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VMblog Expert Interview: Robb Henshaw of Cameyo Reveals Results of Survey on VDI/DaaS Adoption for Remote Work

interview cameyo henshaw 

Cameyo recently announced the findings from a new survey that identifies current trends in Digital Workspaces, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) adoption when it comes to remote work.  The survey was sponsored by Cameyo and executed by the analysts at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).  The resulting report, titled "Are Desktops Doomed? Trends in Digital Workspaces, VDI and DaaS", identifies current adoption rates of these technologies, key issues users face, and what this means for future adoption.

To learn more about the research, VMblog reached out to Robb Henshaw, Co-Founder and CMO at Cameyo.

VMblog:  Cameyo recently released an independent study done by ESG.  What does the study cover, and why are the results important?

Robb Henshaw: This survey and report set out to identify the current trends in the adoption of VDI and DaaS technologies, the benefits and challenges faced by those who have already adopted these technologies, and the long-term viability of these products.

The results are important because, with the dramatic increase in remote work due to COVID-19, almost every company has had to look for solutions that enable their people to be productive from anywhere. As a result, the adoption of VDI and DaaS has been on the rise. This survey and report set out to identify whether these technologies are capable of meeting the long-term needs of organizations as remote work becomes the new normal.

VMblog:  How many people did the study survey and what were their demographics?

Henshaw: To gather data for this report, the analysts at ESG conducted a comprehensive online survey of IT professionals from private- and public-sector organizations in North America (the United States and Canada). To qualify for this survey, respondents were required to be IT professionals personally responsible for or involved in the purchase process for productivity applications and endpoint devices, including VDI/DaaS solutions. After filtering out unqualified respondents, removing duplicate responses, and screening the remaining completed responses for data integrity, we were left with a final total sample of 354 IT decision-makers.

VMblog:  What interested you the most about the findings and why?

Henshaw: What interested us the most was that, when faced with the need to enable people to work from home quickly, many organizations simply went with what they knew (or vendors they already worked with for other technology needs), which resulted in a large spike in people deploying (or attempting to deploy) VDI and DaaS.

The report shows that 4 out of 10 organizations are now using VDI or DaaS as a result. But more interesting is the fact that for both VDI and DaaS users, the top three issues they report were:

  • Cost
  • Complexity
  • Security

The fact that existing users of both VDI and DaaS products are facing the same issues is interesting because it highlights the issues with utilizing legacy technology to solve modern problems. VDI is pre-cloud technology, and DaaS was an attempt to move that legacy technology into the cloud. The reality is that both of those approaches are based on legacy technologies that are not capable of delivering the Digital Workspace experience needed to support the new normal of remote work. And the result is clear - VDI and DaaS users are struggling with the high cost, complexity, and security issues of these legacy approaches.

VMblog:  What were the most important findings from the study?

Henshaw: Interestingly, the current pandemic has created a situation which has accelerated the feedback loop on technologies for remote work, because organizations did not have the option to roll out their deployments in phases, like many normally would. Due to COVID-19, organizations needed to deploy remote work solutions immediately - to everyone - meaning they had a lot of people stress-testing these solutions right away.

And as you can see in the report, a key takeaway from the ESG analysts is that the issues most organizations are facing with their VDI and DaaS deployments will likely hinder the long-term adoption of those technologies.

VMblog:  What are some of the biggest revelations that were uncovered by this?

Henshaw:  I think the biggest revelation from this report is that what used to be considered "good enough" for small-scale remote work situations is certainly NOT good enough to enable remote work at scale. For most organizations, the new normal means we need to stop thinking of employees as either "internal" or "remote" and realize that most employees will become hybrids that work both at home and in the office as needed. This new normal requires the ability to enable all employees to work from anywhere and be just as productive as when they are in the office.

But this report reveals that the complexity, cost, and security concerns around legacy VDI and DaaS products make them untenable for many organizations who are preparing long-term solutions for remote work. When it comes to protecting your people while also enabling them to be productive from any device, anywhere - VDI and DaaS are not up to the task, and this survey shows that the cost, complexity, and security concerns aren't worth the risk.

Which is why we're seeing a shift in the industry away from legacy virtual desktop solutions (VDI & DaaS) towards truly cloud-native Digital Workspaces.

VMblog:  Were there any unexpected results that surprised your team?

Henshaw: I think the most surprising results of the survey were all of the "hidden costs" that were identified with VDI and DaaS. Most IT decision-makers already know that VDI is quite expensive due to the required investment in hardware and the need for IT to manage servers, gateways, loads balancers, and other infrastructure. DaaS moves certain aspects of virtual desktops to the cloud, but it still relies on the same costly and complex underlying infrastructure. These are known costs for the most part. 

But what this report reveals is that these traditional ways of measuring the overall cost of a solution - upfront cost of hardware, ongoing licensing costs, cost of management and updates, etc. - don't even provide the full story of the cost of VDI and DaaS. There are a multitude of hidden costs as well.

The first hidden cost revealed by the report is the cost of staffing. More than 50% of survey respondents revealed that it requires more than 10 full-time employees (FTEs) to manage the complexity of their VDI and DaaS deployments on an ongoing basis. 10 people! That's a very high recurring, annual cost - all of which is in addition to the already high costs of VDI and DaaS solutions themselves.

The next group of hidden costs can all be attributed to the need for third-party services to make VDI and DaaS work. The report reveals a high percentage of VDI and DaaS deployments require third-party services either to set them up & configure them and to manage them on an ongoing basis. For example:

  • 47% of all VDI and DaaS deployments required third party implementation services just to get the products up and running
  • 44% of VDI and DaaS deployments require ongoing third-party managed services to manage and maintain the deployment
  • 43% of VDI and DaaS deployments require third-party consulting services

When you watch all of these hidden costs pile up, it's easy to understand why the survey respondents were so fed up with the cost and complexity of VDI and DaaS.

VMblog:  After everything you've learned from this survey, what's next for Cameyo?  How do you respond to the challenges found within the survey?

Henshaw: More than anything, this report served to provide hard data that illustrates the shift we've been seeing in the industry for the past year. Most IT people hate deploying and managing VDI and DaaS systems, and CIOs hate paying for them. So they've been looking for alternatives that enable them to increase productivity on any device, securely and at scale, without breaking the bank.

Digital Workspace solutions like Cameyo enable organizations to provide their people with access to all of their business-critical applications - both Windows desktop and internal web apps - from any device, from the browser. This enables organizations to empower all of their employees to be just as productive from home as they would be in the office, all without the high cost, complexity, and security concerns of VDI and DaaS.

As for what's next - here at Cameyo we remain laser-focused on enabling organizations to scale the productivity and security of their remote workers globally with a single, seamless Digital Workspace. We continue to help organizations escape the cost, complexity, and poor user experiences of vendors like Citrix and Nutanix Xi Frame, just like we did for this large European retailer.

VMblog:  Finally, where can readers go to learn more about the survey results?

Henshaw: Your readers can go to to download the complete report for free.


Published Tuesday, June 30, 2020 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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