There has always been a certain amount of tension between end users and IT organizations when it comes to PC upgrades. IT organizations typically buy new PCs in three-year cycles, while end users almost always want access to the latest and greatest systems.
The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon is really an end run by users around IT to get access to the latest systems using their own money. The problem is that BYOD creates a potential management nightmare for the IT organization.
With the availability of its 3rd Generation Core processors starting today , Intel is trying to bridge this divide with not only faster processors that feature enhanced graphics capabilities, but also systems that feature built-in security and higher levels of remote manageability in the vPro functionality that Intel has embedded in its latest processors.
According to Rick Echevavria, vice president of the Intel Architecture Group and general manager for the Business Client Platform division, with the launch of the processors, Intel is making a concerted effort to serve the interests of both the IT organizations and the end users they serve.
Of course, it might not be until much later this year before we see systems based on the 3rd Intel Core processors, which had been codenamed Ivy Bridge. Theoretically at least, any number of security and systems management applications should be in place to take advantage of the new vPro capabilities, which is one of the reasons that Intel acquired McAfee.
The question is how long can IT organizations forestall BYOD in their organizations, and if they do decide to implement a BYOD policy, can they make it so that end users can only bring in systems that can easily be managed and controlled by IT because they support vPro technology.
From an IT perspective, the 3rd Intel Core processors might be filed under the heading of "better late than never." The issue of PC manageability and cost of ownership has been floating around enterprise IT for more than a decade now. Intel has taken several swipes at the problem and it looks like the third generation Intel Core processors may finally be a viable solution to the "core" problem.
Intel, of course, is hoping that IT organizations will get on board because left to their own devices, end users will upgrade systems more rapidly than the average IT organization. The challenge facing IT organizations is finding some way to let that actually happen that doesn't wind up actually increasing the total cost of managing the PC environment, especially when you consider that the expense of acquiring a PC is nothing compared to the actual cost of managing it.