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Application Virtualization has been one of the recent buzzwords in the IT industry and the technology has been getting more traction in larger enterprises over the last years. Decoupling applications from the underlying Operating System provides great opportunities for IT: Saving time and costs, re-thinking the software lifecycle to deliver innovative solutions to the end-users, and leveraging synergies across the infrastructure are just a few highlights.
We have implemented this technology at SAP and gradually expanded its usage over the last 18 months, reducing the end-to-end process time by 50-70% – from the time a new update is available from the vendor until it is deployed in the environment. A continuous adoption rate increase between 30-40% per month emphasizes the added value SAP IT is delivering to the end-user community. Increasing user experience and productivity through innovative solutions without compromising agility and compliance – that’s ‘always up-to date’.

The impact of compliance on end-user productivity and how to help bringing them in balance
As an end-user, one thought will immediately come to mind when you think about software rollouts in your environment – they always happen at the wrong time!
While IT organizations have to ensure that endpoints are running compliant software versions to mitigate security risks, frequently pushing out updates seems like an inevitable disruption of the end-users’ work routine if applications need to be always up-to-date.

By switching to defined release cycles for software products, you can try to reduce these disruptions; however, there might still be a need to provide updates in between cycles to meet the demand of a dynamic environment. So, how can you keep your client systems up-to-date – seamlessly?

One of the core concepts of Application Virtualization is called ‘Delta Updates’. It is the cornerstone of the ‘always up-to-date’ concept. After IT publishes a new package revision, only files that have changed are transferred to the computer, and the next time the end-user launches the application, they are running the new version – no end-user disruption involved. Keeping your applications up-to-date becomes a much better experience. What are ideal candidates for ‘always up-to-date’ scenarios?

How to determine candidates for ‘always up-to-date’ scenarios
Based on your environment, you might find applications that are updated more frequently than others. Criteria for identifying ideal candidates for your ‘always up-to-date’ strategy include security relevance, update frequency, new features, and installation complexity.

A simplified process for building ‘always up-to-date’ software packages could consist of these steps:

Building on the foundation of ‘always up-to-date’ applications, we will evaluate the expansion of this concept to environments outside of the traditional desktop in the coming months to deliver software packages that adapt to the platform they are being deployed to as well as implement alternate delivery methods that are required in these scenarios.