Changes in the Enterprise IT Landscape

As you’ve surely noticed, there has been a rapid application platform shift in the enterprise, away from native Windows applications and toward browser-based, web applications. This shift has occurred sooner than most expected and has come with some unexpected results.

The Early Promise of Thin Client

At the very beginning of this shift, it was common to hear that browsers would be interchangeable and thin client devices themselves would just be commodities. The client (and browser) was not going to matter. All the smarts and the horsepower was going to be in the datacenter … and eventually the cloud.

The Browser Impacts IT Workloads

The initial promise that thin client (and the browser) would be easy was only partially right as deploying new applications and services became easy. And it has become increasingly easy to build and launch new web applications. However, this has come with a massive increase in the complexity of application management. Applications are brought online with less effort, which often means less security review, less operational and architectural review, or just simply a lack of concern for impacts as business units are eager to ‘get it done’ themselves. Your IT department is now responsible for things they can control, things they can’t, and things they don’t even know about.

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Web Application’s Dynamic Architecture

If you draw a simple comparison between the architecture of native Windows applications and web applications, you’ll start to see how their differences open up a new set of challenges.

Comparison of Enterprise Application Delivery Models
Native Windows Applications Web Applications
  • Defined, Mature Architecture
  • Packaged, installed
  • Structured APIs
  • Easily compartmentalized
  • Open, Versatile, Dynamic Architecture
  • Compiled at runtime
  • Limitless APIs and scripting
  • Everything in one process

Web Application Require Different Management Tools

IT Operations Management Tools

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The open, versatile, and dynamic architecture of web applications brings with it a set of application detection, compatibility, and security challenges that you force you to manage web applications differently from native applications. Traditional IT operations management tools lack visibility into your browser and its associated components. Without browser management tools designed to navigate the complexities, interdependencies, and distributed nature of the modern (browser-based) enterprise, a critical blind spot is created. This blind spot blocks IT from performing their core function and exposes your organization to hidden risks, specifically security threats and wasted money.