In 2016, we expect to see massive changes to the IT industry, and there are no models from the past that can be applied to the multitude of new factors. There will be new ways that will impact how people work and enable the digital enterprise including rapid shifts in business, new approaches to IT and a higher drive toward profitability.
With disruption comes change and opportunity. Here are three market observations and predictions as I look to the year ahead.
Rapid Business Shifts Spark Second Mobile Transformation
Over the past few years, most EUC organizations within IT focused efforts to enable mobility and needed a way to get apps delivered quickly—both deploying new mobile devices and integrating existing apps and/or desktops into mobile environments. This was the only way to do what was needed for the mission at the time, but most EUC environments now consist of islands of technologies and silos of teams. And, while there has been successful adoption of multiple mobile technologies, the experience for users continues to be disjointed.
With rapid changes in business come rapid changes in the roles of people and technologies. Offering multiple services to meet the needs of unique users is a good thing, but delivering different experiences across those services is no longer acceptable. The experience needs to be seamless across scenarios, user groups and devices. Unfortunately, most IT environments are far from being capable to handle that.
I believe this is central to the second mobile shift we’re experiencing in 2016, a strategic shift from managing an outdated, static EUC framework to designing an agile, purpose-built digital workspace.
The single-platform model is core to this shift, as a unified framework delivers consistency across the wide range of IT services, encompassing the unique employee groups that need different sets of applications or desktops. As employees or applications change, the platform is able to define the technologies and apps their digital workspace needs to keep them productive and the business compliant. A user’s identity, role and their workplace (location/device) will define their workspace that can consist of both traditional apps or new emerging cloud or mobile apps.
Mobile Will Emerge to Be the New Digital Workspace in 2016
Capabilities such as device enrollment, app stores, micro apps connecting to multiple clouds and more, were driven by innovations in mobile technologies but they are now used beyond the mobile platform. Windows 10, the latest platform for consumer and business desktops, has embraced mobile technologies as the way forward. This evolution of the mobile technologies has created skills, technologies and mindsets of the future where the confluence of the two platforms results in a Digital Workspace. Hence, I say Mobile will emerge to be the new digital workspace. This Digital Workspace will benefit corporate IT and end-users alike, and I believe the Digital Workspace will have a significant impact on end-user computing everywhere, starting in 2016.
Profitability Rests Again on Reducing IT Costs
I believe reducing IT operation costs will again be one of the top priorities for IT this year, if it is not already. The good news is that there are several end-user computing technologies and solutions that can help organizations effectively accomplish this. Adopting virtual desktops and applications, application lifecycle management for efficient application and desktop delivery, and cloud delivery (private, public or hybrid) are all proven, effective ways of reducing operational costs.
I have seen desktop teams within IT chase new, unproven technologies as a solution or get left behind by holding onto older technologies – both of which are inefficient. Cloud will emerge as the platform for Windows (and Linux) apps and desktops. Organizations will need to step back and look at the benefits of continuing with complex and, at times, outdated stacks or whether they should adopt cloud services. Cloud services can address the needs of data security, data sovereignty and performance by keeping applications and desktops within the business’s own data center. Adopting a cloud strategy and infrastructure will refocus the business’s energy, skills and money on other strategic items, like delivering a digital workspace.
With disruption comes change and opportunity, and at VMware, we are ready to support our customers with their efforts to transform their business processes to better compete in the mobile-cloud era. We are already helping organizations of all sizes, from global enterprises to small businesses, make the shift to digital workspaces and embrace the cloud for their Windows and Linux desktops and applications.
Learn more about how we’re enabling these shifts with new upcoming announcements on February 9 that will help business enable their digital workplace. I look forward to seeing you there (virtually).