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Liquidware 2021 Predictions: The cloud will be your briefcase, desk and office

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

The cloud will be your briefcase, desk and office

By J.Tyler "T. Rex" Rohrer, Co-Founder / Strategic Alliances, Liquidware

I am going to jump right in with my predictions for 2021:

1. Companies will need to enable BOTH front line revenue generators, and back office operators to work anywhere, at any time, fully
2. The Cloud will be your Briefcase in the near term
3. The Cloud will be your desk in the longer term
4. The Cloud will be your office - eventually

Some advice, looking back at 2020 might be to RUN!! Other advice might be to start preparing for the next time there is rainy day or year! I think, if nothing else, it is safe to say we are all different after 2020.

Given the variety, velocity, and volume of changes that played themselves out around us - perhaps instead of anxiety and regret over a troubling 300 days - we instead focus on the OPPORTUNITIES that lie ahead. Yes, of course there are pitfalls out there, everywhere, but there is also GOLD. My predictions for the coming year are those of opportunity. There is no doom, gloom, or warnings in my forecast.

I do, however, want to make sure - apart from just waxing prognostic - we actually talk about how whatever it is YOU discover in 2021 can become a working part of your operational models. Nothing becomes operational before we put it under the weight of the real world day in, and day out.

I would like to focus on End User Computing.

1. Companies will need to enable BOTH front line revenue generators, and back office operators to work anywhere, at any time, fully.

For the better part of a decade I have watched the largest agencies, organizations, and enterprises in the world attempt to do the same thing. You may think I saw them work on getting VDI right, or storage right, or even Windows updates right. That is not what I saw.

I saw thousands of customers, millions of end users, and countless platforms trying to solve the same problem.

What are we doing?  We were actually a bit lopsided in our approach - focusing only on back office operators, and very rarely counting the front line revenue producers.

What I saw was an eco system of technologies, orchestrated by trusted advisors and subject matter experts that endeavored to create reliable workspaces out of intrinsically unreliable parts (end users included). Our new model will, and must, enable any worker to work across a spectrum of possible work scenarios - the Holy Grail is work from anywhere.

2. The Cloud will be your briefcase in the near term

The reason we seek reliable systems is that we know it optimizes our employees' activity. What they create and consume is bigger and better when the systems work. Broken systems are a cost center and add no revenue.

While it would be phenomenal if we could "switch on" the cloud and accomplish our first prediction of truly untethered computing, the reality is that today, the cloud is your briefcase. It began with simple file storage, cloud backup, then Azure Active Directory, server based computing apps streamed to you, etc.

While it is noble, albeit daunting and early, to dive in to full desktops at the start, most companies appear to be cloud staging. Cloud staging takes the components of the desktop and systematically finds solutions in the cloud for each (storage, apps, admin, etc). If we have your files, your documents, your data, some of your apps, a backup of your identity perhaps, security parameters, remote help desk and administration - prediction #1 is possible, not simply PowerPoint.   You count, and your stuff is in the cloud, however today's computation takes place near you on hyper converged and superfast storage.

3. The Cloud will be your desk in the longer term

Yes, longer term we orchestrate our cloud staging, and begin to run a fuller "desktop" in the cloud - which to me is more like a mashup of the cloud briefcase solutions, plus a standard runtime, and maybe a standard control plane. This is your desk - your drawers, your storage, your lock and keys, your customizable user experience, etc.

These systems are now not simply to enable you to work from home. These systems are everywhere, and anywhere, and they should be. It is very important in this prediction to focus on BOTH types of systems. We should focus equally on the systems that we use to operate our marketing, legal, accounting, development, and operation insuring they are not land locked to a static office cubical.

We also need to make sure we focus on the front line systems - taking care of customers, patients, clients and more.  End points will matter more, not less, and be hyper-specialized - and ready to handshake with either your cloud briefcase or your cloud desk.

My follow-on prediction is there is no economy of scale like the cloud or today's battle tested hyper converged platforms. While there will be different architectures for different use cases, files, and applications, the first place to begin is with your existing storage vendor.

4. The Cloud will be your office - eventually

Working from anywhere is not just going to LOWER the cost vector of your end user computing estate, it is also going to radically change the front line revenue vector. Point of sale, point of care, point of security, point of incident - the new workspace is anywhere, and to insure an elegant user and customer experience, it should be.  The OFFICE CLOUD that is coming is a communal compute, aggregation, data mining, intelligence, security, and collaboration - and while my prediction is cool, we have plenty to focus on for 2021!

Think of it this way, Covid-19 not only forced us all to REBOOT our current operating systems figuratively speaking - it is also giving us a brand new, never seen before, fresh install of a completely new version. What we build on top of that will be incredible in 2021.

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About the Author

J.Tyler "T. Rex" Rohrer, Co-Founder / Strategic Alliances, Liquidware

Tyler Rohrer 

Tyler Rohrer co-founded Liquidware after leaving a key role within VMware's Enterprise Desktop Team. Previously, he was a partner at FOEDUS, which was acquired by VMware. Tyler heads up the Strategic Alliance program and is engaged in managing the company's relationships with major platform and storage partners. He has been an official member of the Forbes Technology Council since 2017. The FTC is an invitation-only organization for technology executives.

Published Wednesday, November 18, 2020 7:45 AM by David Marshall
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