Somewhere between the physical and the virtual
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Hi everyone, we start our first in the series on ‘Client Deployment with System Center’, and logically we begin with one of the biggest challenges every customer in the world faces. Applications.
Organizations are becoming more and more engaged in what is running on client systems , using new tools, adding levels of management control and trying to manage new working styles and locations. At the same time end users are placing heavier demands on the IT department to support what they need to do their jobs. From hardware preference, to devices, to the applications that they run. It might be as thin as a Twitter app, or as robust as a collaboration or productivity tool.
Applications are a broad space. There are already over 10,000 Android apps. There are already over 25,000 Windows mobile apps and over 180,000 iPhone apps. The Windows division has over 7000 applications in their compatibility database that are actively tracked (and referred to in the local sysmain.sdb) , with an awareness of over 1,000,000 through avenues such as Watson reporting and Online Crash Analysis. According to market researcher DataMonitor (and linked from Wikipedia), the size of the worldwide software industry in 2008 was US$ 303.8 billion, an increase of 6.5% compared to 2007. The Americas account for 42.6% of the global software market's value. DataMonitor forecasts that in 2013, the global software market will have a value of US$ 457 billion, an increase of 50.5% since 2008.
Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Operating System Market Share
One of the biggest challenges in the application management space is ‘what are you running’? A memorable customer visit with a large bank still sticks to mind. We worked closely for 6 months to define what an application was for their 180,000 users. Their first list was 16,000 applications. When the exercise was complete, the number was closer to 2,500. Not bad for their size, but it was all about defining what an application was. Many organizations have applications through ISVs, like Microsoft. In addition though, there are local apps, internally written or built by contractors or vendors. In a nutshell, ‘unclassified’ apps (we are not trying to oversimplify this). In order to really define what an application is, its also important to consider the delivery mechanism. All of these numbers grow exponentially when we consider the format of the app. Full install, virtual, presentation, device or other.
In order to understand what an application is and where it is installed, it’s important to be aware of what tools are available (eg. here) . There are several areas of Application Management that we will detail here and in some following posts, and highlight System Center and partner solutions for you to investigate wherever we can. Here is the topic lineup for Applications, our first part on the series:
Next we will go into these with Tools analysis, interviews and recommendations for you.
Jeff Wettlaufer Sr. Technical Product Manager System Center