A new IT paradigm for user workstations? Season 1 Episode 2

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Season 1, Episode 2 - The Missing link?

In the previous article, we looked at the factors that led to the emergence of the Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) concept. In this instalment, we'll review how businesses can save money on BYOC workstations and the best way of implementing this within a company.


Workstation costs

Usually, companies assume the initial purchase of a workstation and the maintenance costs for 3 years. Maintenance costs often total approximately 3 times the purchase price. To maximise savings, companies need to focus principally on reducing these maintenance costs. There are several solutions to achieve this:

  • Workstation virtualization solutions (Citrix XenDesktop, Vmware View, Microsoft VDI)
  • Application virtualization solutions (VMware ThinApp, Microsoft App-V)

These reduce maintenance costs associated with:

  • Operating systems (security and antivirus updates)
  • System and software support

These solutions do not lead - at least not directly - to a reduction in costs associated with hardware ownership (see part 1). To do so, they would need to be combined with the Terminal Light solution. But this solution cannot be applied to all users, especially those who use a desktop PC with specific hardware and software needs (CD burner, powerful graphics card, applications, etc.), and users who use laptops for mobility reasons.

Users therefore own their workstations, but they do not have to pay to use their workstations professionally. By dispensing with recurring costs, companies can easily finance all or part of employees' workstations. Users then must purchase a PC with both hardware and software maintenance contracts. If the computer breaks down, users can then draw on the manufacturer's support services instead of the company's. In the case of an extended breakdown, the company can loan the user a workstation that will allow him/her to continue to work while his/her PC is being repaired. Implementing BYOC in a company

In order to implement  the tools they need to do their job, but also that no data will be copied onto their workstations. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), desktop virtualization and presentation solutions (Terminal Server) make it possible to provide applications in a completely self-contained environment.

Remember, it's essential to guarantee user and external workstation identification, while making sure the workstation has all of the prerequisites for this. For example, an access control solution with high-level identification is an absolute requirement.Of course, specific tools (intranet, CD-ROM, USB flash drive, etc.) need to be made available to facilitate users' access to this new environment.

As a conclusion

The BYOC implementation rules described abone enable companies to save money on ownership of user workstations and offer users the possibility to have a personal PC partly or completely financed by the company. This is in essence a win-win situation for employers and employers alike

Coming soon: Episode 3 - Feedback

Nicolas Jacquey
Blogger Anonymous

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