Cloud Workspace Market Perspective
We see the traditional virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) market entering a period of significant change and transformation. As the global market is now saturated with cloud based productivity SaaS offerings, traditional desktop virtualization, desktop as a service, and cloud workspace alternatives.
BYOD continues to gain ground, and we do not see a reversal to traditional desktop provisioning. Managing legacy desktops continues to be a daunting and painful task. Software updates, patch management, and malware scans alone require brute force administration and manual effort. In addition an increasingly mobile workforce is using a wide range of devices (and free cloud based services), making systems and applications access over secure connections even more challenging.
But cloud desktop offerings are clearly disrupting the path for traditional desktop and application virtualisation. Here is what we see happening in the market:
To avoid jargon malfunction, let's simplify what is going on in the market from a technology perspective. Virtual desktop infrastructure is effectively hardware and software running on-premise in a customer or hosted data centre to virtualize the desktop operating system. Desktop as a Service is the same thing, running on some form of cloud infrastructure, with multi-tenant provisioning. And Cloud Workspace is a truly elastic cloud based virtual desktop services provisioned from a public cloud service. The central functionality across all three-technology deployment models is the same, but there are massive implications for cost, service management, feature depth, and support.
So for a current VDI customer, where do you start? First, take a look at what you are doing now - there is a great chance that traditional VDI deployments can be modernized to realize some benefits of IaaS (infrastructure as a service). Second, gather empirical data on performance and service stability, and look for the gaps between your current service levels and desired outcome to satisfy major use-cases. Lastly, take a step back from the tools and evaluate the best design strategy to meet your business requirements over a 3-5 year horizon - this will always be a matter of economics and functionality.
For newcomers, take a look at requirements, and evaluate the market spectrum available today. This is a perfect time to enter this market from a consumption perspective, as the core technologies are proven and transitioning into a commodity market model for consumption.
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