Part 3 of the Desktop Disruptions Series

In previous posts, I’ve talked about the inevitable disruption that will be caused by Windows 10 and also explored some of the potential impacts of adoption of Office 365.  Today I’ll focus on the changing landscape of web browsers, and some likely implications for the enterprise.

If you’re anything like me, your browser is one of the first things you access when booting up your device in the morning. It’s a gateway to a huge amount of information – both for business and personal use. And with many enterprises leveraging Office 365, the browser takes on even more importance as a resource for productivity, data access and collaboration.

Browser Diversity in the Workplace

Many organizations have loosened the belt around browser choice. Google Chrome is quickly gaining enterprise popularity with Gartner predicting that its use will surpass Internet Explorer in the enterprise by the end of this year. Overall, enterprises have given way to browser diversification, allowing users to leverage a variety of modern browsers based on their personal preferences. But things are about get a little more complicated.

Enter the Complication

For starters, Microsoft’s support for older versions of IE is coming to an end in January. For many enterprises, this won’t have terribly high impact, so long as they can ensure users are restricted from leveraging these less secure versions. But the trouble is that a large number of organizations are still relying on older versions of IE (pre-IE 11) for some mission-critical applications. They may face no choice but to leverage these unsupported browsers in the near term. IT will need a strategy for limiting legacy browser use strictly to these exception-based apps, and ensuring that any other activity takes place on secure browsers. In many cases these policy controls require workspace management to enforce and track the activity, or virtual desktop sessions to limit threats.

To make matters more complicated, Windows 10 will introduce a new browser into enterprises, Microsoft Edge, as Microsoft’s official “modern” browser. Edge promises to offer an updated experience for users and developers alike. But with the benefits of this user-friendly browser come major compatibility limitations that could further impact companies with lingering legacy apps.

At the end of the day, security is key. IT departments need to find the most effective way to balance user choice of browsers with enterprise app limitations that prevent a short-term move to more secure options. With the right planning and policies, workers and the enterprise can both benefit. Is your organization ready?

The Enterprise Browser Landscape-at-a-Glance

Browser_Diversification_Web_Graphic (002)