Desktop Virtualization has been available since early 2000 but has seen slow growth in the market until the rise of cloud and BYOD. I recently interviewed Dominique Raviart, an analyst with NelsonHall, about what is driving the market for Desktop Virtualization and what the future holds for businesses that are now considering the adoption of Desktop Virtualization.
According to Dominique there are several factors that have inhibited the adoption of Desktop Virtualization, which is mainly around the cost of the offerings you need to support VDI such as storage and software licensing. While some businesses may derive some cost savings around a VDI solution the real benefit comes from the business case and what benefits can the business derive from VDI. “What has been trending the last few years is BYOD and mobility,” claims Dominique. “This is where we see a lot of potential and it is happening now. Surely there will be more offerings in the future combined with apps from app stores as well as new SaaS application offerings.” Another benefit is profiling your end-users and providing your employees with the right services to do their job. Here at Unisys we are taking a persona approach where we define business profiles for each user to understand their particular goals and working patterns within the organization. The objective is to identify characteristics that drive the performance of their role or function. We then match end-user computing tools with the unique working patterns, needs, and goals of a specific role. VDI is an efficient way to deliver the right tools to the right individual.
I asked Dominique what the business should take into consideration when making the decision to provide VDI on premise or leverage the services through an IT provider. “Data center location can be an emotional decision. The data center is a dynamic environment; you have to invest in terms of heating, cooling efficiency, density. It’s up to the client to decide whether they want to do it or have someone else manage it. The more you go towards a standard way, the more savings you get. Whenever Unisys or another vendor manages hundreds of services you get economies of scale. All in all, it depends on the client’s desires and level of investments. For a number of clients, going with an IT service vendor is a short cut to cost savings.”
We also talked about what the client should consider when selecting a vendor. Dominique advises to look for a vendor that has consulting capabilities to understand the client’s business case. The next step would be to understand the vendor’s standard VDI architecture offering or set of standard architectures, at Unisys one of our standard offerings is on an EMC platform. A lot of virtual desktop work is about virtualizing the application themselves, so see if the vendors have those capabilities in terms of migration of data as well. And then see what they have in terms of support for managed services types of capabilities. “Most enterprises like vendors with a standard set of practices for implementing but also have a good advisory and consulting practice to help the client make the right decision”, concluded Dominique.
For those that are considering a VDI investment in 2014 take the time to understand the business case to support VDI, determine whether you will manage VDI or have a vendor manage it for you, whether in your data center or the vendor’s and make sure that you choose a vendor that understands your business case and has the right architectural offering to ensure a successful desktop virtualization environment within your business. You can view the interview with Dominique Raviart on the video tab of Time to Empower Your People, under the heading labeled, “NelsonHall on Desktop Virtualization: Part 1, 2 and 3.”