Cloudy Data…..

I was recently reading an article in CIO magazine that stated some facts about clouds (public, private and personal), devices and Consumerization of IT .  It was pretty interesting to see comparative data from the past year, some survey of current IT and End Users, and some predictions about the upcoming IT landscape.  I thought I would share a few.

Five Year Plans – CIO Magazine surveyed (no reference data in the article, but was published in their April issue).  The question posed was; ‘What are your expectations for cloud computing over the next five years?’

  • 38% – Only a few IT Operations will be in the cloud
  • 31% – The majority of our IT Operations will be n the cloud
  • 17% – We’ll limit our cloud activity to private clouds
  • 8% – We’ll limit our cloud activity to software as a service

Another question they asked was this.  ‘Do departments and business units consult IT before buying cloud services?’

  • 62% – Always (it is required)
  • 28% – Often or sometimes
  • 6% – Rarely or never

As popular as CIOs believe Cloud solutions are, and as powerful and as agile as they appear to be, security is a major concern still.  6 out of 10 US companies have at least 1 application in the cloud.  71% expect to increase their IT spend on cloud in the next 12 months.  64% agreed that cloud takes a hit on cost in the short term, but is cheaper in the long run.  What’s their biggest driver for cloud investment?  Business continuity.  Others ranked highest as speed of deployment, flexibility to react to market, and support.

Some other interesting data points from the issue:

  • 35% Employee who report less paper consumption at their companies
  • 8% US airline passengers that use a tablet in the air
  • 31% online ads never seen by consumers
  • 55% of CIOs who wont develop a mobile app this year
  • 40% more revenue was generated by BlackBerry apps than Android Apps
  • 115 Kindles Amazon sells for every 100 paperbacks (wow)
  • And if anyone thought Consumerization wasn’t real.  In December 2011, Cisco surveyed 2800 people under the age of 29.

7 out of 10 employees who are aware of their companies IT policies acknowledge breaking the rules.  Most common reasons for dancing around IT:

  • They don’t believe they are doing anything wrong
  • The need for unauthorized applications for work (we are all guilty here, including me)
  • IT Policies are not enforced
  • Too busy to think about policies
  • Policies are inconvenient to follow

Stay classy…….

J

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Categories: Uncategorized

CoD: The Consumerization of Data

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

As everyone crawls back to work after their Christmas holidays, and people get back to productivity in the office, every IT Manager’s nightmare is being realized.  It has been coined the ‘Digital Holiday Season’ and 2011 was a record year. 

The biggest electronics purchase season has just passed, and users everywhere are carrying new gadgets in their bags.  These are not just music players, this generation of devices are far more powerful, and carry capabilities that encompass real world work features.  According to the Consumer Electronics Association, consumer electronics will account for 1/3 of holiday spending and manufacturers in the U.S. will ship more than 72 million wireless-capable devices.  With the average price of these being $246.00USD, one can quickly see these are internet enabled, personal devices with a large list of use cases.  Those use cases include mobile scenarios at work.

From the perspective of IT departments, this is the worst time of the year for these guys.  These devices are connecting to corporate services like mail, and even in some cases line of business applications.  Not all of the corporate workloads are rigged for device experiences, or the support of mobile apps.  But what are people doing on their personal device of preference?  Accessing, consuming, sharing and even creating data.  Enter the world of the Consumerization of Data: CoD.

Today’s Dropbox generation of users and devices are not only technically wired to use alternate form factors to the classic PC for data access, they now expect it.  They don’t involve IT in the process, and they expect to be able to simply get their data.  Need an app to use that data?  Their app store is a consumer experience portal (like Apple’s App Store) , or their search engine.  Productivity has evolved beyond the classic laptop.

So what’s wrong with the scenario?  Well, to the end user, nothing.  They have easy access to most of what they need on their device they prefer.  They chose it, and they are making it work with or without IT.  To the IT Department?  Everything.  The more one looks into the implications of alternate form factors, the worse it gets.  Security, Privacy, Compliance, and Regulatory enforcement are just a few.  Data transported to unmanaged, personal (non corporate asset) devices through public clouds carries significant risk.  The evolution of Consumer IT is a reality, and it’s a problem. 

Take for example the Stored Communications Act.  When it comes to cloud storage, or free services, this can be a crisis for users and their data.  According to SCA, once a user submits content to a cloud service, they relinquish their rights to retrieve, protect or control that data.  The bottom line, cloud based storage of data is a security, privacy and regulatory risk. 

What are vendors doing about it?  So far, only some progress.  Lets go over what we know.

Citrix announced at Synergy 2011 in Barcelona the closure of their acquisition of ShareFile in addition to enhancements to their Receiver technology for what they term ‘Follow Me Data Fabric’ .  (Demo video from keynote).  In addition, the enhancements to GoToMeeting with Workspaces provides a collab platform for virtual teams to work together – in the cloud.

