Content Management from its earliest days has been about getting the right information to the right person at the right time. This was long before there were laptops, before email, before the web, before smartphones, before e-Readers, before tablet computers, before whatever comes next

Today the buzz is all about Mobile and the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement: the promise that you will be able to access information at anytime from anywhere via the device of your choice. On the consumer front, multi-device living is, for the most part, already a reality. You can use Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, GoToMyPC, SaaS, PaaS, cloud-based solutions and so on …

The BYOD Dilemma

On an enterprise level, we still have a ways to go, even though nearly every major vendor offers mobile apps. After all, mixing information from an individual’s private life with corporate content and data on a personal device is a slippery slope say most corporate counsels; it’s a risk that many would prefer that their employees not take.

But banning the use of personal devices in the workplace, or for work purposes, isn’t practical, workers wouldn’t put up with checking their smartphones and tablets at the company door. Besides, employers won’t have to shell out the bucks for company-issued smartphones or tablets if you’d rather use your own; needless to say, that saves them a whole lot of bucks.

So this leaves CIO’s tasked with an interesting dilemma -- how do you keep your organization safe and out of legal trouble while workers mix personal and company data on devices that the company doesn’t own and has no control over?

Give a technology company a problem and they’ll find an opportunity. That’s precisely what VMWare has done. Yesterday at VMworld 2012 the virtualization company introduced an alpha release of its Platform for Workforce Mobility which promises to offer a secure, flexible corporate workspace in the cloud for mobile workers.

Just Beyond the Horizon

Dubbed the Horizon Suite, the technology bundle has been designed to provide mobile users with secure, consistent, 24/7 access to their desktop, applications and data from any device. This makes it possible for enterprises to get the consistent governance they need, while workers enjoy separate personal and business workspaces independent of the device that they use.

With the Horizon Suite, IT creates a custom service catalog for all company data and applications. The technology was designed so that it automatically understands a user’s environment (device, location and connectivity level) and attributes. It then enforces policies across applications, data and devices.

The Horizon Suite leverages technologies from existing VMWare projects -- Project Octopus, Project AppBlast, ThinApp, VMware Horizon Application Manager and VMware Horizon Mobile -- to create a mobile platform.

The Project Octopus component, for example, is a file-syncing technology that will allow users to securely access and share their data and files from any device. Much like Google Drive or Dropbox, it has a consumer-like feel, but it also comes with Governance, which allows IT to set policies for data access and sharing etc.

Project AppBlast provides remote access to desktop apps like Office via a web browser.

VMware Horizon Application Manager unifies management of any SaaS, Web and Windows applications to securely deliver them to end-users on the device of their choice.

What does the Horizon Suite bring to the world of information technology that didn’t exist in the past? A set of unified consumer-like tools that will allow knowledge workers to access the right content and the right data, from anywhere, at any time via any device without sacrificing Governance.

Editor's Note: Another article by Virginia Backaitis you might enjoy:

-- Big Data Gets Nailed