It’s no secret that mobile device proliferation has been essential in enabling businesses to become more efficient, productive, cost effective and responsive. But while mobile devices have generated many benefits for corporations, they have also ushered in unprecedented security threats, and a range of device management challenges.

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The multi-device mobility challenge

IT professionals are continuously struggling to manage multiple devices from multiple locations. Recent research from Toshiba shows that 84 percent of senior European IT decision makers believe unauthorised IT system use to be endemic within their businesses – highlighting the severity of this problem. Further still, research conducted by Ovum’s European Mobility Management Gap report found 61 percent of European business leaders still feel they are making little or no progress towards building a secure mobile workforce.

Efforts to tackle these challenges in the past have involved IT managers turning to thin client solutions, which make for an attractive proposition because they’re generally easy to install. They also offer a simple application process and improved security. However, when it comes to remote working, the limited nature of thin client solutions in terms of both portability and security is causing businesses to explore different alternatives.

The rise of zero clients

This shift has given rise to zero client solutions. While similar to thin clients in their reliance on a central, purpose-built server that hosts the operating system and applications, zero clients differ in the fact that the operating system can be extracted from the individual device. For businesses, this eradicates the need to store information on the individual device’s HDD or SSD, instead bringing all functionality and data into the cloud through a secure virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). With no data stored on the device, company data is considerably less vulnerable, and any threat involved should a laptop be lost or stolen is eliminated.

The other key benefit of zero clients is the cost element, and the savings they provide, with minimal management required once integrated into the IT infrastructure and updates automatically rolling-out via the server. Equally, with no information held on the client, hardware is faster, more efficient and more durable – removing the costly and time-intensive need to regularly upgrade to new devices.

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The future of mobile business

Bringing together the enhanced security that zero clients provide with the ability to work unhindered no matter where, Toshiba has pioneered a Mobile Zero Client solution – helping to overcome the desk-based nature of more traditional zero clients in this age of mobile working.

Such technology offers the perfect blend of flexibility, mobility and security, working in tandem with the latest business-built mobile devices to offer the power and connectivity tools for workers to perform at full capacity whether in the office, on the train, or at home. And with all data still stored away from the device, businesses will have full peace of mind that the security threat, should a device be  lost or stolen, is minimal.

With a growing demand for zero clients, enhancing the mobile functionality of such solutions is the next significant innovation and promises to truly bring businesses into an era of fluid, flexible and secure working in any location.

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Neil Bramley, European SMB Director, Toshiba

Neil Bramley has worked for Toshiba for 20 years, currently serving as European SMB Director and Business Unit Director, B2B PC, Northern Europe.

In his Pan-European role of European SMB Director, Neil oversees the enrichment and delivery of Toshiba’s SMB propositions to meet customer requirements across Europe.

He is also responsible for the B2B PC business in Northern Europe for both Partners and Clients across all Business Market Sectors, ensuring success commercially and organisationally, and, importantly, that the customer needs of today and tomorrow are met in the most effective manner.

With almost 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, Neil previously worked at both Reseller and Distribution organisations where he attained an in-depth knowledge of Partner Businesses and onward service delivery to clients. Since 1995, Neil’s career at Toshiba has included work with Corporate, Public Sector and SMB organisations, as well as Channel Reseller and Distributor Partners and associated Business Management.