VMware Horizon

It’s Time to Deal with BYOD

By John Tsai, End-User Computing Industry Specialist, VMware

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is the proverbial “elephant in the room” these days for IT organizations.  A recent report from Forrester analyst Frank Gillett (“Windows: The Next Five Years”) shows that Microsoft’s dominance of personal devices (defined as laptops, tablets and smartphones) has gone from 95% in2008 to just 30% in 2012.  The primary reason is the growth of Android and iOS powered tablets and smartphones, which now outpace traditional laptop sales.  Just look around in your next meeting.  Those devices have already made their way into the workplace.

Even organizations that have been traditionally opposed to BYOD are now faced with executives, doctors, lawyers, etc. showing up to meetings with iPads asking how they can get access to corporate IT resources. For IT organizations that haven’t established a BYOD strategy, it’s time to move this up on your list of projects.


Years of Windows migrations have left traditional IT organizations with a complex, disparate desktop architecture that is not conducive to BYOD.   Applications are heavily tied to legacy operating systems.  Users store documents in many different places. Complex systems management solutions  have been put in place to simplify these tasks but don’t help in moving IT organizations out of the Windows Upgrade spiral.

(Read about VMware’s BYOD approach and interview with CIO Mark Egan, http://www.cio.com/article/706274/VMware_Going_All_In_with_BYOD)

What is your organization doing to move away from the ongoing management tasks of the existing Windows image & desktop?  The task of managing thousands of stand alone desktops may already be a daunting challenge and multiplying that number by 3x or more to support more devices just isn’t possible under current conditions.

There is a need to simplify(or even eliminate) the existing process so the concept of a ‘standard’ desktop can be used.   This new process needs to include the separating of users’ data and applications so they can be ported to other devices as needed.  Read more about how VMware Mirage can help.

By simlifying the existing desktop through the separation of user components from base OS components,  IT organizations are able to:

  • reduce management complexity associated with supporting dozens of images & Operating Systems
  • provide an integrated disaster recovery solution
  • enable a simpler upgrade path to new Operating Systems and devices


When I bring my iPad to work and to meetings these days I don’t miss my desktop/laptop.  I’ve got an application to take notes with, Sliderocket to deliver presentations with and my browser takes care of email and everything else.  Even without my browser, I’ve got productivity apps that allow me to do my job and then sync up when I have a network connection.  The bottom line is that applications are the reason people use computing devices.  Whether it’s a browser, a mail client or another app, there is little I can’t do these days on my iPad to be productive.

With the recent Windows 8 release, IT organizations have to be asking themselves, “Do we spend cycles planning a Windows 8 migration (even though most didn’t finish the Windows 7 migration) or do we spend that time figuring out how we can allow users secure application access on devices that will allow them greater flexibility, creativity, and mobility.   Will Windows 8 by itself allow professionals a more personal interaction with their customers?  Or will access to key information, the latest multimedia, and innovative applications be what users are asking for?

The ability to segregate applications from the OS and deliver them in a common interface (ie -a web browser) will enable IT organizations to support tablets and smartphones that have become all too common these days.   The need for Windows OS is not going to disappear anytime soon but the need for everyone to have a Windows based desktop is a thing of the past.

In future blogs, we’ll cover other topics related to BYOD and bring you stories about how other organizations are dealing with this issue today.

If you missed Steve Herrod’s keynote on this topic @ VMworld, you can see it again here.


How can VMware help your organization in defining your own BYOD policy?  Let us know.