VMware continues to develop Octopus, their solution to the DropBox generation.  Designed for public or private clouds, and designed to share with corporate colleagues, or external contacts.  Announced at VMworld in Aug 2011, the scene has been relatively quiet with only a few blogs and social streams picking up news on it since. 

Microsoft has continued to make available Windows Live Mesh, a new generation consumer version of a product they originally acquired several years ago called Foldershare.  Yours truly here has been a dedicated user of this service for personal backup through replication, but it is not the collaboration tool that a drop box brings to the stage.  The world awaits what will come to the market on Widows 8, but so far Follow Me Data seems a stretch, let alone supporting scenarios beyond a Windows centric platform.

The others.  Dropbox, Box, Zumodrive and even Sharepoint all carry collaboration capabilities and have low cost entry points.  Many of us are registered with these services today, using various combinations to share data with others either at work or socially.  It is inconsistent, expensive (jammed with hidden or decentralized costs) and lacks consistent security, regulatory or corporate compliance.  None of these services here are managed by my IT department. 

So what is the answer?  A balance between IT, Consumerization trends, and user acceptance that the fix wont get in the way.  Users wont tolerate those pain points yet IT needs to deliver something that satisfies and protects with no impact. 

What an interesting space.  2012 certainly seems like the year of CoD.

Keep sharing, stay classy

Jeff Wettlaufer
Sr. Director, Product Marketing, RES Software

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Categories: Uncategorized

A Quick look at BDA Sample Files

Hi everyone, if you are ever wondering about what apps, printers, networks, screen resolutions and more that your users are experiencing, you should check out the Baseline Desktop Analyzer from RES Software.  BDA is a free, online, Azure Based service that provides you the ability to sample systems, and view these in report format.

The BDA sample exercise creates an encrypted file that the Admin can store wherever they choose.  Locally on the sampled PC, or centrally in a network share.  These can then be uploaded, where Azure analyzes the data.  The reports are created in PDF file format, and can be downloaded for offline reference.

The sample files also have another use.  These sample files can be imported directly into Workspace Manager, or Workspace Manager Express to assist in creating Workspaces.  The result is that the Admin can understand what their users are doing, and incorporate that into their workspace deployments.

I created a short video on how this all works.  Enjoy……

Jeff Wettlaufer
Sr. Director, Product Marketing, RES Software

 

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Categories: BDA, demo Tags:

2012: The Year of Context-aware ITaaS

imageHappy New Year.  Recently I guest blogged on VMBlog.com about the upcoming year in our industry and what it means to the RES portfolio. Here are some highlights.

With the increasing adoption of devices such as smartphones, tablets, touch sensitive screens and sub compact, ultra portable hardware, enterprises are going to realize that their employees are using these to access data and applications throughout the day. Android, Windows 7 (with the launch of Windows 8) and iOS all have enterprise and consumer experiences people desire. The biggest point of disruption to the IT department is Christmas, as new technology floats into the hands of corporate users. Where IT does not have a solution, niche point providers found across the internet deliver free of charge, or at one-off price points acceptable to the user. The Enterprise app store becomes the Search Engine.

The consumerization of IT is a reality, and in order for IT to maintain security, compliance, collaboration and mobile working scenario support, they will embrace IT as a Service, enabling users to work where they want on their hardware preference. IT will need to understand the contexts a user experiences across different devices, connections and points in time. IT will deliver their corporate workspace in a modernized format to an unpredictable list of targets. Enterprise platforms blended with consumer tools must be harmonious, compatible and supported. On and off premises, traditional and virtual, cloud and in-house all must contribute to the lowering cost of business that is simply expected with new technology.

Staying ahead of the 2012 Virtualization Curve with Context-aware Security
Over the past few years, virtualization has evolved from an initiative companies would like to take on to a viable solution for an organization’s IT infrastructure. IT managers are embracing the technology, but with new solutions come new challenges -particularly security. At a glance, desktop virtualization seems secure. However, many companies launch their initiative and oftentimes forget about implementing proper security capabilities. With so many organizations asking where and how their users are accessing data, context-awareness will be key for IT in 2012.

IT will embrace context-aware services through integrated, centrally managed, policy controlled workspace experiences that are delivered to a range of target systems. Users who roam throughout locations, devices and time will be able to remain secure and productive on their chosen device. This experience for the user prioritizes access to applications and data through various receivers, hosted sessions or local resources.

Migrating to Windows 7 will arrive as the enterprise standard as Windows XP experiences phase out of via support lifecycle and hardware replacements. With this trend, desktop virtualization scenarios pick up momentum to support a variety of business requirements. Job roles, security or application-based requirements will drive different types of virtualization solutions into mainstream. This is amplified by the increased adoption of tablets and smartphones, and the need for employees to use them in addition to and instead of their company-issued PCs. What’s more, those employees expect to be able to access all of their work applications from these personal devices at any time and any location. Instead of fighting a losing battle with device regulation, IT managers need to learn how to get a handle on these devices and the IT services users will need access on these devices to remain productive.

