Following on from Jason’s recent post where we explored how the explosion we are seeing in the use of consumer devices in the corporate environment, along with ubiquitous information access is changing the way that people are getting their work done.  In this post, I want to continue on this journey and take a look what this means for users and the information they interact with as they get their work done.

The almost constant use of technology throughout the day, along with the (sometimes too) easy access to information is blurring traditional boundaries between work and home life. These shifting boundaries are accompanied by a belief that personal technology—selected and customized to fit user’s personalities, activities, and schedules—when extended into the workplace can result in happier and more productive users.

But there is a lot of iceberg beneath the waterline of this shift … what happens to the information if that device is lost, stolen or passed on to someone else?  How does an organization ensure that sensitive information remains secure when they have no knowledge of where it is?  And how can we be sure that when Demi logs on from an unknown device, that it is in fact Demi?

Let’s think about this in terms of 4 aspects: Users, Devices, Apps and Data.

  • Users expect to be able to use any device and gain access to all the apps and data they need to get their work done.  As a user, I don’t think about the device I am using, I just want my stuff, and I want it from anywhere.
  • The proliferation of Devices and device types has altered the perspective on what has previously been a very standards-based approach to IT.  There is no ‘standard desktop’ in the mobile device world, there are multiple form factors and platforms and varying connection speeds from Wi-Fi to cellular.
  • Deploying and managing Apps is harder now, when you have multiple platforms to support and different form factors, choices must be made on what the availability and support is for each platform.
  • And the last mile, Data.  As we mentioned above, protecting data both in terms of access control, in flight and at rest is exponentially harder when you are not in control of the devices that it is residing on.

The Microsoft People-centric IT solutions are designed to help our customers answer these challenges! 

Below are some examples of how we are empowering our customers to:

  • Provide a common identity for users to access resources both on-premises and in the cloud.  A significant percentage (~93%) of our customers are using Windows Server Active Directory as their primary identity and authentication source within their organizations, and with Windows Azure Active Directory we are cloud-enabling our customers to adopt cloud based applications and services (such as Office 365 and Dynamics CRM), leveraging their existing investments.

  • Enable additional levels of control when users connect from unknown devices.  A new capability in Windows Server 2012 R2 is device registration, known as Workplace Join, which allows customers to both enforce additional levels of control when users are connecting from BYO or company provided consumer devices.
  • Make it really easy to enroll devices for management and install the Company Portal for consistent access to corporate data and applications, via the deployment of native apps, or leveraging desktop virtualization capabilities.
  • Provide the ability for users to have access to their work documents locally on their device and keep them in sync with Work Folders.
  • Enable our customers IT departments to centralize corporate information for compliance and data protection, enforcing policy-based access controls to information and the ability to automatically classify and protect information based on its content, not just its location.

 As you can see, we are providing a rich set of solutions to help you to enable users to be productive on the device of their choice, yet remain in control of applications and information.

For further information, please check out the following: