Over the next decade, IT organizations will throw off the shackles of the static management methods that have made end-user computing environments so costly to run and difficult to adapt. In doing so, they will embrace approaches that change the relationship between business results, technology assets and how users work:
• Ownership of applications and devices will become increasingly optional for organizations and users
• Technology diversity will become the norm, not an exception
• Operational cost and complexity will fall sharply
• The focus of management will shift from platforms to applications
These changes will only occur through the supply of new capabilities, but also because our businesses and economies require it. Thanks to the rapid emergence of cloud-based approaches, most organizations already expect this. They also expect transition to be challenging, because change can never be wholesale. It will be a journey, completed in multiple steps.
Some facets of end-user computing today are simply no longer sustainable:
• Asset-level processes: Configuring, maintaining and securing each device, platform or application through a separate process is a non-scalable approach when diversity in all three is increasing - it creates barriers to adoption of assets and drives a “one-size-fits-all” mentality.
• High operational costs: End-user computing is one of the highest cost areas in IT, with most expense driven by operational overhead.
• Zero marginal benefits: Most investment in end-user computing is consumed in updating hardware and operating systems – by the need to replace end-of-life assets, rather than embracing new capabilities that deliver productivity or revenue benefits. The money is spent to stand still, not to move forward, so end-user computing is seen as a “cost of doing business”.
All these facets are driven by how we manage end-user computing today. Only by standardizing management processes and tools can we contain operational costs and maintain acceptable levels of security.
Today we standardize the assets deployed. This drives a one-size-fits all approach to how users are equipped, which in turn leads to inertia and high costs of change. Implicitly it drives a desire, on behalf of IT organizations, to resist change – otherwise cost and complexity will rise.
In the future, processes and tools must be standardized across more diverse assets so applications of different types can be accessed and managed in the same way, irrespective of the type of device being used. This will break the inertia of “configuration standardization” and allow us to accommodate change, rather than resist it. Achieving this critical goal requires that, instead of managing the devices used and the resources accessed, we manage from the point at which resources are accessed.
In VMware’s vision for end-user computing, this central point is called Horizon - a hub to which users connect and through which access to resources is managed. One of those resources might be a virtualized desktop delivered through VMware View, where legacy applications can be run for as long as they’re needed.
The legacy applications accessed through such a virtualized environment would still come at some cost of complexity, but less than in today’s tightly coupled world of physical devices and operating systems. New applications will exploit web-based or SaaS type approaches and be connected directly to the hub with no cost of integration. As applications are replaced and upgraded, they will move from the legacy container to the hub, driving reductions in operational costs.
This approach will have far reaching implications. It will:
• Enable more granular control and audit
• Expose direct associations between the cost of resources and the results they deliver, changing perceptions of marginal benefit
• Significantly reduce the costs of new applications
• Eliminate traditional barriers to non-owned and non-standard devices
• And drive dramatic improvements in elasticity, simplifying the processes of business change like expansion, contraction, and M&A.
The focus of users, IT organizations and the people who pay for end-user computing will shift, from the technology being used to the results delivered.
VMware is the leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions that enable businesses to thrive in the Cloud Era. Customers rely on VMware to help them transform the way they build, deliver and consume Information Technology resources in a manner that is evolutionary and based on their specific needs.