The Humble Browser: Access Point of the Future
New technology always has its naysayers, who fight it tooth and nail until the inevitable happens: they become adopters, albeit late adopters. On-premises IT infrastructure still has a lot of proponents, and in many cases there are valid reasons for maintaining these installations. However, improvements in broadband connectivity, and the increasing adoption of cloud services make a very strong argument for implementing off-site solutions. Pushing this premise even further, recent advances in HTML5 technology have made it increasingly viable to leverage standard HTML5-compatible browsers as an access point.
Pure HTML5 browser-based solutions present a simple, flexible solution for organizations looking to deliver “always-on” access to mission-critical applications and desktops—regardless of where these are hosted. At present, the majority of software developers and technology executives are confident that HTML5 is a mature, enterprise-ready technology, which raises the question: Is this the future?
Whether you are a large enterprise or an SMB, HTML5-based access solutions offer a number of benefits. This includes savings on the bottom line and a higher degree of accessibility to employees, external contractors and anyone else that needs access—without the massive CAPEX typically associated with on-premises solutions. Moreover, HTML5 technology allows users to get connected without the need for added software or plug-ins, such as Java or ActiveX. All that is required is something they already have: a browser.
Having secure, clientless and device-agnostic access to IT resources is a win-win, as it allows users to work from anywhere on any device, enhancing employee productivity and satisfaction. Physical and virtual desktops hosted on different platforms, as well as individual applications, can be accessed instantly, without requiring any client-side installation or configuration. In this way, even when employees or branch offices are dispersed in multiple locations, they can still work and collaborate with ease.
By eliminating the need to install software on the end-user device, IT overhead is also significantly reduced. Zero client maintenance translates to lower OPEX as IT staff no longer have to manage each individual application and device, and there is less of a need for perpetual device upgrades. Increased adoption of HTML5 access technologies is also being driven by the consumerization of IT and proliferation of browser-enabled devices, which give rise to trends such as BYOD and telecommuting—work styles that are much simplified by the availability of clientless remote access.
When looking for a service provider offering HTML5 accessibility, make sure they deliver the following:
- Access from any modern browser on any device, including smartphones, tablets, and locked-down workstations, as well as computers running Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Chrome
- Compatibility with your existing IPSec or SSL VPN
- Support for leading enterprise portals as well as existing home-grown portals where applicable
- Enable business continuity using any available end-point device, anywhere—without the need to install or configure any client-side software or plugins
Developing applications for each device and operating system and maintaining individual devices at every branch office and customer site are no longer practical, so it makes sense that the access point of the future should be the browser. With the latest advances in HTML5 browser technology, any user device with the latest browser can be used to securely access mission-critical resources without having to install anything. Rather than continuing to develop, install and maintain a plethora of proprietary device-specific applications, organizations can now rely on the humble browser as an adequate and dependable tool for accessing Windows and web-based applications anywhere, anytime and on any device.