by December 6, 2011 0 comments











Andy
Mulholland, CTO,
Capgemini

Every
now and then I get really excited about a newly released or upgraded
product. I must confess it doesn’t happen that often, but what does
it for me is when I see something that I know is the missing piece in
a particular jigsaw. And that jigsaw is connected to the title of
this blog. My jigsaws, and their pictures, are almost always user or
business solution oriented, you might say down the stack, which is
Capgemini’s role in the industry, whereas products and product
vendors think more around the technology capabilities, or up the
stack.

This
morning I read an announcement from a specialist company called
RealVNC whose core product
they describe as:

provides remote control software which lets you see and interact with
desktop applications across any network.
The
product is version 2 of their iPad Viewer to work with Apple iOS 5
and I reproduce the following from their Website with a slight edit
marked …………. covering greater details of the product. Oh and
by the way when you are reading this remember that in their Q4 2011
results announced in mid-October, Apple reported sales of another
11.2 million iPads, and 17.7 million iPhones, so some of these are in
your enterprise for sure! It’s what they are being used for and how
they are being used that should matter to any IT department.

RealVNC,
the original developer of VNC technology, has announced a new version
of its popular VNC Viewer application that provides remote control of
Mac OS X, Windows, Linux or UNIX computers from an Apple iOS device.
Available now from the App Store, VNC Viewer version 2 supports the
recently released iOS 5 and ……… take full remote control of
office and home computers.

With
this latest version of VNC Viewer, any external monitor that is
plugged into the iOS device will automatically display the remotely
connected computer’s desktop. And with iPhones or iPads running iOS 5
with Airplay Mirroring turned on, the computer’s desktop will be
automatically transferred to Apple TV. In both cases, the mobile
device’s screen acts as the keyboard and mouse. VNC Viewer for iOS
enables users to provide remote IT support, access home computers
whilst traveling and view Flash-based websites. To connect from VNC
Viewer, VNC “Server”-compatible technology must be installed and
running on the computer to be accessed. The recommended VNC
Enterprise Edition provides robust, high-performance connections and
unmatched flexibility along with strong security.

If
you link this back to the topic of separating internally-oriented,
client-server, data-centric IT inside the firewall with external
links being made around the governance structure, then that is
appropriate for this — ‘inside-out’ as we call it at Capgemini.
This is in contrast to the increasing number of users with their own
devices, such as iPads and iPhones, who want much wider access to
Web-based services from Apple App Store, or other Web and cloud
sources, and are frustrated by the IT department ‘locked down’
corporate PCs — which we call ‘outside-in’. To get a more
complete brief on this see earlier CTO
blogs
BUT the fact remains that I, and most of those iPad and
smartphone users, want to work in both environments for different
reasons and at different times.

Most
of my day I am distinctly mobile, i.e. out of the office visiting
clients, or industry technology vendors, even sometimes at industry
events, but always relying on wireless connectivity of one sort or
another, and usually interacting with others on social networks,
reading technology news etc. In fact, other than email I don’t use
any Capgemini services from inside the firewall, and in the case of
email I get it as ‘push mail’. The very need to go through the
necessary connection via a VPN and authentication to establish a link
into enterprise IT within the firewall is too time-consuming and
awkward, and that’s even before I consider carrying a notebook PC
on the grounds of size and boot-up time. So it’s an iPad and
Windows 7.5 smartphone for me and my distinctly externally-focused
activities in the ‘outside-in’ environment.

However,
at the beginning and end of the day when sitting in my hotel or at
home then I will turn to my PC and move myself within the enterprise
firewall and work in an ‘inside-out’ environment to deal with the
‘heavy lifting’ tasks which almost, without exception, need data
in files. The first and biggest group of tasks will be those replies
to emails that need a file from my PC to be attached to the reply and
I have ‘parked’ during the day. Then there are a few items that I
might need the next day and I will email the attachment to myself to
make it accessible on my iPad, and finally there is some work that
actually does involve using genuine enterprise applications. (By the
way, I appreciate that if I had a more office-based role in say,
Finance, this would not be the way I would work.)

At
this point I expect you have made the connection to the RealVNC
Viewer on iPad, and yup there is a great answer in that I could
remotely tell my PC sat safely inside the enterprise firewall to open
a file, mail an attachment, or whatever, without moving the data
outside the safety of the firewall. Magic!! Well certainly worth a
closer look anyway as I am not trying to endorse the product
unseen!!! The point is that here is the kind of solution that answers
the needs of both sides; the IT department is rightly concerned with
the security and safety of corporate applications and data, and
mobility workers are rightfully requiring a different working
environment.

So
it’s time to acknowledge the realities of the new ‘post-PC era’
as in fact a different working style and environment from the
standard enterprise desktop environment — the ‘outside-in’ and
‘inside-out’ definitions — and start to use another popular
term, ‘innovation’. There is a definite need to look at these
changes as undeniable reality with the need to find new types of
potential solutions, after all, another 11.2 million iPads plus some
1.2 million Android tablets will be in use next quarter so delaying
tactics don’t look like much of a solution!


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