Jon Wallace, Director, Emerging Technology & Strategy, AppSense
Headquartered in New York, Appsense is a provider of user virtualization technology to enterprise organizations. Founded in 1996, the company enables clients to embrace consumerization in the enterprise by independently managing all aspects of the user experience across mobile devices and desktops.
In the last few years there has been an explosion of technology advancements within what is considered to be the 'cloud' space, much of which has caught enterprises off guard. Historically, large organizations charted the enterprise-computing course. However, recently many technology teams have been forced to make uneducated decisions about the cloud due to an inability to perform adequate research.
For enterprise organizations, cloud technology is seen as both a major step in IT evolution and at the same time, one of the biggest threats to security. On one hand, there is the security group, who are responsible for safeguarding company information and IP at all cost. Yet, on the other hand, there are the desktop and delivery teams, who are responsible for delivering resources to users.
In the past, both of these teams existed and worked together with some what of an unsaid truce. Recently, with the rapid introduction of new devices such as smartphones and tablets the truce is now on the brink. More and more users are demanding that IT provide remote work capabilities and easy access to information. And, with an array of available consumer cloud services, they are finding ways of servicing themselves when IT will not.
To reference a recent quote from a CIO: "We have 15,000 iPads in our organization. I never bought a single one of them yet users are demanding we support them. With so many personal and corporate applications, combined with the data access problem, we have a challenge to solve both fast and securely" The initial reaction from IT personnel is to simply label the cloud as insecure and untrusted. While at times that is in fact the case, more often than not, it's not so clear-cut. In most instances the former claim is based on unfounded knowledge. Consider for a minute the datacenter of a provider like Amazon. It is safe to say that for most organizations, the security, maintenance and management of Amazon is in fact greater than their own environments.