The findings come from a tool Clarity Channel Advisors created called the Cloud Clarity Score that has gathered data from over 5200 customers and service providers on their “cloud readiness”. The tool is supposed to help people determine if they are ready for the cloud already or if they have some work to do. The scientist in me has to point out some self-selection bias (if you’re already thinking about the cloud you’d be more likely to use a tool like this), but the data show that there isn’t just a big opportunity for cloud workspaces, but also many SMBs already have infrastructure in place to support it. With VMWare and Amazon already established players in this space and Microsoft rumored to be launching an Azure-based tool in the near future, there is a good arguement for cloud workspaces next year. There might be some kinks in this plan, but first here are some bullet points the MSPmentor published in their post:
- 79% of opportunities scored 70 or above, indicating a favorable fit for a cloud desktop/cloud workspace solution
- 94% of opportunities scored involved companies with between 5-150 employees—a sweet spot for MSPs
- 93% of the opportunities scored had at least one server that is three years old or older
- 88% of opportunities scored had at least one third-party application beyond Microsoft Office
- 74% of opportunities scored featured remote workers and/or multiple offices
- 65% of opportunities scored have a desire to implement a BYOD policy
- 49% of the opportunities scored still use XP or Server 2003 within their environment, though the number within the last 6 months has dropped
But I think the true explosion in virtual desktops to be years away. I haven’t seen any tool that lets you have a virtual desktop when you’re not connected to a network (though I guess it could work with a local version that would sync on connect) which is a big problem for mobile workers. Sure I connect at home and at work to the Internet, but what if I can’t connect?
Okay there might be solutions to an online/offline switch, but what about habits? This is the part that I think is going to be hardest to break. We’ve grown accustomed to computers where we install programs and work in folders and have things right there. I think the habit and mindset in IT to have machines that need managing is going to take a while to change. What kind of machine goes on your desk? How do you keep people from doing things locally? Is it even a problem?
Will 2016 be the break out year for Desktop as a Servicer (DaaS)? Yes, I think it will be. Will it go into the mainstream at companies? Not for another five years. But next year will pave the way for a much cooler and more flexible computing experience for everyone.
Clouds and Sun by Daniel Wehner from Flickr.
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