In today’s digitized landscape, enterprises are striving to strike the right balance between control, flexibility, and risk in managing their IT environments. This blog post aims to explore six different application delivery approaches. From highly controlled environments using a Secure Experience approach to the riskier realm of unmanaged Bring-Your-Own-PC (BYOPC) strategies, we will discuss the associated control and risk levels, as well as the type of user profiles that each approach might suit.
This blog should serve as a useful resource for CIOs, CISOs, and CTOs who are continuously evaluating their enterprise’s application delivery mechanisms.
Starting with the highest level of control, the Secure Experience approach combines managed devices with Server-Based Computing (SBC), Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), or Desktop as a Service (DaaS). It provides complete control over the user experience by delivering applications and desktops from a centralized infrastructure. This approach minimizes the risk of data loss and unauthorized access, as data is stored centrally and not on end-user devices.
This model is ideal for user profiles dealing with sensitive information, such as those in finance, healthcare, or government sectors, where data security and regulatory compliance are of utmost importance.
The Secure Device approach places a significant emphasis on device management while also providing locally installed applications. It provides a high degree of control over both the device and the applications, offering robust security while ensuring a standardized user experience.
This strategy suits user profiles that require specific local apps for their roles but don’t necessarily handle sensitive data. Organizations in the manufacturing, retail, or services industries, where uniformity and efficiency are essential, would find this approach beneficial.
Secure Apps & Data
Here, users bring their own PCs, but applications and data remain secure via SBC, VDI, or DaaS. This model grants enterprises control over applications and data, but not the devices themselves. While it facilitates flexibility and cost savings, it introduces a higher risk as organizations have limited control over the security of end-user devices.
This approach could fit well with freelancers, contractors, or remote workers who use their devices but still require secure access to corporate applications and data.
Secure Office PC Access
This approach offers secure access to an office PC from a personal device. Here, the level of control over the applications and data is moderate since users access the office PC environment remotely. This approach could increase the risk as the control over the personal device used for access is less, and the device could potentially be compromised.
It’s suitable for user profiles that occasionally need access to their office environment from outside of work, such as business executives or employees who occasionally work remotely.
Monitor For Risk
Here, users bring their own devices, with organizations using ZTNA to ensure secure app access. This approach significantly reduces the control level as it is predominantly reliant on the user’s device security but monitors for risks using the zero-trust principles.
This strategy could work well for organizations with a highly mobile workforce or those embracing a full-scale remote work model, where users need to securely access business apps from multiple locations.
Avoid: Unmanaged BYOPC, Local Apps
The least controlled approach involves users bringing their own unmanaged PCs and running local apps. In this model, the organization has no control over the device, the applications, or the data. While this approach provides the most flexibility, it carries a significant risk as it relies entirely on the end-user to secure their device and data.
This approach is not recommended for corporate use due to the high risk but may find its place in very small businesses or startups, where the flexibility and cost-efficiency outweigh the security concerns.
As we can see, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to application delivery approaches. The choice should be driven by the specific requirements of your user profiles, as well as your organization’s risk tolerance. Regardless of the approach, a strong focus on cybersecurity practices, user education, and continuous monitoring are essential to ensuring a secure and productive environment. As modern enterprises continue to evolve, so too should our strategies for application delivery.