User Virtualization

Beyond device-centric computing

Published/updated: October 2011

The primary driver of today’s IT leaders is to enable better business management and execution, putting business needs at the center of IT service delivery. But as technology becomes more embedded in our personal as well as business lives, the ’tech savvy’ employee is increasingly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Whether it’s applications or devices, or how these are configured, users cite choice, flexibility and personalization as key enablers of productivity, creativity and overall effectiveness.

Considered in the context of ongoing management of end user computing and periodic desktop modernization, however, the increased emphasis on the user needs and wants presents IT with new challenges. The imperative to maintain security and control costs is often at odds with user flexibility.

Enter ’user virtualization’, an emerging technology that enables the central management of users’ profiles, settings and policies independently of the physical or virtual devices they use. We discuss how this user-centric approach can make life easier for IT departments, and enable the triangle of business, IT and user needs to be better balanced.

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