A new IT paradigm for user workstations? Season 1 episode 1


Season 1, Episode 1 - Two observations

Over the years, the IT world has undergone several profound paradigm shifts. The user workstation is expected to experience a transformation in the coming years. The BYOC concept (Season 1) is one step in changing our vision of the workstation. 

In this 3-part series, you'll learn how:

  • the Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) concept has come about,

  • this concept fits into a cost-reduction strategy, and how it can be implemented as a solution,

  • one company, Citrix System has deployed the concept internally.

- To this day, we don't know who actually invented the BYOC concept, but CITRIX System has effectively integrated it into is vision of the user workstation of tomorrow and has already experimented with it internally (see part 3).

The BYOC concept is the result of 2 factors:

'Generation Y' and new technology enthusiasts

An increasingly large percentage of users today are very much at ease with new technologies. The majority of these users are 'Generation Y', meaning that their childhood or teenage years coincided with the dawn of the PC era. Now adults, they seek out new technologies (mobile internet, MP3 players, social networks, blogs, time shifting, etc.), and expect these to meet high standards. In the workplace, this group views - and rightly so - the standardisation of workstations as a constraint that slows down their productivity. Indeed, standardised PCs do not necessarily offer the best performance (memory, CPU, graphics card, hard drive, etc.) since users cannot install their own applications, or synchronise their personal and professional agendas. These users have new standards for office comfort: they don't want to have two mobile phones anymore, or two computers that offer the same services. They want their company's IT tools to adapt to user needs, and not vice-versa.  

IT department constraints

Companies' IT departments have to be able to provide reliable and high-performing applications and services to their users. Until now (well, actually yesterday), existing technology required staff to have full knowledge of the physical workstation and the operating system in order to guarantee the computer's performance and availability. This is what led companies to buy and own their employees' workstations, which has also meant that they have been responsible for all of the administrative aspects (orders, billing, payments, capital assets), from managing the workstation life cycle (spare parts, accessories, hardware incidents) to managing systems (masters, operating systems, application deployment, security measures, etc.). This represents a significant expense for the company.

The basic idea behind virtualisation is to dissociate the different layers of computer maintenance (hardware, operating system, network, applications, printers, etc.). Once that's done, why maintain ownership of the physical workstations?

As a conclusion

The goal of the BYOC concept is to reconcile these 2 needs: to meet the expectations of this new kind of user, and to limit recurring expenses for the company. Then the company can devote its resources to simplifying, optimising and documenting its information system - ultimately amounting to additional savings.


Coming soon: Episode 2 - The Missing Piece?

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