Enterprise mobility is more than a set of services which an organizations can deploy to enable a rich mobile work environment. There is a huge play of the Operating system platform you use to enable Mobility directly from the platform itself.
Today I am going to talk about how Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 is built on a strong foundation of this whole philosophy of Mobility, While Windows 8.1 has been around for a while and lot has been said and written about its capabilities but it doesn't hurt to review them again and how it enables a Flexible Workstyle or Mobility. If you are an IT PRO, it will help you take steps towards thinking about your Enterprise Mobility Strategy and enable your users to be more productive on the go by harnessing these capabilities out of the box.
Windows Tablets and 2 in 1 Devices: With Windows 8.1 now powering Tablets and 2 in 1 Devices (Hybrids) Computing has gone to a whole new level. Now you don't need a place to sit and a desk to place your mouse and keyboard to be productive. With these devices with Modern apps and touch optimized Interface of Windows 8.1 you can be productive while on the move (even when you are standing in the queue waiting to order your favourite coffee at Starbucks) and still is business ready so corporate IT teams can control it. In short, Windows 8.1 is the Business Personal device.
Windows To Go : Windows To Go is an enterprise feature of Windows 8.1 that enables the creation of a Windows To Go workspace that can be booted from a USB-connected external drive on any PCs that meet the Windows 7 or Windows 8 certification requirements, regardless of the operating system running on the PC. Windows To Go workspaces can use the same image enterprises use for their desktops and laptops and can be managed the same way. So next time you are traveling to your branch office and you are certain to find a PC Hardware, you can now travel light with your Windows to Go drive along with all your applications, customizations, data and settings.
DirectAccess: Windows 8.1 Enterprise provides capabilities like DirectAccess which allows you to seamlessly connect to corporate network without launching VPN client and dialing in. As and when you connect to a Internet connection whether at home or at public hotspot you’ll securely get connected to your corporate network. Trust me you’ll love this confidence of being “Always on LAN” while sitting at your favourite coffee shop.
Bitlocker and Bitlocker to Go : “Superpowers (read Mobility) often comes with great responsibility..!”. Responsibility to protect corporate sensitive and confidential data from leak and theft. With Bitlocker in Windows 8.1 PRO and Enterprise encrypts your hard disk and prevents data loss in the event of device theft or Loss. Bitlocker to Go allows you to also encrypt your mobile HDD and USB Flash drives while carrying sensitive data. I am not sure about you but I tend to loose those tiny little things all the time…
Workplace Join: A Windows 8.1 PC was either domain joined or not. If it was a member of the domain, the user could access corporate resources (if permissioned) and IT could control the PC through group policy and other mechanisms. With the advent of BYOD, Employees are now more comfortable with working on the devices of their choice even if it means non-corporate approved devices. Workplace Join allows a middle ground between all or nothing access, allowing a user to work on the device of their choice and still have access to corporate resources IT administrators now have the ability to offer finer-grained control to corporate resources. If a user registers their device, IT can grant some access while still enforcing some governance parameters on the device. One of the benefit of Workplace Join is single sign-on and access to corporate data and apps. Who likes entertaining multiple login prompts?
Oh did I mention, Workplace join is now not limited just to Windows 8.1. You can now Workplace join your Windows 7 and iOS and gain secure access to corporate resources.
Work Folders: With most of us now have more than 1 devices in our lives, there are more reasons than ever to have our documents and data synced across all those devices securely. One of reason of mobility is the freedom to use any device, right? Not every organisation has deployed SharePoint with OneDrive for Business to enable fidelity of documents on multiple devices. Work Folders allows your work documents to be available on all your devices from a centralized file share. So you create document on one device and consume it on a different device, while its fully backed up on your organizations file server.
In my next few posts, I'll talk about what are the other technologies from Microsoft helps you deliver an end to end Enterprise Mobility in your organization.
Till then, Cheers. !