Consumerization and the cloud: How mobile cloud apps are changing IT

Consumerization and the cloud: How mobile cloud apps are changing IT

Cloud computing and consumerization are two of the most transformative trends in enterprise IT today.

Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, business users now expect to be able to work wherever they are, whenever they want, on whatever device they choose. And if the corporate systems aren’t in place to make that happen, there’s a slew of mobile cloud apps and other cloud services that users can turn to, leaving IT out of the equation.

But mobile cloud apps are only the tip of the iceberg. Cloud computing and consumerization can affect every aspect of IT, from application development to application delivery and from data storage to data security. The news articles, features and expert resources in this special report explain how mobile cloud apps, cloud storage services and other cloud computing applications are changing IT -- and how IT can embrace this shift while maintaining security and control.

Table of contents:

Cloud apps, storage and management

If it seems like all the major vendors have some kind of mobile cloud app, that’s because they do. Microsoft, VMware, Google and others are all in on the action. With so many mobile cloud apps and other cloud computing applications on the market, how is an IT pro to choose?

For VMware Octopus, integration is key to enterprise file-sharing success

VMware Octopus is the newest enterprise file-sharing service to step into the market, and IT pros hope it will work well with VMware’s other data center infrastructure products. If that’s the case, and if Octopus has a solid mobile cloud app for end users, then it might have a leg up on the competition.

Box OneCloud aims to improve iOS document sharing and editing

Apple iOS devices aren’t great when it comes to sharing and editing documents across multiple apps, so they need a little help in that department. OneCloud from Box integrates with third-party mobile cloud apps and services to improve document sharing and editing on the iPhone and iPad.

Faceoff: Office 365 vs. Google Apps -- the tale of two nonprofits

Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps are competing cloud computing applications for word processing, spreadsheets and other business productivity tasks. Two nonprofits evaluated these cloud apps and came to different conclusions, basing their decisions on business needs and pricing.

Identity as a Service tools offer IT pros control over BYOD, cloud

Controlling end-user activity is a primary concern for IT pros. With Identity as a Service (IDaaS) tools, admins gain new ways to deliver cloud apps and provide identity access. IDaaS platforms can send Web and legacy apps to users through a secure portal, offering IT control over who accesses what and from where.


Desktop cloud apps and consumerization

In the past, critics have called desktop virtualization a solution without a problem. But today, some see its value in addressing the security and application-delivery challenges raised by the consumerization of IT. U.K. businesses that aren’t prepared to adopt BYOD see VDI as a step on the path to making consumerization work, but companies that already use VDI might see it replaced by mobile cloud apps and Desktops as a Service (DaaS).

Cloud-based apps, DaaS eat into VDI usage

VDI and the cloud have a lot in common. For one, both offer desktop access from anywhere on any device. But with cloud apps, there’s no infrastructure cost, and DaaS offers the best of both worlds. As IT gets more comfortable with the cloud, mobile cloud apps and DaaS could take the place of server-hosted VDI.

Desktop virtualisation helps data centres prepare for consumerisation

Across the pond, consumerization is catching on a little more slowly than in the  U.S. Many U.K. businesses and data centers aren’t ready to deal with consumerization, but those that are see VDI as a helpful technology.

BYOD and mobile cloud apps lead to licensing compliance issues

It’s easy for employees who use their personal devices for work to violate the licensing agreement between their employer and Microsoft. To avoid costly licensing snafus, use a remote access strategy for apps, data and desktops that IT can control and license, such as VDI or DaaS.


Consumerization for IT and developers

Consumerization’s effects on IT pros go beyond managing smartphones and tablets. In some ways, IT pros -- and even developers -- can benefit from this shift. Remote access tools and the ability to simply build and publish mobile cloud apps make work easier for IT pros.

Remote systems management apps let IT work on the go

IT pros need visibility into their network, and sometimes they need it away from their desktops. With remote systems management apps, admins gain the flexibility to perform basic IT tasks from the road (or the beach).

IT pros bypass management, set up their own AWS clouds

Consumerization has a reputation for being an end-user movement, but IT pros can circumvent standard operating procedure to make their work easier, too. These apostate admins are using Amazon Web Services’ public cloud apps that speed up test-and-development projects.

From DevOps to NoOps: IT operations pros dwindle, developers rise

As the number of IT operations professionals shrinks and the number of developers increases, DevOps shops are turning into NoOps shops. But NoOps doesn’t mark the end of IT operations; it’s just a new way of approaching things.

BYOD and cloud services cause -- and ease -- IT security concerns

IT pros having nightmares about BYOD security might find solace in certain cloud services. With Security as a Service tools from companies such as Sophos and Zscaler plus an MDM system, the very thing that makes admins toss and turn at night can help them sleep soundly.

IT operations in the age of cloud: Brace yourself for change

Operations managers with cloud computing experience say it has radically changed the way they work and say it’s only a matter of time before the cloud takes hold in enterprise IT shops everywhere.