are going away.

Comments

  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Stayed at a Holiday Inn.. Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Great thread! I've been thinking about this lately and can't wait to see the responses.
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  • N2ITN2IT Senior Member Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Grinch it's exciting in some regards.

    I've read somewhere that asset management departments are scaling back the purchasing of laptops and desktops. Devices went from 3 - 5 - no specific date on EOL machines. It's at the point now that some entire business units of companies are going to VDI using a WYSE terminal no bigger than a 1980's garage door remote :)

    All our conference rooms are set up on VDI and we are moving towards that technology.

    Exciting times!
  • ptilsenptilsen Junior Starcraft Engineer Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Focus on the server-side and network-side technologies. As I was just saying in the other thread, mobility itself doesn't matter. Laptops, thin clients, desktops, smartphones, tablets, etc. are fundamentally the same when it comes to application delivery. You learn how to deliver solutions regardless of the client. As far as management goes, mobility makes things easier, if anything. MDM solutions actually make systems administration less complicated in the day-to-day. It might be more complicated in the design and implementation, but the overall ongoing costs are going to decrease.

    I really think everything is going towards pure session and desktop virtualization. Take any device and connect it to your virtual desktop or session server (RDSH/XenApp) and run your Windows app. Sure, there will still be some physical PCs running Windows apps and there will still be native iOS and Android apps. Even there, you augment the physical with virtual and you get the same capabilities no matter the hardware. I also think those native client-side apps are going to get lighter and lighter, being more or less just interfaces for entirely server-side (or cloud-side, if you will) data. Software development and graphic design may be the exceptions, but even those are going to shift somewhat. The day programs like CAD work without drawbacks on a reasonably priced RDSH or VDI solution is the day we might seriously discuss the death of the desktop.

    Technologists need to have wide knowledge of how applications can be delivered to different platforms and how the platforms can be effectively integrated. The answer is not specialization in specific client platforms, however; it is becoming more adaptable, with strong foundations in server-side technologies and concepts. The differences between Mac and Windows clients as well as iOS and Android clients need to be treated as trivial and irrelevant. One may have its advantages in a given situation, and we may have our preferences, but our focus as professionals should not be on a specific client-side platform. The client side is adapting too quickly and becoming too varied for that, and we need to be able adapt with it.
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  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Stayed at a Holiday Inn.. Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    We've discussed VDI for our enrollment department since all their software at this point is web based. I'd personally like to do it because it tends to be a pain when one of their machines dies and we have to transfer files etc. I have to agree that client will matter less and less as the years go on. With that being said, I don't think we are there quite yet. I've worked with Citrix and their mobile app is painful on the best of days. We've had issues and their response was "well it's in beta"...yup let me tell the client I'm supporting that after the CTO said they could do X with it. Currently, I try to let people know that while there are a lot of things you can do with <name mobile device> it isn't a full computer just yet. We are also looking at moving a lot more people to laptops instead of desktops, so that's mobile I suppose lol.

    But a good example would be the following. We have reps who do visits to push people to go to our college. Each one is equipped with two iPads (3G) and of course their laptop. If people are interested, they fill out a form on the iPad and it is instantly uploaded to our server where leads are kept. From there it is automatically imported to Salesforce and a few other programs. What happens if there is no connection? Form is stored locally until one is found and uploaded automatically. One rep left his laptop in his rental car while in DC. We had new ones imaged, but restoring files usually takes a bit of time. He jumped on his iPad and when I brought over his replacement laptop he said he probably could do just about everything from his iPad.
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  • rwmidlrwmidl Worldwide AvailabilityMember Posts: 807 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I really think that being able to leverage BYOD with the security requirements of the company is going to be important and quite possibly overlooked.
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  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Stayed at a Holiday Inn.. Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    This has been a source of contention for us as we move toward BYOD. Currently we are expending a ton of money on Blackberries and our reps don't like carrying two phones everywhere. The issue we are facing is how much can you restrict the users when it is technically their device? We are looking at giving them a set amount each month for their bill. Since it wouldn't amount to paying for the entire bill, I question how much we can limit things on their device. Times are changing and I don't like the idea of having to support a hodgepodge of devices. Also, I suspect most users will cheap out on their bill and complain when our answer to an issue is "you'll have to go to the <carrier here> store and speak with them." Plus, Verizon has been good about replacing our Blackberries when they have issues. I dread the day when someone drops their iPhone and due to the lack of insurance has to purchase a new phone.
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  • rwmidlrwmidl Worldwide AvailabilityMember Posts: 807 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I'm really torn on this as well. On one hand, it is your personal device. On the other hand, you are connecting to corporate resources. At a minimum, I believe you can say we support the following devices with the following OS and higher (ex: iPhone 4 with iOS 5.x.x) If you have an iPhone 3 or supported hardware but the incorrect OS you are SOL.
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  • AhriakinAhriakin SupremeNetworkOverlord Member Posts: 1,799 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Virtualization with strong DLP backing it up. Include some kind of agent on end user devices, even their own, that allows selective remote wiping of company data when needed - this should be part of your company resource access policy, that they can use their own device but they have to sign up to having this agent installed.
    We responded to the Year 2000 issue with "Y2K" solutions...isn't this the kind of thinking that got us into trouble in the first place?
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    My company doesn't care as long as we can wipe it and force company policy to it. They can do whatever they want after that. Currently we support BB and iPhone/iPad. Sometime either this year or next we will be adding Android. It felt strange at first, but there was no point in fighting it.
  • paul78paul78 Senior Member Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Personally, I'm not willing to support BYOD where I work until the technology and legal issues have a bit more traction. It's just too messy right now for the various reasons that everyone stated. And I've just not seen any evidence that the ROI on implementing the controls are there.

    However, that said - I would love to see VDI as a means to reduce real-estate expenses and implement remote access. In that scenario, a BYOD is irrelevant since the technology seems quite mature and the ability to control DLP is better. But that is largely a cultural issue - not technology. Having mostly remote workers and hotel-ing type offices may offer some enticing work-life benefits (no commuting, work from the beach icon_smile.gif, etc.) But it drastically changes work dynamics and the lost of face-to-face interaction cannot be understated.
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