September 03, 2014

The Pros & Cons of BYOD in Today's Growing VDI Environment

When the PC was first introduced in the late 70s, it took the business world several years to acknowledge it as a real business tool. In fact, it was called a home computer for the first few years, relegated to a simple toy. Likewise, it has taken business several years to see the smartphone and other mobile devices for what they are. However, these devices now provide the momentum for what is known as the Bring Your Own Device revolution.

BYOD: Here to Stay

The numbers indicate that the use of mobile devices is growing at an explosive rate. A new IT concept as recently as 2009, it is now estimate by some sources that as many as1.6 billion mobile devices will be in use in the workplace by 2016. Currently, more than 74 percent of all Fortune 1000 businesses now support BYOD in some form.

This trend has paralleled the growth in cloud computing, with SaaS and other applications that move the actual processing and storage functions to a data center, providing increasing power and capabilities to mobile devices. Managers of IT services now speak of thin and zero clients, making it possible to provide full functionality from remote servers and blades. With the growing use of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, the mobile device becomes a totally functional access point for most functions.

The fact of this growth is in itself an indication of the acceptance of BYOD. It leaves many to wonder, however, what the actual benefits and challenges of this new concept really are. This increased access to corporate IT resources brings with it new questions, and many IT managers are struggling to integrate and bring VDI and BYOD online. The convergence of these various technologies and technologies introduce a host of new issues, as well as compounding the classic ones of security, network integrity, support, and others.

In fact, one of the main issues related to BYOD is how it requires coordination across all organizational elements, many beyond the control of IT managers.

Understanding the Power and Benefits of BYOD

As already noted, the main momentum behind BOYD is generated by users, those who feel freed from desktop PCs and empowered by mobile devices. With the current and rapidly increasing number of applications and tools, users find great freedom in being able to:

  • Access and move huge files with Dropbox while out of the office
  • Control accounts and respond to clients with Salesforce sitting at a ball game
  • Join in webinars with GoToMeeting while on sitting in a waiting room

This “people’s movement