I’ve just read a story on techcentral.ie that discusses a Virgin Media (UK-based ISP) report. It says that 74% of company employees are bringing personal devices into work and plugging them into the company network. This is the sort of thing I was talking about in my previous millenials post. It’s also the sort of thing that has impacted decision making by corporates: personal preferences for a better appliance or utility can improve the working experience, and the corporate decision making process. We have to decide how we respond?
Do we try to block everything? We can try. Group Policy and utilities like DeviceLock can lock down what is plugged into PCs. Network Access Protection (Windows)/Network Access Control (Cisco) can control what is allowed to connect to the network. I’ve taken the device lock approach before. But a valid business case always overrules global policy, and you might be surprised how many people come up with “valid” business cases. Soon the policy resembles swiss cheese, only affecting the minority of users. The result is that IT is disliked – it’s a blocking force once again.
The user-centric approach that we’re seeing with private cloud, App-V, and System Configuration Manager 2012 is an example of how we need to think. My millenials post also suggests a way forward. Maybe we need to allow personal appliances, but use those policy tools like Network Access Control to place the appliances into networks that are not central, kind of like the guest network that is often used. Or maybe we need to change how we think about the PC altogether and treat the entire PC network as a guest network.
The latter approach might work very well with the user-centric approach. If end users are using their own PCs, tablets, and phones, then we cannot apply corporate policy to them. Maybe we just provide user-centric self-service mechanisms and let them help themselves. Or maybe things like VDI and/or RemoteApp are the way forward for LOB client delivery. If everythign was cloud (public/provate) and web-client based then application delivery would be irrelevant. Maybe it’s a little bit from column A and a little from column B?
It’s a big topic and would require a complete shift in thinking … and a complete re-deployment of the client network, including LOB application interfaces.