You can decide to make applications that have critical data in them only accessible via a VDI-type service [virtual desktop infrastructure]. We're either going to allow them to come into a desktop that is in essence in the data center, or we're going to stream the application, or we're going to put a bubble around it so that people can't pull the data down onto the desktop itself.
Slideshow: 15 Ways iPad Goes to Work
It does go back to access rights: making sure people have a clear understanding of what happens if they do anything with the data that they shouldn't. That's where your policies come into play and also monitoring where people are going in the environment and what they're doing.
If you have your alerts set correctly and somebody goes someplace they shouldn't-bam!-an alert goes off, someone is notified and connectivity is cut. We can pretty much wipe any device as long as the person hasn't cut connectivity.
What about employees who need to work offline?
Fawcett: As far as Web apps go, you definitely need connectivity. But they tend to be more transactional programs. In some cases, we use our own product called Dell vWorkspace with MokaFive that allows you to check out of your desktop, work offline, and then check in with all your work transferred back in.
It goes back to roles.
Desktop in the data center would be best for a data entry person. You know their data is backed up and secured and that they can't take anything home with them. Someone in finance who is heavy in Excel spreadsheets probably should just get a desktop.
A tablet would be good for a traveling salesperson, because they're doing things like going into Salesforce.com and entering in contacts, quotes, orders, updates and activities. They could do any of this from a tablet, anywhere they need to do it.
Tom Kaneshige covers Apple and Consumerization of IT for CIO.com. Follow Tom on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about desktop virtualization in CIO's Desktop Virtualization Drilldown.