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Is there a future in Desktop support

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Rob1234, May 15, 2013.

  1. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

    I was at a seminar the other day around BYOD/BYOE and some of the companies there were already quite advanced in to the whole BYOD thing and the stats where showing that it is an area where we will be seeing a lot of growth soon (obviously they were selling BYOD solutions so the stats may be a little in there favour) but I do see that as something that will increase.

    One guy there his company pulled out BES gave everyone a budget and said go buy you own mobile device and put our MDM solution on it.

    That got me think if laptops go that way or tablets will there be a need for desktop support anymore? I think there will always be a need for them but it may be an area of IT that will shrink rather than growing.

    Wondered what you guys thought about it?
    Certifications: A few.
  2. mojorisin

    mojorisin Kilobyte Poster

    I think the BYOD could be a recipe for disaster where is the control over what is on the machine ?
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  3. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster

    Exactly, aren't you as a company responsible for things like licensing if it is being connected to your network?
  4. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    I believe that there will always be desktop/tier 1 support, maybe not in the way we see it now; just like desktop support is different to what it was 20+ years ago. Take for instance the place where I work, from a desktop point of view... 9 or 10 years ago, we had about 40 PC's. Now a days we have approx 675 PC's/laptops as well as VDI (on thin clients), as well as 30 odd tablets that we're trialling.

    IT is one of the industries that is forever changing due to innovation and we will just adapt to them :)
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  5. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    This is where the likes of VMware Horizon Suite and Citrix come into play, you're not actually running the software locally but via a browser instead (think Office 365).

    To Robs main question, I think that with faster and faster internet connections, availability of application streaming and even a mobile phone virtualisation (where you have a VM running on your phone that's the business phone and the main OS is your private device) I think the need for mainstream desktop support is going to dwindle down to a core team of application specialists and people who just shift boxes in and out of service.

    Desktop virtualisation is moving forward and it will get to the point where BYOD is seen as mainstream rather than niche market.
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  6. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

    I don't really get this BYOD stuff, I really struggle to see how it will practically be possible. If you start to put people in a position of providing their own hardware, then issues will arise that I think hard to negate.

    Most people live to what they earn, and I'm sure plenty don't insure a lot of gadgets etc, so if that hardware breaks, then in a BYOD arrangement assumingly you would be responsible for replacing the hardware etc.

    Now what if you couldn't afford it, not only are you losing days productivity, but I'm not convinced as a company you could just get rid of that person, it's difficult to put that level of control on an employee and not to expect issues! If they sacked someone for it, I'm sure the unfair dismissal claim would be upheld because you can't solely expect an individual to have the cash flow etc to ALWAYS be able to replace what is inevitably reasonable cost hardware.

    The other issue comes with connectivity in the office, I think there will be deemed a rather large risk to having all your own hardware, as you will be connecting to the network, whether that be via Internet or whatever, I think huge companies will not like that lack of control, network security teams will want to lock these devices down so much, they will virtually be useless for personal use should you have interests that depart to those of the company etc.
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  7. dales

    dales Terabyte Poster

    There will always be a need for desktop support peeps, but like everything the role will evolve over time. BYOD is already here in a big way and as simon says Xenapp, Horizon and terminal services make this all possible. If you've used OWA on your own laptop to check something quick in the evening or fired up the VPN congratulations your now in the BYOD team. The beauty of the products mentioned is that there is no network security issues and you dont have to give a monkeys about what hardware your software/desktop is running on. Control of the applications/desktops is maintained internally and the PCOIP, HDX etc protocols give you the security/features you need.

    Another thing I think that is a little mis-understood is that for example my company I could use my own device for work, or they will give you a budget to spend on any device you wish. so if you want you can get your bargain bucket acer jobs or you can blow the whole lot and then put in some of your own cash to get a top of the range ultrabook or if its your poison an apple device (shudder).
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  8. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

    I could understand there being no network concerns if you are working remotely, but people still have a need to be in the office and I think personally there is a very real concern about network security myself!

    You will have connections available, admittedly most within DMZ but even so, there is a lot of risk to that if you ask me! Most companies I have worked at have not had entirely isolated DMZ areas, and I've worked for some big companies, there is almost always an outlet that makes the risk a very real risk!
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  9. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Yes – there will always be a need for desktop support. The applications supported on the desktop may change and some applications may be hosted elsewhere but it still needs to be supported.

    As for BYOD its common for me as some companies I support arrange their own mobile phone contracts so the handsets they get can be virtually anything. Also some senior management like to spec their own laptops. I have no problem with this as long as it has an OS that can attach to a domain and also there is suitable AV installed.

    There can be issues with printer driver support and some VPN clients but these issues can generally be resolved.

    It’s also worth noting that when someone’s phone is using Exchange for email then the remote wipe feature can be used. So if someone leaves the company on bad terms does that give the IT department the right to wipe the phone and all of its contents?
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  10. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    That's were things get interesting though, there are actually a couple of law suits working there way through the US courts on this at the moment. In a BYOD environment what rights do the company hold in relation to those devices? Is it fair to assume that as the employee has willingly supplied the device its ok for the IT guys to have access to wipe or manipulate the device in any way?

    There is still a lot to shake out when it comes to BYOD, and a lot of companies still haven't got any kind of robust policies and procedures in place in regards to support of these devices.
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