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Sphere3D 2017 Predictions: Workplace Transformation and the Rise of the Gig Economy in 2017

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Jaymes Davis, Guru of Innovation and Professional Services, Office of the CTO, Sphere3D

Workplace Transformation and the Rise of the Gig Economy in 2017

The Millennial's are coming the millennials are coming! My prediction is that the increase in the gig economy will fuel mobile and cloud EUC Deployments. This trend has been catalyzing the "Digital workspace" or "Consumerization" for VDI and SBC for the last 10 years. This has been in smaller concentrations over those year as trends in consumer devices and BYOC have become prevalent. The Millennial generation is the largest in US history and as they reach their prime working and spending years, their impact on the economy is going to be huge. Millennials have come of age during a time of technological change, globalization and economic disruption. That's given them a different set of behaviors and experiences than their parents.

A good example of this is the rise of the gig economy. A gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. The trend toward a gig economy has begun. A study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers would be independent contractors. As companies, such as Uber, Lyft or Airbnb provide additional incomes to engaged millennials this effects the IT industry as well as some gigs are a type of short-term job, and some workers pursue gigs as a self-employment option; those concepts aren't new. However, companies connecting workers with these jobs through websites or mobile applications (more commonly known as apps) is a more recent development.

As CXO are responding to these challenges by seeking a new architecture optimized for the mobile cloud era and are also responding to the rapid proliferation of endpoint devices and new applications understanding how those decisions shape your organization and its ability to perform, create character and fostering the culture to attract the 92 million millennials entering the workforce. IT is having to move into question like assets or services or both, base User productivity on predictable use or optimize your assets base for run-rate. These changes can have significant value. Where downsizing the unit of investment and audit by BYOC practices or by reducing the intermediaries between the user and the resource are the decision of the Enterprise in 2017 as slow movement this year will affect their workforce acquisition capabilities in a time with a gig economy is designed for next years "new thing."

Following along with "current as is" practices of standardization or "Single Image" are increasing operating costs when addressing the new digital workplace. This discourages diversity and inhibits change the biggest challenges is taking the management model of yesterday homogeneity into heterogeneity with the confluence of the proliferation of devices, the multiplicity of application types and delivery technologies, the need to support greater business agility with a cloud-like mentality around workspace service delivery, and the need to do all of this with a multi-layered, defense-in-depth approach to security.

As the technological sophistication of employees grows, so does the complexity of end-user computing environments. Traditional methods of managing the desktop and delivering applications to users do not provide the flexibility IT departments need to support modern-day organizations. Moreover, IT
departments now need to deal with a surge in the number of remote and mobile employees; a proliferation of alternative endpoint devices, such
as smartphones, tablets, and thin clients; and smartphone users who want instant access to corporate applications across all their devices-with the same optimal experience.

I want to highlight if there are two attributes that enterprises to SMB must address for this and that's Workspace flexibility and GPUs.

Let's look at flexibility. People who want to work without having set hours may look for gigs to fit their schedules. "I log on and work when I want," has actually proven to give employers more hours' vs less. Like other types of flexible employment arrangements, gigs may offer workers an option for adaptability. ability to balance employee privacy requirements with enterprise security goals, enable seamless connectivity across a variety of device types (whether corporate or employee-provided), and improve the way employees collaborate and communicate. Web developers, software developers, and computer programmers are among the occupations in this group in which workers might be hired to complete a single job, such as to create a small-business website or a new type of software. 

Display Protocols and GPUs Matter. The display protocol has always been a primary decision factor, but the next generation of remoting protocols is creating an even higher priority to ensure that it is optimized for the mobile cloud era. CIOs and their architects need to look for solutions that offer multiprotocol functionality that can target various use cases including zero clients, thin clients, PCs, and mobiles, with the right protocol optimized for each scenario. Next-generation protocols based on H.264 are dramatically improving the mobile user experience with heterogeneous endpoint support, lower bandwidth consumption, TCP and UDP support, lower battery consumption on the device, and adaptive adjustment to high latency or lossy networks. The benefit is that IT can handle a much wider spectrum of use cases with minimal impact to the endpoint device so that the experience can be preserved. This will become instrumental in next year's advancements in mixed reality (AR/VR) plans from companies like NVIDIA, Microsoft, Google and Facebook to name a few.  

Checklist for End User Computing for 2017 

  1. Assess End user maturity from process, On-boarding, Functional requirements 
  2. Shift from Standardization of devices to standardization of users and their needs 
  3. ensure your addressing productivity vs technology race 
  4. Build a User Experience Index for capturing "user value" 
  5. address risk tolerance, governance and audit from a User Centric perspective


An IT department that focuses on just one way to deliver applications and desktops may miss out on the advantages of the others. Understanding how the digital workplace is delivered and what the expectations of the users are critical as well as mapping the financial model is critical for contribution to top line revenue. This will cause a change in today's operating model and with that change in the operating model IT will have to engage with the business differently, with new stakeholders, as well as addressing the device to user migration. This theory holds true as businesses look to improve their enterprise mobility strategies, which can enable organizations to connect to the millennial workforce for the ultimate goal of increasing productivity and/or revenue.  


About the Author

With nearly two decades of experience in the IT services industry, Jaymes Davis is considered one of the industry's top consultants, having implemented more than 1000 virtualization and access delivery projects for clients ranging from global enterprises
with 20,000+ employees, to local and regional SMBs with five to 25 employees.

During his career, Jaymes has helped his clients leverage virtualization technologies to increase their IT efficiencies, address business requirements, and lower the total cost of ownership for their IT infrastructures. He is responsible for the design and development of Entisys Solutions' Virtualization Oriented Architecture (VOA), a methodology that closely aligns business strategies with IT infrastructure solutions.

Jaymes is a published author whose whitepapers and articles have been endorsed by the industry's top virtualization experts and innovators. Prior to joining Entisys Solutions in 2006, Jaymes held the position of Chief Technical Architect with Server Centric Consulting.

Speaking at VMworld 2011, 2012 Citrix Synergy Best Practices for Xendesktop, Autodesk University and NVIDIA GPU Conference 2016. Recognized by CRN for the top virtualization Practice in North America in 2012 and Tech Elite 250 #1 Virtualization practice for 2011 to 2015.

Jaymes Davis 

Published Friday, December 30, 2016 7:02 AM by David Marshall
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