A recent survey of IT professionals who are coping with the impact of COVID-19 on their IT organizations found that most of them are presently in “react” mode. We found that many were caught unprepared for this scale of workforce displacement to remote urban and suburban locations with over 90% of respondents saying they and their IT staff are now required to work from home.
In order to cope, we saw enterprise IT organizations adapting essentially overnight to a workforce that was, practically speaking, entirely remote. And they did it by deploying resources they found to be immediately accessible. These included VDI instances that were “spun-up” in the cloud which allowed business users to conduct critical, day-to-day operations with little to no lapse in productivity.
Why VDI? The shift to a remote workforce opens new security vulnerabilities leading to increased exposure to ransomware attacks and other malicious activity. As one respondent put it: “We’re in the open, hackers and bad actors are in the dark, always trying something new. Our job is to defeat them every time.” Among other efficiencies gained, VDI allows them to impose centralized security measures for these desktop and laptop instances.
IT organizations’ eyes have been opened to the need to be better prepared for the majority – if not all – of their workforces to operate remotely. VDI coupled with public cloud resources are a great fit for the current, remote-heavy operating environment. They can be spun up on-demand and are highly elastic – meaning they are an ideal fit to quickly provide infrastructure and application resources to end users that suddenly find themselves operating remotely.
While we believe that the mid-to-long term impacts are still being assessed by the organizations we surveyed, we detected a feeling that there will be some permanent versus temporary changes to IT “business as usual.” Indeed, long-term benefits may be realized that include reductions in the need for expensive corporate office space – benefits that can also be realized from VDI deployment in the cloud.
VDI will become the preferred environment for hosting an at-home workforce because security enforcement is more effective, management can be centralized and automated, access to corporate desktops and applications can be delivered through employees’ own computing devices, and supporting infrastructure can be ramped up and down quickly. Therefore, Evaluator Group believes that the ability to support VDI at scale will become a permanent fixture of enterprise IT strategies. Along the way however, IT administrators will be considering the most effective ways to scale and manage VDI environments going forward. This report focuses on the critical role storage plays in delivering a productive VDI-based work environment.
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