End-user computing is undergoing its biggest transition since the wave of standardization that accompanied PC market proliferation in the mid 1990s. Most workers still depend on traditional PC applications, but these can now be made available in multiple ways and the new capabilities they use are increasingly delivered from the cloud. Devices are changing too, fragmenting into a much broader range of choice that mirrors the diversity of the individuals in our workplaces. For organizations trying to equip their workers for today and the years ahead, all of this change creates a fast moving target with many new risks and opportunities. As they navigate the complex choices now facing them, IT departments often find themselves trapped between a rock and a hard place of raised expectations: the organization’s leaders want more agility and efficiency, the users just want more liberty and function – and everyone wants it now!
Such periods of change bring out the best in us and we are already seeing this in many organizations across the globe, but even those on the cutting edge face a couple of key challenges. First, people have to keep working efficiently and securely without disruption – existing performance and responsibilities must be maintained. Second, there is invariably no extra money available to fund major IT projects. So any change needs to be incremental: organizations must evolve their end user computing environments – making a managed transition from the age of the PC to this new era of diversity, productivity and collaboration.
All of this is why I joined VMware – after years of advising and supporting organizations with the end user computing journey, I felt it was time to play a more active role. And what a time I chose to make the move, arriving just as we prepared to launch VMware Horizon App Manager, the first phase of Project Horizon. I’ve been following VMware’s End-User Computing (EUC) offerings for many years now and this really is very different.
VMware Horizon is an extensible platform, designed to support that EUC journey. In this it differs from the products we have traditionally offered: rather than being optimized for a specific requirement or value, it’s designed to support and enable the incremental changes that organizations need to make in their EUC environments. With this initial release, Horizon App Manager allows enterprises to extend their desktop management policies and security standards to a catalog of cloud applications that they control, through a single sign-on credential – it makes those cloud applications “enterprise ready” with minimal effort and at low cost.
As we extend the capabilities of VMware Horizon (which we will do, frequently), each additional capability will be equally straightforward to embrace, giving organizations more control over what they change and how. This is what organizations need to make that managed transition – the ability to make their own journeys in a sequence of small steps, made as and when they want, instead of through major, “big bang” projects that strain resources and bring maximum disruption. Just two weeks ago, I joined a company with products that showed the promise of the new era of end user computing; now I’m working for one that’s helping organizations reach that new era. Exciting!