The evolution of the enterprise app store seems like an easy choice as one of the ways that IT managers are offering new delivery methods. Through the evolution of workspaces and modern desktops, access to applications will be a main point of contention for end users. Their comfort zones of searching, downloading and installing are expected at work as they are at home. Independent of the device, users will find a way to get to their software. Through IT as a Service, IT departments can now provide simple, easy-to-use catalogs of services that adhere to all stakeholders, including the user.

Enterprise application portals are one solution to help address the issue of security that is required of the hybrid workspace spanning multiple devices. While it’s a start, it’s not as easy as setting up a consumer app store as found in Apple and Android markets. There are several key differences between a consumer app store and an enterprise app store that IT departments cannot ignore:

  • Security is important and IT managers need app stores to factor context into what is available to each user at any given time.
  • Enterprise app stores need to span a hybrid delivery model as opposed to a consumer app store’s obligation to just one device at a time.
  • Access to an application in the enterprise store needs to be compliance-qualified, based on the user’s context, whereas a consumer app store opens all apps to everyone.
  • The consumer app store is self-serving and requires no approvals; enterprise app stores need to consider workflow -only 80% of applications can be delivered automatically upon qualification.
  • Costs affiliated with a consumer app store are predictable in the form of a one-time purchase, but an enterprise app store’s costs vary based on the services being provided. IT needs to bring them back to a predictable state.

The coming year will be an exciting one for IT departments as they continue to develop and manage the evolving hybrid workspace. With an added emphasis on context-aware IT as a Service in 2012, the market will be poised for continued growth in this innovative industry.

I wish you every success in 2012.

bio pics teenyJeff Wettlaufer
Sr. Director, Product Marketing, RES Software

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Categories: CoIT, trends Tags:

Upcoming Webcast: Context Aware Client Management

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Rachel Chalmers, Research Director of Infrastructure Management for The 451 Group will be joining RES Software for a webcast -  "Context Aware Desktops: The Key to Delivering a Consistent and Secure User Experience", which will take place on November 10 at 11am ET (4pm GMT). This session is part of Next Generation Desktop, the online summit organized by BrightTalk.

Join Jeff Wettlaufer, RES Software Sr. Director of Global Product Marketing, in an interactive session with analyst Rachel Chalmers of the 451 Group, as they discuss desktop trends faced by IT and solutions available to address these new demands by enabling context aware hybrid desktops and automated service portfolios. Rachel will provide findings and recommendations based on the latest 451 research surrounding desktop virtualization technologies. You will learn:

  • How IT can better navigate today’s hybrid desktop environments by introducing centrally controlled and flexible workspaces to provide users consistency across devices and delivery platforms.
  • The importance of understanding context beyond user name and enabling their workspace to react to that context with dynamic services.
  • The benefits of simplified and centralized  automation portfolios to help implement, administer and support new desktop technologies.
  • How workspace and automation management solutions can improve future OS migrations and infrastructure changes with minimal disruption to users.

You can register for the session here.

Categories: Uncategorized

Announcing RES Automation Manager 2012

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Hi everyone, this week we are announcing the launch of RES Automation Manager 2012 at Citrix Synergy Barcelona. 

Automation Manager 2012 delivers the automation of Tasks beyond the traditional command line. AM2012’s bridges client, datacenter, physical, virtual and cloud services with centrally managed, relationship oriented tasks and runbooks. AM2012 also provides the ability to consistently provision complex tasks across an unlimited number of repositories by a range of IT staff levels with centralized automation, auditing and delegation of control.

Automation Manager 2012 provides lifecycle management to network resources. AM2012 allows Administrators to provision new services, maintain production resources with simplified automation, and reflect the ever changing needs of IT. AM2012 allows organizations to increase their capacity through an efficient tiered dispatcher hierarchy, and support ever growing service request complexity with simplified infrastructure management.

Automation Manager 2012 reduces help desk calls and desk side visits by providing an IT Service Catalog that either automatically delivers services, or through a Self Service catalog for end users, all based on business rules. 
With automated delivery these changes are reflected immediately in the users context aware workspace without any help desk assistance.

So what’s new with Automation Manager 2012? Building on the robust platform of Automation Manager 2011, Automation Manager 2012 enhances existing capabilities and adds new features for our customers, including:

  • Cross platform management support (including Red Hat, SUSE and AIX)
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager integration
  • Scalability and performance improvements, including native 64-bit support
  • Further support for multi-tenancy infrastructure, assisting systems integrators with Desktop-as-a-Service initiatives
  • Launch window support, aiding risk mitigation by limiting what can be managed during working hours
  • ·Agent, team and evaluator relationship enhancements. This allows for running a query and then automatically performing an action based on the outcome
  • Advanced granularity  for security permissions, helping achieve compliance and regulatory management

Automation Manager will be a release candidate in mid November, and general availability is scheduled for early December. At that time, additional content will be made available to you.

bio pics teenyJeff Wettlaufer
Sr. Director, Product Marketing, RES Software

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