Historically, computing and communication devices meant for the workplace have been different from the devices meant for the living room. That is changing steadily if not speedily, as the adoption of ‘mobility’ in organizations implies that the workplace extends into the living rooms.

That requires office workers, who are also ICT consumers in their personal capacities, to use multiple devices, most commonly three, and in fewer cases, four to five. Typically, people use a laptop in the office, another PC at home, and a smart phone. Tablet is becoming either a replacement or a supplementary device, depending on the individual’s working style. Divergence is becoming an accepted reality.

A step further, users are also demanding a greater say in the choice of devices they use even in the workplace, something that was earlier decided by the organizations. This has given shape to the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) concept and a handful of organizations have reportedly been implementing the concept, globally.

While it makes users happy, BYOD nevertheless introduces added complexities for IT managers in organizations. For example, an enterprise application may not run seamlessly on a given device or an operating system. Also, there could be vulnerabilities from an IT security standpoint.

New developments in the areas of virtualization are beginning to address such and related upcoming requirements. The newer technologies could potentially obviate the need for data and applications to reside on the client or user device. While a device would be used to access enterprise servers over a wired or wireless network, no data would be downloaded or stored on the user device, and that’s where these newer technologies would make it different. Users will be working with ‘images’ of applications and data that would essentially be residing and running all the time on enterprise servers.

Since no data would be stored on the user device, organizations would be little bothered about data security and consequently would be more open to the idea of BYOD. ICT users would be buoyed!

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