One-size-fits-all.  It might work for Snuggies, but it doesn’t work for enterprise computing.

For years, IT departments have carefully controlled the use of all technology from applications to devices.  “Users” (notice that it doesn’t matter who they are or what work they do) were given what IT decided on.  And that decision process was a long and painful one, carefully standardizing on a generic set of applications running on a boring device.  This made any change a monumental event, with standardization slowing innovation and frustrating users.

Standardization normalized computing in the name of streamlined support, troubleshooting and was ultimately justified by cost savings.  The problem is:  one-size-fits all computing really just looks at delivering the computer as a tool and doesn’t factor in how that tool is used by increasingly savvy and innovative workers.

Enter consumerization of IT and BYO.  Consumers who are used to interacting with highly-specialized and productive devices and applications at home are bringing these consumer-grade solutions into the enterprise.  Why?  Because they offer a night-and-day better experience than the generic “solutions” peddled by the IT department.  Witness the explosion of micro apps, Software as a Service (Saas) apps, and consumer-grade tablet usage and it’s obvious that consumers are bypassing IT.

Meanwhile, IT departments are faced with increasingly sophisticated threats against sensitive data and requirements that mandate the protection of personally identifiable data, personal healthcare data and payment card data.  Note that the generic security solutions offered in the past were not focused on protecting defined sensitive data, and once again took the familiar one-size-fits-all approach.

It’s obvious that one-size-fits-all computing must come to an end.

To effect a win-win solution that empowers IT to control what matters, while at the same time enabling consumers to determine their workspace, an agile and secure set of boundaries must carefully manage the intersection of consumerization and IT.  Virtualization provides the flexible boundaries that enable BYO, cloud and other advances in productivity while simultaneously meeting IT demands.  Virtualized applications and desktops enable IT to provide a diverse set of solutions in a package that’s  standardized, agile and secure.  For workers, virtualization allows them to choose any device, run cross-platform apps and keep sensitive enterprise data off of personal devices while still entreating naturally through a virtualized experience.  IT is comfortable that a secure environment has been established, allowing them to let go and give users the freedom of device choice and location that they crave.

By being able to pick and choose the devices, applications and situations that best meet their work styles, virtualization optimizes worker productivity.  Workshifting further enhances the worker experience by breaking the bounds of the workspace.  The end result looks radically different from traditional IT environments:  empowered workers are free to choose the best ways to deliver their work product, while IT automates the delivery of enterprise resources and controls security.  Supported by virtualization, enterprise consumerization opens doors that encourage innovation and the humanization of computing.  And we humans aren’t one-size-fits all!