Monday, December 13, 2010

Bring Your Own Device to the Enterprise!

One of the pertinent challenges of the CIO has been to respond to emerging technologies and associated opportunities. And the recent one has been Smart Phones.

The question that employees have started asking is - I have a high-end Smart Phone having Android or Windows OS. Can I access corporate emails in those devices? If not, why not?

For CIOs, this scenario brings improved capability to the enterprise enhancing the productivity of the employees, with little additional cost.

This is a perfect example of consumerization of IT, where consumer technologies try to enter into the Enterprise with major force. These technologies certainly blur the boundaries of personal and work life. Its a boon and a bane!.

Now, How do we achieve a blended experience in an optimized technical solution?. My observation with Smart Phones has been that they are becoming on par with Laptops in terms of capabilities. If we can do something on Laptops/Desktops, it should be possible in SmartPhones sooner or later.

Here is a suitable example - VMWare to virtualize Android SmartPhones for Business Users. In India, Dual Sim enabled Phones are very popular. One of my friends who is a Doctor carries a phone with Dual Sim cards, clearly assigning one for his patients/clients and another for social/friends network. Am sure many of other professionals would also like to have Dual Sim Cards. Me, being in IT world, though may not need to have dual sim card, would like to have a partitioned Smartphone where the business content is clearly separated and manageable from personal content like photos, videos, etc. And that is exactly what VMWare promises to offer using this solution. Like Desktop virtualization, one can virtualize and install two different operating systems in the same device.

Users who would like to switch between business and personal profiles can simply do so, as easy as tapping an icon for opening an application. This is certainly innovative and just the beginning of untapping the potential of smart phones.

As mentioned in the article, one of the interesting challenge that still remains to be solved is to virtualize the telephony in addition to the OS/content. For example, putting an official/personal call on hold while the other sim is currently being active!.

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