The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many developments. Since companies of all sizes sent many of their employees to work from home practically overnight, projects to expand the application, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) experienced an unprecedented height. And the change continues. In our view, four trends, in particular, will determine IT in companies in the coming months.
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The “New Normal”: Work safely from anywhere
“Work from Home” will change again in 2021: A hybrid work model in which the office takes on new tasks as a social meeting point and place for creative exchange requires companies to develop strategies that enable “work from anywhere”. To this end, IT departments will do everything in their power to eliminate work-place ties and offer their employees secure, simple, and centrally manageable access to the company network or cloud workspaces from anywhere. You will prefer solutions that are proven to be hardened and safe. Those who require fewer patches offer security transparency, analysis, and monitoring, and who are particularly well protected against hacker attacks will prevail. This accelerates a trend that we have seen for a long time:
Linux-operated end devices are becoming mainstream
There is no getting around the virtualization of applications and desktops. Devices that are slim, secure, and easy to manage are ideal for accessing them. Linux is the ideal platform for this. Even existing hardware can continue to be used with Linux and optimized for higher graphics performance and the use of collaboration solutions.
New hardware architectures are changing the market
Now even Windows comes natively from the cloud in the form of Windows Virtual Desktop. A classic, fully equipped PC with the very latest x86 processor is no longer necessary for common office applications, video conferences, and many specific applications. But the operating system for accessing Windows in the cloud doesn’t have to be Windows. Organizations will also follow this trend towards making end devices and operating systems more flexible and consider virtualized desktops and cloud workspaces. This enables simple, secure, inexpensive, and yet powerful solutions to be implemented for the further digitization of companies.
Everything revolves around the user experience
In 2021, the end user’s user experience will become the most important selection criterion for purchasing software. It is important to take into account the ever-increasing demands of millennials and Generation Z on the digital workplace, but also to improve employee loyalty and ensure productivity. This also means that all applications and tools are available anytime and anywhere; the respective technology through which they are provided has less and less important for the user. By no longer being tied to specific office locations, employees have more job choices and will only stick with companies where they are valued, productive, and behind the scenes, technology helps them work effectively.
The turbulent year 2020 brought a boost for VDI and DaaS, the future prospects for desktop virtualization and cloud workspaces are rosier than ever. The automation and elasticity of the infrastructure will become increasingly important in order to remain resistant to regional or global crises. Securing the IT environment will be just as business-critical – from the edge to the cloud. We can therefore take a finding from 2020 with us: Edge computing has finally changed, and modern application and desktop virtualization will become the predominant solution on our devices – no matter where we want to work.