FLEXXIBLE IT BLOG

The New Role of IT

by | Jan 21, 2022 | Blog, Digital Employee Experience, FlexxDesktop

In 1997, I started my career in IT, and since then, a lot has changed. I remember the days when:

  • IT dictated what the users could do and could not do.
  • When laptops were not as prevalent as they are now.
  • Systems were managed and locked down.
  • End-users did not have admin rights.
  • The configuration of the endpoint was pretty static.
  • There was no VPN.
  • There was no remote working.

Then, IT ruled the end-user and what we said pretty much was the gold standard. There wasn’t flexibility or choice. It was my way or the highway mentality.

The Consumerization of IT

Fast forward to 2015 when server-based computing, VDI, and EUC started to become the norm; every end-user had a smartphone and working remotely needed to be enabled. During this time, IT no longer catered to what they thought was right, but rather [to a degree] did what the end-users demanded. End-users expected that IT would just support their needs and humor their ideas.

We can blame vendors like Apple, Samsung, Dropbox, and more. However, the reality is the end-user went from being technology limited to technology overloaded. This push was driven by things like:

  • Bring your own device
  • Preference for certain applications
  • Meshing personal and business on their devices

End-users wanted what they wanted, and IT needed to enable this mentality to a certain degree. Thankfully technology allowed IT to balance these needs with identity, security, and simplicity.

Then the world got turned upside down.

The Hybridization of Work

March 2020 hit, and work as we know would be forever impacted. IT departments worldwide scrambled to accommodate this new paradigm, hybrid work. Companies that never had remote work policies needed to shift fast and enable workers to work remotely effectively. Companies that used Citrix and VMware [and similar technologies] had to scale up and out to accommodate the new demand.

ITs focus has shifted from tactical to being strategic to the core business. Over the last 20+ months, IT departments that focused on break-fix scenarios went to enabling a secured remote access strategy. Digital employee experience became front and center. The end-user demands matter more because it is no longer nice to have but impact to their productivity. Downtime, lack of access, and service interruptions have more considerable repercussions on the business.

The New Role of IT

IT will always have a component of break/fix and troubleshooting. However, as we enter the future of IT, IT needs to pivot to focus on the end-user’s needs and their overall experience. IT should no longer be in the business of maintaining and fixing infrastructure. Let’s dissect the hybrid worker from a technology point of view and highlight where IT should focus.

  1. The Endpoint: The endpoint should not matter if you have the systems in place to enable the end-user to access what they need from any device, browser, or network. IT has a few choices here:
    1. Bring your own device (BYOD)
    1. A corporate-owned thin OS or device like IGEL Technology
    1. A corporate-owned device with Windows

The goal is simple; IT needs to simplify endpoint management so the end-user can connect to their digital workspace.

  • Remote Access: For me, VPN is dead (we can debate that another day). The reality is, access should be simple so the end-user can do their job effectively. IT needs to focus on access technologies that have a zero-trust approach and secure anything in the data center and any application the end-user could leverage. A secured access service edge (SASE) is the new norm, and technologies like Citrix, VMware, Microsoft, Zscaler, Palo Alto, and others enable this concept.
  • Digital Workspace: You say potato, and I say potahto. Whether you are using Citrix, VMware, Microsoft AVD, or anything similar, this is the digital workspace. IT’s focus needs to be the OS, the applications within, and to ensure an exceptional end-user experience.

Notice what is missing? The need for IT to manage, maintain, and support the infrastructure behind these concepts. Moving forward, IT needs to focus on what matters, then end-user and not ensure infrastructure is up or maintained.

Focus on the Business

The new role of IT is a role where they focus on providing a secured application, desktop, or both to the end-user without the worry of having to maintain and support the infrastructure underneath. Let someone else worry about that, and IT focuses on keeping the business functional. In short, bring the power of the public cloud to the data center.

FlexxDesktop enables IT to focus on what matters, the end-user. FlexxDesktop is hyper-converged for the hybrid future by taking your current digital workspace investment and

  1. Fully bringing it under management within a single user interface.
  2. Providing L2, L3, and L4 support for the end-users.
  3. Managing and providing full operational support of the infrastructure.
  4. Providing a pay-as-you-grow infrastructure in the data center or public cloud or both.
  5. Upgrading and maintaining the technologies leveraged.

FlexxDesktop will allow IT to keep the business productive and the end-users happy! FlexxDesktop will enable IT to focus on the business and place the end-user at the center. This shift will allow IT to ensure the digital workspace provided to their end-user is simple and secured no matter the technology underneath.

For information on FlexxDesktop, click HERE.

Pete Downing

Author

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