Blowing the PC to Pieces Improves End User Experience, Cuts Support Costs
Your PC architecture and how you manage your PC is going to change. It will not be brought about by a sneak attack from a new tablet-like device, some new Apple invention, or a permutation of the latest flip-flopping screen and keyboard combo computing device.
No, this change will begin with a whisper from your end users (or more likely, is already happening) and will grow into a mantra and eventually a yell if you are not responsive to their requests. Demands.
Your end users are going to work around, beside and behind you to incorporate technologies into their lives that let them balance the personal life, work, and their desire to improve their position and themselves.
They are not going to understand, or frankly even care, why technologies that are simplifying their personal lives and the way they communicate and interact with the world cannot be replicated at work.
Dropbox, one technology end users are already incorporating into their daily lives for work/personal use has seen usage explode. Seven months after going public Dropbox hit 1,000,000 users. One year later, 10,000,000. November 2012, 100,000,000. July 2013, 175,000,000.
80/20’s graph from August of 2012, did a nice job mapping (and predicting) the growth.
That is 175,000,000+/- potential rogue employees that might be working more efficiently (or completely goofing off) but out of compliance with company policies right now. That is more than a little frightening.
The drum beat from the executive suite will sound different but be just as deafening. Right now every magazine and vendor is talking about improving productivity by providing a better end user experience, and we for our part, are banging on this drum as loudly as we can.
Studies done by the Aberdeen Group have shown 50% of businesses are losing revenue due to poorly performing applications, 58% of surveyed businesses said they experienced lower employee satisfaction due to poor performing applications.
Enterprises have three challenges to address their desktops to arrive at a model that is both end-user friendly and more cost effective for the IT department.
Delivering a consistent end user computing experience totally independent of the end device the end users choose to use to access their applications while having their personalizations to follow them.
Securing applications in a way that allows for complete company control while allowing users to get their work done in the way they find most productive. Application control based on the type of device, state or location of the device with remote wipe among other protective measures.
Configuring environments that take context into account that can provide a simplified method of adding and removing components/applications, etc. without requiring labor intensive manual processes.
Fortunately the answer to both of the perspectives and the challenges the enterprises are facing is roughly the same. A new model that cuts support costs and creates happy end users.
Happy end users are the end result of providing a great (measurable) end user experience that delivers predictable and measurable productivity gains. To be able to deliver these results we need a new model.
The image below reflects the way we build and provide desktops today, as a single monolithic stack of components and technologies that are all interrelated. A change at one layer impacts every layer above it.
To make an operating system change you have to blow up the PC to unstack the layers.
And have to spend several hours rebuilding the PC with the upgraded OS layer.
Today there is a new model. It is not enough to give users a new desktop. Flexibility needs to be baked into the desktop design so that it can be broken apart and reassembled as needed on the fly minimizing the impact to productivity.
The old model is not as cost efficient at scale as the new model. It costs too much in terms of support to sustain. As a provider of hosted desktops, we see this problem first hand. We needed a simple repeatable model to deliver a consistent incredible end user experience to each user, regardless of title or role, regardless of the end device they choose to use.
The only way we get there is by decoupling the individual layers, standardizing the builds of the individual components and stacking them together as needed and on the fly to meet the performance and productivity demands of the end user.
None of this is theoretical. These desktops can and are being delivered today. We have seen a resurgence of Virtual Desktop (VDI) projects and this type of architecture is driving adoption because the performance is there, support costs are significantly lower and the users get the personalized experience they need to be their most productive.
In the end this model allows IT to retain control of the desktop environment while allowing end users the flexibility to work in the manner that suits them best for maximum business efficiency.