How to secure the workplace in a 'post-PC era'

Summary:VMware chief on why virtualisation might hold the key...

VMware chief on why virtualisation might hold the key...

Using the Apple iPad in the office

The Apple iPad and other consumer devices are the work computers of tomorrow, EMC World heardPhoto: Apple

The rising number of consumer gadgets in the workplace will mean CIOs will have to find new ways of managing technology, EMC World heard last week.

CIOs will not be able to stop staff bringing smartphones and tablets into the workplace and need to accept they have to secure a far broader range of devices than in the past, VMware CEO Paul Maritz told the conference in Las Vegas.

"We are moving into the post-PC era. Laptops and PCs will have to share the stage with other devices," he said.

"IT can no longer assume that all they have to do is manage windows desktops."

EMC COO and president Howard D Elias said: "The CIO has been spending a lot of time locking down infrastructure and coming up with a single configuration of PCs and laptops, controlling their image, applications and patch management.

"They just started to get that right in the past couple of years and then, boom, it's gone, they have lost that complete control."

Maritz said VMware was developing a service called MVP, which is designed to allow organisations to make consumer smartphones secure for the workplace.

"The idea is that instead of purchasing physical phones, IT installs a virtual phone on the user's physical phone."

He said it would allow the user to have "two phone numbers" and digital "environments" on the one mobile phone, providing IT managers with control over issues such as what apps are installed and policies governing how the smartphone can be used.

Maritz added that this would create a sandbox around the corporate environment, preventing any malicious apps that the user installs on the phone from accessing sensitive data in the virtual corporate phone.

Topics: Hardware

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Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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