A new trend has emerged in business; BYOD or bring your own device to work. With the increase in remote and mobile workers and the rise of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets in the consumer market, workers expect these tools and access in the workplace. One way organizations are providing these tools is through BYOD programs that subsidize the cost of the device and service plans. With these programs in place, businesses can allow employees to pick their device of choice and eliminate some of the maintenance and desktop management headaches of maintaining PCs and other devices.
Security, management and device ownership should be carefully considered with this model. Employees using a subsidized laptop, smart phone or tablet will undoubtedly be using the device for work and personal use putting the device and corporate intellectual property at risk. If IT manages these devices, maintenance becomes more complex when mixing different types of devices. If employees use a subsidized service plan, IT steps away from the desktop management and at the same time gives up some control and security.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, VDI, allows you to provide a BYOD program and retain control and more importantly provide secure access from many types of devices. With a VPN connection and a browser, users can securely access company resources from anywhere, using any device.
In a VDI environment, data and applications reside in the data center and users are provided a centrally controlled desktop image on demand. Employees can work from home, in the field or from a hotel room. Contract workers or visitors can gain temporary access without sacrificing security.
In the event of a security breach, the VDI session is ended and upon login a new clean VDI session is initiated. Instead of focusing on a long recovery process, the focus is on productivity and getting the user quickly back to work.
Centralized management tools allow IT to setup profiles based on user type and security requirements to ensure the appropriate rights and access. Virtual desktops can always be reached for software maintenance activities such as patches, upgrades, and removal of unsupported software to further enhance security.
VDI not only supports the BYOD model, it provides increased security and minimizes desktop management for both BYOD users and organizations with traditional PCs or thin clients.