How Virtualization Will
Turn Your PC Into a Phone
In 10 years,
a ‘PC’ will be
the totality of
an end user’s
FOR THE FIRST TIME since computers became a normal part of office life, end users won’t be able to predict what their “PC” will look like in 10 years. That’s partially due to the expansion of IT-as-a-service technologies that are making it possible to give users secure, reliable
Kevin Fogarty writes
about enterprise IT.
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access to data and applications no matter where
they are or what device they’re using.
But it’s mostly due to increases in the power,
connectivity, ease of use and stylishness of a whole
range of nontraditional computing devices — primarily smartphones and tablets — and to heavily
networked applications such as social networking, software as a service and cloud computing
services that are easy to get, easy to use and often
free to consumers.
Clouds, virtual servers and SaaS are the kinds
of infrastructure technologies that would normally be invisible to end users.
Five years ago, few commercial applications
were available by subscription; now it’s surprising
when one isn’t.
End users have been trying to consumerize IT
since the 1980s. They started by sneaking in PCs,
then they surreptitiously set up LANs and later
brought in laptops, PDAs, cell phones, Black-Berries, tablets and other gadgets that IT either
couldn’t or wouldn’t support.
When users can buy sophisticated data services
to support not only gadgets, but also applications,
the economics of the IT vendor’s business change
— as do the role and goals of IT.
Rather than being “just say no” organizations
intent on standardizing and cost-cutting, IT shops
have had to start collaborating with end users, who
want to choose the devices they use at work, says
Dave Bucholz, principal IT engineer in charge of
evaluating new end-user technologies at Intel.
Intel — like Kraft, CarFax and a range of other
companies — has adopted a bring-your-own-
device policy as a way to match the workstyles of
individual end users with the devices that enable
them to be the most productive.