Consumerization of IT FAQ
Published: April 19, 2011
What does the phrase consumerization of IT mean?
Consumerization is the growing trend where business users are making the ultimate choice in what devices, applications, and services they use to get their work done.
What has prompted the discussion around consumerization?
Computing power is now available across a wide range of devices. Consumer devices such as smartphones and slates are now becoming powerful enough to be able to run the types of applications that were traditionally restricted to desktop and portable computers.
Will embracing consumerization benefit our organization?
People are prepared to be more productive, more available, and more agile in their work. However, to do so, they need technology that meets their needs. They want the technology at work to be as good as what they have at home. They want to be empowered.
What challenges might we face when embracing consumerization?
Embracing consumerization is not an easy task and needs deliberate planning from IT. Companies should evaluate how to ensure productivity anywhere, while still protecting data, maintaining compliance, and enabling adequate PC and device management. This all puts pressure on IT to provide compelling solutions for end users while maintaining a secure and well-managed environment.
Does Microsoft believe we should embrace consumerization?
Consumerization is a phenomenon that businesses cannot ignore, so they should address a strategy around it. Embracing consumerization enables businesses to deliver productivity gains and competitive advantage. Consumerization becomes a major opportunity when businesses follow the strategies that the white paper Strategies for Embracing Consumerization describes, ensuring that corporate assets are secure and establishing new roles for empowered employees and IT as partners. Microsoft has a range of enterprise-ready solutions that can help you address users’ needs around consumerization, from deploying the Window Optimized Desktop through cloud-based management using Windows Intune to Windows-based and non-Windows-based smartphones.
What are the factors for success in embracing consumerization?
There are several key factors that should be addressed so that unmanaged consumer devices can be successfully used within the workplace:
The white paper Strategies for Embracing Consumerization describes these factors in detail.
Does Microsoft provide technologies to help us embrace consumerization?
Yes. As a leader in business and consumer technologies, Microsoft is in a unique position to understand and provide guidance on how best to embrace consumerization responsibly within enterprises. You can learn about Microsoft technologies that can help businesses embrace consumerization by reading Technologies for Consumerization.
How can we enable employees to use their applications anywhere on any device?
You can enable employees to use their applications anywhere on any device by using application virtualization. Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) and Citrix XenApp, a Microsoft Partner solution, extends support for applications to a wide range of devices, including smartphones and other non-Windows-based devices.
How does Microsoft recommend managing Windows-based PCs?
Microsoft recommends two technologies for managing Windows-based PCs. First, the Windows Optimized Desktop offers client computing choices to enhance user productivity while meeting specific business and IT needs.
What technologies can help us embrace non-Windows-based PCs for work?
Due to consumerization, users are bringing to work more than just PCs running Windows. Non-Windows-based slates and tablets run a range of operating systems, such as Apple iOS, Google Android, Linux, and so on. These devices provide different user interfaces, different levels of security, and different management capabilities. There are multiple operating systems across consumer devices, so adopting a systematic approach to management and security is essential.
What does Microsoft recommend for managing smartphones (Windows or non-Windows)?
Tools are available to manage smartphones in the enterprise. For example, you can use Exchange ActiveSync to manage many Microsoft and non-Microsoft smartphones. Exchange ActiveSync is a Microsoft Exchange Server synchronization protocol that is optimized to work over high-latency and low-bandwidth networks. The protocol, based on HTTP and XML, enables devices to access information such as e-mail, calendars, and contacts on an Exchange Server system.
What are key features of the Windows Optimized Desktop for consumerization?
The Windows Optimized Desktop can help IT embrace consumerization on rich devices running Windows 7. These technologies can address challenges such as managing applications and user data, safeguarding data, defending the network, and protecting intellectual property in consumerization scenarios. For more information about the Windows Optimized Desktop and consumerization, see the Technologies for Consumerization article.
If we manage PCs with the Windows Optimized Desktop, why would we consider Windows Intune?
Organizations that have deployed the Windows Optimized Desktop can manage pockets of unmanaged computers (home-office computers and consumer devices running Windows that users bring to work) by using Windows Intune. For more information, see the Windows Intune Web site.
Can we use Windows Intune to manage PCs in a virtual desktop infrastructure?
Yes, you can use Windows Intune to manage virtual desktop PCs. You are licensed to run Windows Intune on both physical and virtual instances of qualifying Windows client operating systems. You cannot install the client software in custom Windows images or template VHDs. Instead, you must install the client software as part of the post-deployment configuration process. Additionally, you will need to install a separate management and malware protection solution on any server computers you are using, as you cannot install the Windows Intune service on servers.
How do we present virtual applications to devices that are not running Windows?
Citrix XenApp is a Microsoft Partner solution that extends support for traditional and App-V virtual applications to a wide range of devices, including smartphones and other non-Windows-based devices. It provides on-demand application delivery that can virtualize, centralize, and manage almost any application in the datacenter. By using XenApp, you can centralize applications in the data center, control and encrypt access to data and applications, and deliver applications instantly to users almost anywhere. To learn more about Citrix XenApp, see the Citrix XenApp Web site.
What are the key components of Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?
Key technical components making Microsoft VDI a reality include:
What is the difference between static and dynamic virtual desktop infrastructures?
There are two VDI deployment models:
Does Microsoft license any virtual desktop infrastructure product suites?
To accommodate new deployment scenarios, Microsoft has introduced two new offerings for VDI:
Both the VDI Standard Suite and the VDI Premium Suite are licensed per client device that accesses the VDI environment, and thereby allow for flexibility of server infrastructure design and growth. You can learn more about VDI suite licensing at Microsoft's Remote Desktop Services site.
How do we know if Exchange ActiveSync supports our employees’ smartphones?
Management based on Exchange ActiveSync is an industry standard for smartphones and other small-form-factor devices. Platforms such as Apple iPhone and iPad, Google Android, Nokia Symbian, and Palm support Exchange ActiveSync and mailbox polices to varying degrees. The blog post Updated - Comparison of Exchange ActiveSync Clients ( Windows phone, Windows Mobile, Android, Nokia, Apple, Palm ) compares support for Exchange ActiveSync across many different platforms.
How will System Center Configuration Manager 2012 change the discussion?
Configuration Manager 2012, now in beta 2 release, helps IT empower their users with the devices and applications they need to be productive, while maintaining the control necessary to protect corporate assets. It provides a unified infrastructure for managing mobile, physical, and virtual environments that allows IT to deliver and control user experiences based on user identity, connectivity, and device specifics. Along with all of the world-class inventory, operating system deployment, update management, assessment, and settings enforcement you’ve come to expect from Configuration Manager, the new release will deliver:
You can find more information about the new updated capabilities involving the deployment of virtual applications in System Center Configuration Manager 2012 beta 2 release at Introduction to Application Management in Configuration Manager 2012.
 IT Managers Selectively Embrace Consumerization, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft, February 2011