Today, more than any other day, I seem to have VDI/End User Computing on the brain. Man I HEART EUC !! It probably started a few weeks back when I decided it was time to update my home lab to VMware Horizon View 5.2. Some of the new features like Unity Touch and HTML5 “Blast” started getting me re-excited about where this new(ish) Market is moving towards. Dare I say, It seems that 2013 just might be the year of End User Computing. At least if it doesn’t happen, it won’t be from a lack of trying !
What has happened for sure is a shift away from it just being a Virtual Desktop (VDI) conversation. I think we’ve truly started to recognize that End User Computing/Mobile Computing is way more involved then just spinning up a Windows 7 desktop onto an iPad device. Think about this, what applications can you currently not live without? For me, it’s things like Evernote (I LIVE in this), it’s Syncplicity (Dropbox, Horizon Data etc), it’s Gmail (vTexan, StorageTexan etc), Facebook/Linkedin and Clash of Clans (I know…I’m a nerd) and you know what each of those applications allow me to do? Access it from any sort of end point device I may own, and it doesn’t require me to have a Windows 7 desktop to access it. By the way, blocking access to these services via firewalls doesn’t stop them from using them. TRUST ME.
You know what else has gotten me excited about EUC, and why I think this might be the year? Its probably because of the answers I’ve seen when I ask the following questions at each of my presentations:
- How many of you in the room have a Smartphone of some sort? 100% of the room will usually raise their hands.
- How many of you in the room have some sort of Tablet/iPad type device? 75% of the room will raise their hands.
- How many of you in the room have a laptop of some sort? usually 100% of the room will raise their hands.
- And my FAVORITE QUESTION!! How many of you in the room, have used all 3 devices already today? – 75% of the room raises their hand and laughs at how nerdy we collectively all are
The funny part is I could ask this same question at my next family reunion and get the same kinds of results. My wife (and kids) has a smartphone, we own a couple of tablets and she has a laptop and she uses all 3 of them on a daily basis’s. Guess what, I used to think I was just a “Power User/Nerdy-Nerd” but then I started realizing that more and more people are fitting that description. Just go ask some random people at your company those same questions and you will start to realize that end users have shifted their habits and access to be more mobile friendly.
I think EUC/Mobile Computing is becoming to big to simply ignore. Because end users are utilizing public cloud services like DropBox, IT has to make sure they are not loosing relevancy inside their own organization. There needs to be a renewed focus around IT Transformation (I blogged about this here: http://www.vtexan.com/2012/10/23/it-transformation/ ) and End User Computing is one of those focuses in the IT Transformation process.
This is why I keep hammering home that it’s no longer about Virtual Desktops, it truly is starting to be more and more about End User Computing and EUC is WAY WAY more then just VDI. Sometimes you need VDI to deliver access to a certain application or a document. Sometimes you need things like Citrix XenApp or Microsoft AppV to deliver applications and other times, and I would argue a LOT of the times, you just want access to your “My Documents” folder from multiple devices. Syncplicity, VMware Horizon Data and Dropbox are becoming mandatory.
Take it to the next step, I’m starting to see more and more of a use case for Syncplicity/ HorizonData/ Dropbox as a GREAT disaster recovery solution for the mobile workforce. Just ask yourself the following question. If you’re laptop/workstation were to die right now, what is that ONE thing you wish you could get back. It’s not applications I bet !! it’s your MyDocument’s folder (or for those of you that live with EVERYTHING on your desktop screen, it’s your Desktop Folder). Imagine using shared folder solutions as a disaster recovery option for your end users.
So all of these examples above are why I feel like I’m seeing a larger shift towards End User Computing strategies. It’s becoming to big for IT Departments to ignore. This is why I HEART EUC so much. It such a crazy and fun time to be in IT !