In most IT environments today, users are assigned their own endpoint, whether mobile or tethered to the corporate LAN, and this endpoint contains an Operating System, a set of embedded applications and a wealth of personal data concerning the user, the applications they run and how they run them. Moving this to a new platform is typically a cumbersome task and not one to be taken lightly and almost certainly requires an enterprise-grade endpoint management tool to get it right. In large organizations, I’ve seen endpoint rollouts that have taken over 2 years and therefore by the end of the rollout, the next rollout project is already underway and the original Standard Operating Environment is a distant fading memory. Endpoint delivery in some cases has been equivalent to painting the Forth Bridge, a never-ending task.
So can this change? Can endpoint delivery become truly fluid and dynamic?
Today, organizations across the globe are seriously considering the viability of desktop virtualization technologies as a means of achieving this goal through simplifying the management and delivery of end-user workspaces. Desktop virtualization technologies encompass many disciplines including Server-hosted VDI, locally hosted virtual desktops and application virtualization, each approach the delivery of resources to the end-user in a slightly different way. There is no single answer for managing the end-user experience in all of these scenarios, but what is constant is the need for ongoing management. Delivering a desktop session is the first of many steps towards fulfilling the requirements of an end-user, whether the session is hosted on a virtual or physical device.
Endpoint management itself is also an umbrella term covering many disciplines including security, remote management, software delivery, asset management, policy-enforced automation, patch management and so on. During my time in the IT industry, the disciplines used to deliver endpoint management have not changed a great deal.
Does moving the endpoint to a virtual world really change the management paradigm? If so, what do these changes mean for your organization?