Virtualization Technology News and Information
Remotely, Inc. 2023 Predictions: The Year of RDI (Remote Desktop Infrastructure)


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual series exclusive.

2023 Will be the Year of RDI™ (Remote Desktop Infrastructure)

By J.Tyler T.Rex Rohrer, Founder + CEO, Remotely, Inc.

For the better part of 20 years, I have gone on and on (and on) about THIS being the year of VDI - Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.  This time of the year I start to imagine we in the EUC community will finally take center stage in front of Storage, Artificial Intelligence, Hyperscaler's, and Low Code.  It sadly never seems to happen. And yet, we persist 😉

With the full throated confidence of someone who has been "not right" for 19 years - here it goes:

My prediction is that 2023 will be THE YEAR OF RDI.  

First, a bit of context.

We have all felt for quite some time that large office buildings, tiny cubicles, bumper to bumper traffic, and $13 lattes were not the environment where we did our best work.  Almost overnight 500 million of our end users got their wish - and started to work from "anywhere".

"Anywhere" sounds lovely. It also sounds super risky. As system Administrators we spend the better part of our days planning, designing, and deploying technology for known use cases. For this reason, VDI, and Desktop as a Service (DaaS), and cloud applications are what we should have been focused on. For centralized and secure remote access - they are hard to beat. Stateless Virtual Machines with minimal writeable volumes are a security dream - especially when coupled with an ultra-hardened endpoint OS. These solutions, however, are non-trivial in complexity and take time to architect and deploy. While we should have utilized these solutions to help our newly minted remote users....we didn't.

We sent our users to BestBuy to find any computer in stock, we gave them instructions on how and when to use the VPN, and we also gave some local admin rights - just in case. This was because the use case got away from us. Who was working on what, where became an unsolvable equation. We crossed our fingers and hoped that nothing would go "bump" in the night.   It did.

We can barely boot a browser without seeing a horror story about a breach, or ransomware, or cybersecurity incident. So naturally this begs the question... what do we do now?

Erring on the side of simplicity, I see that we have two clear choices (doing nothing is no longer an option). I think we need to do BOTH. Clear Choice #1 is we keep going full force with our VDI, DaaS, and Cloud Apps models - they are secure and when deployed correctly at scale - save money. Microsoft AVD and W365 are incredible ways to obtain the value of cloud delivered workspaces with centralized and secure management.  In finding good candidates for this among our populations we can run dual purpose assessments to not only see who a good candidate for VDI is, but also, who has security and risk exposure we should tend to with Choice #2 (RDI). 

The other Clear Choice (#2), specifically in a difficult economy with an unknown future with tight budgets, would be to find ways to secure and support the technology currently in our end users' hands. If we can use what we already have more safely, securely, with lower risks, and equal or greater productivity we are unlocking value. We may begin with systems that may not have been selected based on corporate standards or configured when deployed in an ideal state. Often improvement is more beneficial than starting over, and incremental beats perfection. We have infrastructure - some we own, some we control, some we can secure, and some we cannot.

RDITM describes the technology and risk management framework (RMF) we can use to take any off the shelf commodity endpoint from a big box retailer, on any network, and make it Department of Defense Grade Secure. RDI is the model we leverage when we improve the security and risk posture of the device, applications, data, & end user identity. RDI seeks to improve the security stance and lower the risk exposure of the entire user construct - a true follow the wire exercise to identify any potential risk.  With RDI we strive to also make the user more productive by anticipating and removing potential security, risk, or configuration downtime. If we can do this - we have delivered massive value back to our companies and it may be the decade of RDI.

And a wise enterprise Security Professional also reminded me that Remote Worker Infrastructure (RWI) is something we also MUST factor into our equations. Not only should we strive to deliver the most productive environment for our remote workers - we also must take into account the variability in behavior and workflow. Everyone is different. Every remote worker has their own specific risk profile.

2023 is going to see us all looking for ways to leverage and extend what we already own. Rising costs and risk will compel us to take security more seriously than ever before.  Our budgets will be stressed at the exact time we need them the most.  We must endure. We can take meaningful steps now to prepare for any scope of undertaking. Information is key.

Most transformative efforts in the modern enterprise require a framework that anticipates, defines, controls, and measures the results being sought. I propose that when it comes to the 500 million new remote users in our companies, we need a NEW framework to guide our actions and implementations that not only looks at what we might do that is NEW, it also looks at how we do legacy, BETTER.

The model for this kind of methodology is well known and proven over time. To get to a future state, we must know our current state. That begins with a risk assessment. This assessment data should leave no stone unturned and look at the true vulnerabilities facing our end users identities, applications, devices, and data.  We then use that risk assessment data to analyze, score, and prioritize where we can make specific improvements in identity, data, apps, or devices, or, if a new delivery architecture is warranted altogether. Once we address what it is we have found through compliance, configuration, controls, or process - we should prefer to continuously monitor the results to ensure we do not drift from a known good state.

Taking the very real possibility of a sluggish 2023 into account - my prediction is both VDI and RDI give us the technology and framework to begin to move past our current best efforts into real efforts.  We will move into a year of activity and begin improving our security and risk posture, while improving user productivity. With the rising costs of cybercrime and cyber insurance, regulatory and compliance requirements, and remote user prediction is we see healthy and secure adoption of BOTH RDI and VDI in 2023.




Tyler Rohrer is an empathetically confident entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience around end user computing. He is the co-founder of Liquidware, a digital workspace management platform, and has used his obsessive curiosity for problem solving to dominate the tech world. He has worked in and around the most progressive and challenging deployments in the world.

When COVID turned the world upside down companies were inevitably faced with their biggest issues; monitoring, managing, and protecting their now remote workforce. There was born Remotely INC, the world's first Hyper Converged Console.

Enterprise companies with distributed users and teams are experiencing the need to secure their systems more strategically than ever before. Remotely is able to assess potential issues, giving visibility into the current state of distributed users and teams, allowing the ability for actionable remediation paths.

Advisors to the company include Microsoft's GM Frank Artale, StackDriver and Google Alum Izzy Azeri, Nutanix Customer Success leader Steve Kaplan, former HubSpot COO and Citrix Board of Director Member JD Sherman, Boston Tech luminary Mark Shirman, Former HubSpot CFO John Kinzer, among others.

Published Friday, December 16, 2022 10:00 AM by David Marshall
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