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IGEL Technology 2019 Predictions: Desktop-as-a-Service and Linux Gain Market Strength as Digital Reality Sets In

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Matthias Haas, Chief Technology Officer, IGEL Technology

2019: Desktop-as-a-Service and Linux Gain Market Strength as Digital Reality Sets In

Migrating more workloads to the cloud will continue to be both a benefit and concern in 2019 as enterprises make decisions on what type of hybrid environment - cloud or on-premise - is optimal for their business, and how best to utilize emerging platforms like Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) to reduce the cost and complexity of desktop management.

The year will also certainly bring an interesting competitive landscape as the DaaS market now has Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) via Azure; Amazon Workspace, and Google Desktop as well as early VDI pioneers Citrix and VMware.  The entry of WVD will prompt more enterprises to take a further look at DaaS as one answer to better controlling IT budget and staffing demands. 

Security concerns will continue to be at the forefront in 2019 due to the growing proliferation of IoT devices, and the expanding use of varying types of endpoints.  Linux will gain even more ground in the enterprise as the best choice for a secure OS at the endpoint, and as market movers like Microsoft give it further validation as the best choice for VDI.  According to Microsoft, about 50% of Azure virtual machines now run Linux.

As the number of choices and service providers grow, 2019 will be an opportunity-rich year for system integrators, solution providers and value-added resellers.  Cloud cost concerns are already evident as enterprises have experienced high public cloud costs.  They will be seeking counsel on the ratio of private to public cloud use, what workloads should remain on-premise, and the relative advantages of, for example, Windows Virtual Desktop versus Amazon Workspace. 

The Year of the CIO

In the middle of all this complexity, decision making and cost concerns is the CIO.  In its 2019 predictions, Forrester Research gives a very compelling view of the CIO's growing importance in leading organizations to become more digitally competitive, embracing technologies like DaaS. "The CIO sits at the center of a storm, waging a three-front battle:  addressing aging systems and longstanding data issues: driving a business strategy that harnesses the value of a wide range of new, powerful technologies, and maximizing the value and security of today's environment," says Forrester.

"Arguably the most important outcome of 2019 is that leading CIOs will build a model that translates tech-led innovation into customer value," Forrester concludes.

Digital Reality

In 2019, CIOs and enterprises are moving to higher expectations on the return on investment for new technologies.  More expenditures will have to demonstrate a clear impact on adding customer value, contributing to a healthier bottom line and enhancing data security, regardless of environment - cloud, on-premise, desktop or mobile.

Within this digital reality, these five initiatives will be top of mind for CIOs and their IT and security teams: cloud migration, DaaS, endpoint management, data security, and virtualization.

Cloud Migration.  Cloud adoption will accelerate but prove to be more challenging than expected, and not everything will move to the cloud. Many organizations will be looking at a hybrid approach that encompasses both on-premises and cloud-delivered solutions.  Here digital reality sets in as IT has to determine what workloads and apps might make the most sense to move to the cloud, and what to keep "in house" for now.  Platform independent, software-defined access to the cloud will be the preferred approach to accommodate private, public, or hybrid cloud environments.

DaaS.  Part of the XaaS - Everything as a Service - trend, DaaS is becoming more high profile due, in part, to key players such as Microsoft and Amazon, and to a growing awareness that DaaS is an attractive solution for cloud-based computing, with less expensive performance desktops.  Organizations will also benefit as the providers in this hyper-competitive space release new innovations to grab more market share.   Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM, now armed with RedHat, will dominate the enterprise cloud business and dramatically improve their solutions to deliver desktops and applications. This, in turn, will drive a huge uptick in DaaS solutions.

Endpoint Management.  The proliferation of IoT devices and the overall growth of mobile and remote computing have made endpoint management a challenging task for IT teams.  In 2019, Forrester estimates 85% of firms will implement or plan to implement IoT solutions.  Adding IoT to an already diverse end user computing (EUC)  environment is a big job ahead for IT.  Centralized, automated endpoint management software, that can efficiently manage tens of thousands of endpoints, including software driven thin clients, will be a critical part of IT gaining control over this expanding array of EUC devices.  The cost savings are significant, saving IT staff time that can be used for business value tasks.

Data Security.  The endpoint will also be a focal point of security concerns in 2019 as Windows endpoints, vulnerable software and human error provide new opportunities for cyberattack.  There will be no single threat; diverse threats will be the new norm, driving the need for consistent security measures,  regardless of device or compute environment. 

At the endpoint, the need for more powerful security will continue to draw attention to Linux as the preferred, secure OS.  IBM's acquisition of Red Hat put Linux back in the spotlight but developers and IT security teams already know Linux is the desired choice.  For years, thanks to the Linux open source model, the community of developers has been able to test applications and identify vulnerabilities so that apps reaching the marketplace are more threat resistant.  Enterprises deploying Linux OS at the endpoint know it is highly resistant to malware, and that security patches have been fully vetted for stability.   Linux-OS powered endpoints will gain more market share over Windows OS as IT looks to move Windows from the endpoint to the datacenter, where patches can be executed without slowing down user productivity, and where IT can protect the Windows endpoint from new threats.

Virtualization/VDI.  The VDI market will grow at a single digit rate in 2019, driven by security concerns and more interest generated by Microsoft and Amazon as they step up competition.  CIOs will look to VDI to reduce threats by bringing more data and applications back to the datacenter.   Microsoft is helping to validate VDI, with its Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure.  It will pique the interest of CIOs to consider VDI.  Also, the increased profile of DaaS will help to drive growth.

2019: Getting Pragmatic

Forrester Research notes, "2019 represents a year when strategic ambitions will translate to pragmatic, surgical efforts with the aim of putting points on the board."  These five initiatives - cloud migration, DaaS, endpoint management, data security, and virtualization - reflect the pragmatic approach CIOs will be taking in 2019.  Investments will occur when they can show a true benefit to adding customer value, efficiency and security.  Moving more workloads to the cloud, better management and protection at the endpoint, and cost-efficient DaaS are pragmatic answers to enterprises' challenge to ‘put points on the board' and be powerful competitors.


About the Author


Matthias Haas is Chief Technology Officer for IGEL Technology, where he develops key technology partnerships and is responsible for IGEL's hardware and software portfolio. With over 15 years of experience in the IT industry, Haas is dedicated to creating solutions that help IGEL customers run their business endpoint solutions as efficiently as possible. He works together with existing technology partners like Citrix, VMware or Microsoft to provide the market's best managed workspace solutions. 
Published Monday, December 03, 2018 7:27 AM by David Marshall
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