Until very recently, you upgraded your data center, end point software and end points every 3-7 years:
- Windows O/S every 7-10 years
- SAP every 3-5 years
- Citrix XenApp every 3-5 years
- Exchange every 3-5 years
- Windows Server every 5-7 years
- Physical PC refresh every 3-5 years
And you were in control of when you upgraded. You probably upgraded to Windows XP, skipped Vista, and upgraded to Windows 7. Even on a 3-5 year upgrade schedule that was under your control, life wasn't simple. A PC refresh could take you 6 quarters. You spent 6-9 months planning an SAP upgrade with ample help from consultants.
Your organization talked about how to make upgrades more agile and less of a waterfall model. Could you upgrade 20% faster? Could you do it with fewer resources? Could you do it with lesser business disruption when things didn't go as planned?
Consumerization has brought in a world that is changing rapidly.Apple updates its software multiple times a year. Android OEMS are able to introduce their own special version of Android with every new phone. And that is happening every month. There is at least one major end point OS upgrade every quarter now. The end points are being upgraded 10x faster than before!
Even more importantly this rapid rate of change is outside your control. Already 80+% of the devices in the world are not under your control. Think of all the home PCs, Macs, iphones, Android phones, iPads in the hands of your end users, consultants, and contractors. And that percentage is increasing. The users of these devices are not upgrading based on your schedule.
There are multiple options to solve this problem: an MDM solution if you own or can manage the devices, a workspace if you cannot manage the devices, or a remoting solution where the end point is treated like a thin client.
For any of these solutions, a legacy architecture does not enable you to keep pace with the speed of consumerization. Legacy software architectures require complex on-premises deployments. You are responsible for system integration, upgrades, patches, etc. But the data center components don't align with the requirements of 10x faster deployment and upgrade cycles. What happens when a new device or a new operating system shows up that your existing infrastructure does not support? How soon can your vendor provide you the patch? How soon can you roll it out? How frequently are you prepared to upgrade?We believe that the only architecture that aligns with the 10x faster upgrade cycles of end points is a 100% cloud architecture. Seek a 100% cloud architecture solution where the solution vendor is responsible for updates.
In our view, the most disruptive force for enterprise IT today is the speed that consumerization introduces. Devices, consumer grade apps, and technology are moving an order of magnitude faster than before. Unless you choose a new 100% cloud architecture, you can never move as fast!
In the absense of a 100% cloud architecture, enterprises continue to struggle with managing the testing and implementation of product updates. It becomes a never ending and challenging balancing act. On one hand, new feature updates enhance the user experience and increase productivity. However, releases are usually infrequent, and require significant IT resource to test, schedule, and execute the system upgrades.
Enterprises need to have BOTH faster updates AND minimal IT effort to roll out those updates.