I’ve previously talked about Millenials, and how the consumerisation of IT will force IT to adapt to managing non enterprise devices. This week I read reports where the majority of USA corporations report that users are bringing in tablets, such as the iPad, and using them for work.
“A report from research firm Strategy Analytics shows that 61% of U.S. corporation have found that their employees are already using tablets for work purposes”.
Clearly, we’re seeing an extension of what we saw back in 2003-2005 when executives came back from conferences, demanding that they have email capable phones that were a match for or better than their golfing/yachting buddy’s phone. Then it happened again when the iPhone was launched.
The convenient nature and the long battery life of the tablet (not the slate PC) makes it a fine device for taking notes, using as a data consumer, and as something that is stylish. Style counts with a lot of people in positions of authority; try giving a non-Microsoft executive some clunky looking Dell slate instead of an iPad2 if that’s what they originally asked for.
We IT infrastructure and systems management folks have to adapt. Are we ready? No. The requirement of stuff like iTunes, Zune, or Google/Amazon market/app stores don’t help our cause. The new OS to manage isn’t helpful. If we’re lucky, we’re able to control PC/laptop specs to minimise hardware variation. What about Android devices or Windows Phone 7 handsets? There’s a huge variety of Android devices already, from the $100 dumb tablet to the $800 Xoom. One can’t expect equal capabilities. And Windows Phone 7 sets aren’t so standardised either – just ask Samsung handset owners if the first update bricked them or not.
The flood gates have opened. Maybe they can be closed by some. Maybe not. In the end, businesses demand that their needs be dealt with. It’s up to us to adapt. The business is not there to service our desire to make things easy for us, unfortunately.
One of the System Center Configuration Manager 2012 videos that I watched offered some promise, when combined with the news that it would manage devices such as the iPad and iPhone. The application delivery model is capable of detecting what the target device is, and deciding what software to install. Maybe this will include these cross-platforms. It appeared like it would; I saw some mention of Nokia in a dropdown box.
That’s just software deployment. We have to figure out lock down policies, network access, antivirus, encryption (internal/removable storage), ownership, browser standardisation for web based/cloud business apps, and a whole lot more. If I do have a solution, you’ll hear about it on Dragons Den.