- Managed DaaS
- Happy End Users
Desktop computers transformed into laptops. Then smartphones hit the scene, followed by tablets. Now we’re getting into IoT. The way people access applications, consume data and engage with the world and their work has changed drastically over the past few decades. We’re now in the age of End User Computing (EUC), where companies have to think more carefully about the technology that’s in the hands of their employees and the increasing security threat posed by a connected world.
Dizzion partner IGEL is at the forefront of the EUC revolution, so who better to explain where we came from and where the world is going than IGEL experts Simon Clephan, Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Alliances, and Douglas Brown, Global Technology Evangelist.
How do you define End User Computing?
Simon Clephan & Douglas Brown: End user computing (EUC) is a mix of what is going on at the endpoint and how it relates to what is happening within the datacenter. Essentially, EUC encompasses any device that is being used by the end user to access resources housed within the datacenter along with SaaS delivered applications. These devices include mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. EUC doesn’t end there though, it also encompasses the deployment, management and security associated with the delivery of applications to the desktop.
Through IGEL’s simple, smart and secure endpoint management solutions, we are making life easier for IT departments everywhere by unifying endpoints and standardizing the experience across all enterprise end users.
IGEL is about “revolutionizing the endpoint” … why were endpoint devices ready for a change?
SC & DB: It’s all about security, security and security. The world has changed since 1995 when Windows 95 was released. At that time, the use of the Internet and e-mail by businesses was just beginning, and prior to that most of the security concerns they faced were related to perimeter protection against break-ins and theft of physical equipment and files. Today, the threat landscape is multi-faceted and the attack surface is expanding with new, ever more devious ways to breach an enterprise. New cybersecurity and Internet-based threats are constantly evolving, and companies must keep pace or risk financial loss, reputational damage and even worse – the closure of their business.
Yet, despite these threats, the core architecture of the Windows OS for the desktop has not changed in the last 30+ years. Windows is still built to be retrofitted every year, and patched every Tuesday. This begs the question as to why we haven’t moved to a new paradigm in desktop computing?
We’ve already seen this happen in the datacenter with software-defined networking (SDN); Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions, but why not at the endpoint? Clearly, the endpoint is ripe for a change, and that is exactly what IGEL is doing through our software-defined approach to endpoint management. IGEL’s Linux-based OS is a modern, secure, desktop operating system. It offers a minimal footprint – enabling quick and easy access to desktop applications, while reducing risk from cybersecurity threats. Through our approach, we are providing businesses of all sizes with a more secure way to deliver desktop applications to their end users.
Is there a tech solution that people are currently buzzing about that you think is already obsolete?
SC & DB: Yes. Windows for the endpoint is on its way out! The future requires a smaller, more secure endpoint OS for datacenter and Cloud (SaaS) delivered applications.
Why do you think desktop virtualization is a viable business option today?
SC & DB: The beauty of virtualization is in its abstraction. Desktop virtualization allows us to separate the operating system from the application. At the end of the day, this turns everything into bits and you only have to update what has been changed – this drives speed and the accelerated delivery of desktop applications and data to the end user. Virtualization is also one of the reasons that datacenters are no longer the size of a football field. The same benefits are there – the ability to take the operating system and move it into the hands of the experts who can manage, secure and protect it, anytime and anywhere and on any device, and separate it from the applications they are delivering to the end user.
With the pervasiveness of the Internet, the abstraction fueled by virtualization has also been an important driver in the development of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS). With VDI and DaaS, end users can now access their desktop applications from virtually anywhere and on any device, via their corporate LAN or WAN, or via the Internet. With 5G on the horizon, that is only going to serve to accelerate that ability.
How have mobility and remote working changed the way companies and end users think about endpoints?
SC & DB: Access to desktop resources is available now, anywhere, anytime and from virtually any device. The pervasiveness of the Internet means that end users now have more flexibility to work when and where they want to. They can be more productive when riding the train to work, or traveling across country on an airplane. They can also create more flexible work hours for themselves in order to gain more work/life balance. End users now expect their endpoints to “just work” and this creates a massive headache for enterprise IT tasked with ensuring both productivity of the end users and security of the data.
How can a smart approach to EUC give an organization a competitive edge?
SC & DB: EUC today is all about giving IT organizations the tools they need to complete their mission, which is to serve the end user, and provide them with a better, faster and easier way to access their applications and data anytime, anywhere and from any device. Further, the best, brightest and most talented people require, and indeed expect, that an organization provide them with the ability to work from virtually anywhere and at any time. As such, top notch EUC has become table-stakes in today’s competitive business environment.
How is the increasingly threatening cybersecurity landscape changing how companies think and approach endpoint solutions?
SC & DB: Again, three words – security, security and security. The #1 attack surface today is the endpoint device, and the volume of attacks at the endpoint are increasing exponentially. If companies aren’t thinking about how to protect their endpoints, they should be. Endpoint management and endpoint security go hand-in-hand and should not be mutually exclusive. IGEL’s software-defined solutions account for both, and make it easier for IT organizations to manage across the enterprise whether they have twenty endpoints or 20,000 endpoints.
What EUC development has been the most surprising in recent years?
SC & DB: The development of virtualized GPUs. Several years ago, we wouldn’t have even thought it would be possible to support graphics intense applications and 4K video on thin client hardware. Today, graphics capabilities are driving EUC.
If you had to make a bold prediction about what virtualization or end user computing will be like in 5 years, what would you predict?
SC & DB: Again, three words – devices, devices, devices. As we move into the future, there will be more devices and everything will be connected in IT. IoT will become pandemic — whether we like it or not, and we will be required to manage all of it. 5G is also going to change everything and accelerate the use of devices and desktop virtualization on a much larger scale. Further, as graphics capabilities become more robust, end users are going to begin using their devices more and more to communicate and collaborate while working remotely. Security is going to become more important than ever as the proliferation of connected devices will entice bad actors to look for new and more damaging ways to terrorize us all through nation-state attacks and other cyber threats. What we’ve seen with WannaCry, Petya and other recent attacks is only a pre-cursor of the potential for devastation.
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