Cloud computing is a control headache for CIOs

A survey conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of BMC Software makes some interesting points about the adoption of cloud computing in larger organisations.  The survey included in-depth responses from 327 enterprise infrastructure executives and architects across the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific

  1. Among the CIOs surveyed, 72 percent agreed or strongly agreed that their business executives see cloud as a way to be independent of IT.
  2. Approximately 58 percent of respondents are running mission-critical workloads in the unmanaged public cloud regardless of policy, while only 36 percent have policies allowing this. Furthermore, respondents indicated that public clouds acquired by teams outside of IT are a top driver of complexity and risk.

So, what is happening here? Forrester suggest that the IT teams for these companies are professional, dedicated and committed to delivery but the business units themselves have no qualms about bypassing them completely to achieve a short-term business goal.

The reality is that organisations of all sizes are being forced to change far more quickly than in the past and they simply cannot wait for IT to deliver on the “grand strategy”. IT Directors and CIOs will need to embrace external cloud services and bring them into their IT plans if they want to stay relevant to their organisations.

More and more business leaders are turning to cloud solutions like Virtual Desktops to deliver their IT requirements quickly and flexibly – with an entirely predictable cost.

Tablets gain with Virtual Desktop v3.1 & Citrix Mobility Pack

Citrix have released a mobility pack for their partners which transforms the virtual desktop experience on Android & iOS devices to make it more “touch-friendly”, with larger icons, iOS and Android-native menus and options, and an auto pop-up keyboard for text entry.

The latest enhancements in the Mobility Pack include a complete SDK for customising specific apps for mobility, and these customisations can even allow hosted apps to interact seamlessly with GPS, camera, or SMS.

The benefits of the new pack will be introduced into the entrust Virtual Desktop product set, starting with version 3.1 of our Virtual Desktop – due in May 2012.

Licensing Office on an iPad or Android Tablet

There’s been some speculation recently about whether it’s possible to deliver a Windows/Office experience on tablets and still remain properly licensed. The main reason for the speculation has been the launch of the Onlive Desktop (note the spelling!) which seemed to provide exactly that, at no cost.

Microsoft have been strangely quiet on the subject until recently when in a blog post yesterday Joe Matz (VP of Worldwide Licensing) expressed openly what we had suspected for several months :

We are actively engaged with OnLive with the hope of bringing them into a properly licensed scenario, and we are committed to seeing this issue is resolved.

The same blogpost made it clear that there is only one way to deliver Office on mobile devices that are running an underlying OS other than Windows :

Office may only be provided as a service if it is hosted on Windows Server and Remote Desktop Services

So that’s it. Virtual Desktop providers can provide you with access to Windows & Office on your mobile device but we all use the legal licensing model that MS describe above. Hosted Desktop providers (like us) declare your license use monthly to MS and pay them a fee which is why commercial hosted desktop systems are not free. 

So, if you want commercially delivered, properly licensed, Microsoft Windows and Office on your tablet (of any type) then you need http://www.onlinedesktop.com not www.onlive.com.

 ‘Nuff said.

Well Onlive raised the profile, but not … well

A couple of weeks ago the New York times posted an article praising the arrival of the Onlive Desktop on iPad; the gist of the article was that for the first time, a full Windows7 desktop was available on an Apple device and that the Onlive solution was quote “seamless and fairly amazing”.

This was news to us because we’ve been using Windows on an iPad since .. well .. the iPad1 was launched in 2010. In fact, even before that we had Windows on iPhones via our virtual desktop service and a clever piece of client software called the Citrix Receiver. So, all in all, the claim to uniqueness was a fairly bold one.

Not only that, but the Onlive experience isn’t that great; with only limited integration between the device and the desktop – in fact you can read what a more cautious Computerworld reviewer said about it here.

Our message to iPad (or Android) business users would be, Onlive is not the best or the only experience available for you. The truth is, you get what you pay for and their desktop is … free. If you’d like to try out a commercial alternative then get in touch.

 

Virtual Desktop and B.Y.O.D. – as safe as it gets.

According to a new report, more than 60% of Federal Agencies have a “bring your own device” (B.Y.O.D.) policy for their employees, with more than 44% of Federal Employees already using their own devices at work – claiming it makes them more productive.

In part, a response to a 2011 Executive Order to Agencies to limit the number of devices that are issued to employees, the new report shows that more and more sensitive data is now being accessed and stored on devices that are outside Federal Control. Only slightly less than 30% of the respondents claim to have a mobile device management solution in place to handle remote wipe/lock of lost or stolen devices – raising the spectre of data falling into in appropriate hands.

Much of that risk can be reduced, by the use of Virtual Desktop or Hosted Application technology, since this does not store any data on the device being used to access the Federal Systems.  Communication between the data centres and the device are encrypted using SSL and with the addition of three-factor authentication the employee device can be as secure as anything issued by the Employer.

For more information about Virtual Desktops and why they are the future of IT delivery, contact us