The Evolution of Application Streaming for Executives

By Mike Foster

Executives take note — remote access applications took a huge leap forward years ago. Did your IT department forget to send you the memo? Or maybe you’ve heard your IT professionals talk about using Citrix or Microsoft for application streaming and wondered what it was.

Many executives understand the concept of remotely accessing another computer using GoToMyPC or LogMeIn services. Citrix and Microsoft offer similar server-based solutions, so you don’t need a different computer to control each and every remote user, like with LogMeIn and GoToMyPC.

Those services are also too slow. The server has to send screen updates to the remote computer, and receive keystrokes and mouse movements from the remote user. Especially if you have a slow Internet connection, often the response speed is too slow and frustration soon sets in.

The new system solves that: It allows the server to send some or all of the application on the remote computer, so the application runs locally on the remote computer! This way, even if the remote user has a slow connection, the program usually runs quickly since the program is running on the remote computer.

Another advantage is that the user can be on an Apple Macintosh computer but launch Windows-based applications streamed from the server without needing to install Windows on the remote computer.

In the process of visiting companies all around the U.S., I notice that a lot of executives are frustrated by their Terminal Server or Citrix server limitations. What they don’t realize is that they’re using ancient versions of those systems — ancient in computer time, anyway. Once they try the newer versions of these technologies, they are usually amazed at the improved performance that five years of technology can make.

Before you decide your remote access technology isn’t working for you anymore, make sure you are using the latest technology. If you tried the technology before and didn’t like it for whatever reason, give it a try again. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, this technology can do wonders. Please post your comments on this topic below.

Mike Foster, CISA, CISSP, is the founder and CEO of Foster Institute. He is a technology expert, author and professional speaker with more than 1,000 presentations under his belt. Mike is author of The Secure CEO: How to Protect Your Computer Systems, Your Company, and Your Job and is regularly sought for interviews and business publication features. He’s been interviewed by USA Today, Forbes Magazine, and The New York Times, as well as many others.
Originally published: Nov 18, 2011

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