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Rethinking BYOD with application virtualisation and remote desktop services

Eugenio Ferrante, General Manager, Parallels Asia Pacific | July 3, 2015
Solutions that utilise centralised server software to administer apps and other mobile resources may provide the control we need in mobile computing.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Today, I'm using my own iPhone and iPad for work and play, and am looking forward to exploring how I can use the new Apple Watch for work, too. I don't think I'm alone in integrating a myriad of different platforms and devices into my work place.

Between the complexity of managing your laptop, tablet, phone, (and now smartwatch), IT departments will doubtlessly have to be wary of even more unmanaged devices entering their corporate networks and accessing their applications.

Because of this, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement is an even more important concern for IT. In particular, an effective adoption of BYOD in a small and medium businesses can have a significant impact on business results.

Many enterprises have already adopted BYOD policy in their IT environments, whether in part or in full, to manage or control what devices employees can use for work. But as complexity increases, so too will different models of BYOD implementations emerge, since IT is never one-size-fits-all.

In discussing the merits of various BYOD systems with our customers and partners, I came to the realisation that conversations tend to circle around comparing various mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management strategies.

On the other hand, clear thinking along the lines of application virtualisation and remote desktop services often gets overlooked.

To provide an overview, application virtualisation and remote desktop services, such as the Parallels 2X Remote Application Server, are cost-effective, secure, and reliable IT solutions that allows employees to access corporate apps and data through a wide variety of modern mobile devices, greatly enhancing productivity and collaboration.

Simply put, these solutions utilise centralised server software to enable systems administrators to deliver individual applications, documents, desktops, virtual desktops, and other resources that are hosted on a centralised private cloud to any remote mobile or desktop device — be it Windows, iOS, or Android.

For example, in an education institution, such a solution will easily allow teachers and students to connect to the network of applications and data on their own devices, no matter what platforms (really, no matter, including from the Raspberry Pi) they prefer to conduct lessons and complete homework on. Educators will easily be able to publish lesson materials and centrally manage the apps that are delivered to students, and the students will be able to access these materials and complete their homework on their favourite device of choice.

Virtualised applications and remote desktops offer a variety of business benefits, and BYOD support is the first obvious advantage. Employees can choose to use any device they like, and immediately start to get productive without having to wait for IT to complete procurement, testing, and set-up. Just install the remote access client, hook it up to the server, and they can hit the ground running.

When employees use their own personal devices that they prefer, your business will save both money and headaches on system administration and expensive hardware, software, and licensing.

In short, by making BYOD and related IT implementations possible with solutions like Parallels' solution, businesses will not have to spend large amounts of money to upgrade their networks and software in order to ensure compatibility with every possible device and operating system.As all corporate apps and data are stored only on the central private cloud, enterprises can retain full control of what their employees' accesses on their devices, wherever they access it from.

As we head into the second half of this decade, enterprises grappling with BYOD-related IT challenges will be doing themselves a disservice if they do not explore and leverage the potential of application virtualisation and remote desktop services.

These solutions are cost-effective, secure, and reliable, and they have the potential to more than adequately address the complications brought about by the deepening consumerisation of IT, continued explosion of users and data, and growing business demands.

 

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