In my last two posts I talked about People + Devices and Data + Apps – essentially 4 of the things you need to manage and probably already are in your environment.  A fourth element is the network but I won’t be going into that in particular because it’s purely a means to an end, a way for People to connect the apps on their devices to the data that they need to be productive.  What “client infrastructure managers” now need to do though is to combine those essential elements into the users journey and how to manage that journey not just the individual items.

Consider the scenario (one you’ll see at IT Camps): Ben is working on a document on his laptop, he needs to share it with Alice who needs to approve the content.  Ben then has to go to the coffee shop but he doesn’t want to carry the weight of his laptop for a quick coffee so he just takes his slate.  Whilst he’s out he realises he needs to amend the document, so he connects back to the place he shared it with Alice and makes the changes – whilst she’s actually reviewing it.  Then he starts a new document, but he has to run so he just powers off.  When he gets back to his laptop in the office the document is “magically” there.  When he’s done for the day he packs away his laptop and locks it in his desk drawer but just before he gets out the door Don asks him to share the new document with him, so he jumps onto Don’s PC and does just that – even though he only saved the document on his desktop over on his laptop, which is locked in his desk drawer.

Some of what just happened might sound like magic.  It’s not, it’s all possible with existing tools and the right deployments of User State Virtualisation, SharePoint, DirectAccess and some other established tech.  All IT did was provide the means to make it happen – put some glue in place that allowed for a mixed device style.

Really it’s always been the job of IT to make technology work in the most approachable, appropriate way.

The next paragraph is the same as the story above but with the bit’s of tech marked out so you can see where we used them.

Ben is working on a document [Word 2010] on his laptop, he needs to share it [SharePoint 2010]with Alice who needs to approve the content.  Ben then has to go to the coffee shop but he doesn’t want to carry the weight of his laptop for a quick coffee so he just takes his slate [Windows 7].  Whilst he’s out he realises he needs to amend the document [Word 2010], so he opens the place he shared it [DirectAccess + SharePoint 2010]with Alice and makes the changes – whilst she’s actually reviewing it from the browser [Office Web Apps].  Then he starts a new document, but he has to run so he just powers off.  When he gets back to his laptop in the office the document is “magically” there [User State Virtualization].  When he’s done for the day he packs away his laptop and locks it in his desk drawer but just before he gets out the door Don asks him to share the new document with him[User State Virtualization], so he jumps onto Don’s PC [Remote Desktop  Services] and does just that – even though he only saved the document on his desktop back his laptop[and on the server], which is locked in his desk drawer.

So it’s all about the journey or rather planning for the journeys that your users might make and whilst you can’t plan them all, you’ll find plenty of commonality.