This week I attended through work a presentation about Endpoint Management with a focus around the whole “bring your device to work” megatrend the experts are talking about. In case you haven’t heard this discussion is all about allowing an end user to purchase or use their own device instead of a corporate device. Examples given in this presentation are large New York City based banks encouraging people to use their own devices (usually a Mac) as a recruiting tool to help attract top talent. The presentation focused on how will IT manage these devices (patch, deliver software, track inventory, etc) on a non-corporate device. In the past someone in IT decided what version of desktop/laptop (either a Dell or an HP) and then decided on an operating system (Microsoft and still for a lot of shops XP). Now we are seeing a growth of whatever type of device the end user wants (anyone have this at their work?).
The interesting part about the discussion was the focus on Mac and how companies are managing them. Macs in the corporate environment are growing and growing (heck I moved to one) and companies have to figure out what to do w/ them. Thankfully the product I consult around (Altiris Client Management Suite) has perhaps the best Mac management outside of Apple. When asked about where the expers see Linux in the corporate world the expert replied it still exists within the walls of the datacenter (whether on premises or off premises in some form of cloud) and it really doesn’t exist in the corporate desktop (at least in the US).
This is a large frustration I have with Ubuntu is that it could focus on the corporate environment and potentially increase market share but instead chooses to focus on TVs and potentially mobile devices. Canonical could partner with the various Endpoint Management software vendors (Microsoft, IBM, CA, Symantec, Dell, etc.) to support Ubuntu.
When I show up w/ my own laptop running Ubuntu there are certain things I’m required to have or report on including up to date with patches, has up to date antivirus and definitions and is able to be managed by the corporate management solution. So Canonical, fire up those partnership agreements or whatever is needed and get your operating system supported by more vendors so the corporate desktop market share can grow