VMworld: Businesses must have mobile computing strategies

Consumerisation cannot be avoided and businesses must include mobile devices in their IT strategies, according to VMware.

Raj Mallempati, director of product marketing desktop and application virtualisation at VMware, believes that a mobile device strategy is “critical”.

“More and more people are accessing their applications from mobile devices. [Businesses need to] make sure that when looking at end user infrastructure, they consider mobile devices as a critical and integral part of their computing strategies," he told Computerworld UK at the VMworld conference in Copenhagen.

This is all part of the ‘post-PC era’, which VMware believes is here, in which people are increasingly using non-Windows applications and accessing applications on different devices.

“People and enterprises are shifting from the PC environment to the post-PC era. That’s very evident with customers I’ve talked to,” said Mallempati.

In terms of where customers are on their journey to the cloud, Mallempati said that there are “a few” customers in stage one, with “quite a few” in stage two.

VMware defines stage one as when businesses have virtualised around 30 percent of their IT environment, for example, its print and file servers. Stage two is when companies start virtualising business critical applications and making sure that they run on the VMware platform.

Generally, customers who have started server virtualisation are “just dabbling” with desktop virtualisation, Mallempati said.

In the UK, desktop virtualisation is gaining most traction in the public sector and in financial services, with organisations in the process of virtualising Windows-based desktop applications.

“In healthcare, education and the government, we are seeing a very good adoption [of desktop virtualisation] across the board. The first reason is for the end user experience, to provide end users access to desktops from multiple access points.

“The second [reason] is about ‘how do I do more with my existing resources’, or optimisation of the cost, and the third one is around security,” Mallempati explained.

He also highlighted a difference in the speed of adoption of desktop virtualisation between more established companies and younger businesses.

Companies that have been around a long time are still in the process of rolling it out, but new companies, without the burden of legacy systems, either go through the desktop virtualisation stage very quickly, or skip it altogether. At this point, they are looking for a single framework through which they can manage all their different applications.

Meanwhile, legacy systems can also hold organisations back on their general journey to the cloud.

“Speeding up to the cloud helps [businesses] reduce their overall operation cost, because it becomes a utility or a commodity. The earlier they go to that, the better and they can reinvest those costs in other programmes.

“I certainly think they should do that but, depending on the legacy systems they have, the pace will certainly change,” Mallempati said.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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