Jack: My favorite articles of 2019, and why I wrote them

Behind every article, there’s another whole story!

Just like I did in 2018 and 2017, today I’m sharing a list of my favorite articles that I wrote in 2019.

For many articles, there’s often a back story. Sometimes there was another story or comment that made me decide to get up on my soapbox; sometimes I’ve been thinking about an idea for years; and sometimes, it’s just fun to go down the rabbit hole and learn about a new topic.

Here are my favorites for this year, starting back in January.

Conditional access (zero trust) is the most important EUC movement since mobile and cloud (January 23). We link back to this at least twice a week, so I like it because it’s been so useful. Not to mention that this really is the most important trend of our time.

Cloud game streaming (like VDI for gaming) is coming—Time to re-apply all the lessons we learned (January 30). The title pretty much says it all. Just like the early days of VDI, there’s a ton of hype. So for those of us that have been talking about this for years, we can immediately jump in with opinions and insights. And who knew that our little corner of IT would ever be so consumer-oriented? The only problem is that initial reviews of the platforms are mixed. 

I wrote several articles about VDI and DaaS use cases: VDI has made tremendous progress! You still need a darn good reason to use it! (February 4); Modern devices and UEM mean more competition for VDI/DaaS/RDSH use cases (March 14); Is it the year of VDI? We’re at a high point, according to TechTarget research (April 23); and DaaS may encourage organizations to adopt Macs and Chromebooks (September 16). It was fun to get back to basics and talk about what virtual desktops mean in 2019. It was sort of like reliving our book, The VDI Delusion!

Does unified endpoint management need user environment management? (March 28.) There are a lot of settings that MDM for iOS and Android can’t touch, because they don’t have APIs. These include device personalization, accessibility settings, and permissions settings—in other words, many of the same things you find in Windows user profiles, which can be management with user environment management software. I posited a few ideas for how these could be addressed, and later on followed up with a similar post, What if Apple brought Privacy Preferences Policy Control payloads (aka TCC profiles) to iOS? (November 18).

I talked to a real-world Samsung DeX pilot customer, the Chula Vista Police Department (April 25). After years of talking about the “nirvana phone” concept—and years of being skeptical that it would be useful for office workers and traveling business professions—it was great to finally talk to somebody that was using it out in the real world.

iOS 13 will dramatically improve MDM for BYOD. Hello User Enrollment! (June 10.) Apple’s MDM experience for personal devices was lagging behind the needs of users, and lagging behind Android Enterprise work profiles. I had first written about these issues in early 2017, so I was super excited to learn and write about User Enrollment, the new MDM mode announced at WWDC in June. (I had to avoid the urge to shout “I told you so! And I called it!!!” from the rooftops.) There are still some challenges and more problems to be solved, which I covered in iOS 13 is out – Here’s what the enterprise needs to know (September 19).

Digital workspace portals are getting all the attention in EUC, but they’re not the only way to work (July 25). There’s been so much hype about having a centralized app to access all aspects of EUC, that I know there’s going to be pushback at some point. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the work that’s going on here, but I remember what people said about third-party containers on mobile devices, too. The bottom line is that an EUC platform should offer all types of user experiences. Later on, the VDI Like a Pro survey found that most EUC shops are looking at workspace portals.

What to do in San Francisco during VMworld - A guide from a local (August 16). This was a super fun way to share some of the non-tech blogging side of my life.

What does employee experience mean to end user computing? (September 10.) This was another huge EUC trend for 2019, and I think it’s worth examining how much these new features will actually mean to end users.

Most recently, I wrote A closer look at Microsoft Endpoint Manager, the new combination of Intune and SCCM (November 26); Do you want to get rid of SCCM, keep it forever, or do something in between? (December 5); and VMware Workspace ONE for Microsoft Endpoint Manager: What does it mean? (December 11). It was very interesting to dig deep and write these articles that, together, add up to a pretty decent white paper. There’s an element of intrigue with Microsoft changing their messaging on co-management with Intune, and killing co-management for third-party MDM servers in the SCCM 1902 rollup update. But now, I’m starting to think that migrating via hardware refreshes might be an easier alternative to co-management. The red-letter day is January 15, 2020. With Windows 7 end of life on January 14, the 15th marks the time when the next big move for Windows will be getting on modern, cloud-based management.

We had some great BrianMadden.com Podcast episodes this year, too. I especially enjoyed:

Lastly, the BrianMadden.com Friday Notebook series is one of my favorite contributions in all the years I’ve worked with BrianMadden.com. (Aside from writing and recording the original podcast theme back in 2005!) I love how it helps me keep up with the whole EUC industry and comment on more stories. Writing the Friday Notebook is my favorite part of the week.

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