Technology has a reputation for moving quickly in the world of business, but nothing could have prepared us for the twists and turns of 2020.
Businesses around the world suddenly found themselves rapidly adapting to more agile ways of working, with many cramming a decade’s worth of digital transformation into the space of a few months. While the true destructive fallout of COVID-19 is yet to be understood, one small silver lining is that it’s acted as a technological catalyst for businesses, catapulting them forward on a journey that might otherwise have taken a decade or more.
One key technology that has enabled businesses to survive and truly embrace remote working is DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service). As far back as July 2020, Gartner was reporting that the DaaS market was on course to grow by a staggering 95% in 2020, reaching an all-time high of $1.2 billion. One of the reasons DaaS has proved so popular with businesses is its ability to enable seamless remote working at relatively low cost. From a terminal, usually a laptop, employees can log-on and replicate their in-office experience, complete with all of the applications, software, tools and access privileges that go with it. No sensitive information or beefy programs are stored on the local machine, making it simple and lightweight for staff while allowing businesses to maintain control and security over their information.
As the world continues to define and adapt, we’re likely to see DaaS and the use of virtual desktops continue long into 2021 and beyond. This is likely to elevate cloud adoption more generally, as well as increase the use of processes like containerisation. Below are three key IT trends we’re likely to see take shape as we make our way through 2021.
The rise of cost-effective solutions for HPC
High-performance computing (HPC) as a service has gone from strength to strength in recent years. It’s all but essential in industries that deal with vast quantities of data where things like physical hardware space or heat management might become an issue. In recent years it’s become a common asset in a surprising number of industries, from finance and genomics right through to gas and oil extraction, helping to boost revenue and drive innovation. Instead of spending hefty sums of money on space and hardware to carry out complex calculations at speed, these organisations can effectively ‘rent’ resources under a pay-as-you-go style deal. According to Mordor Intelligence, the HPC market is set to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% between now and 2025, citing the use of big data technologies like AI and machine learning as key drivers. We’re likely to see the use of HPC as a service normalised in many industries as an increasing number of sectors realise the benefits of big data analytics.
The rise and rise of containerisation
If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that containers are here to stay. Containerisation really has ‘gone viral’, with Allied Market Research predicting the market will hit the dizzying high of $8.2 billion by 2025. Put simply, a container is a secured virtual lightweight runtime environment that can be engineered to host applications with very specific needs, including all dependencies and configuration files. It makes the deployment of applications more seamless by reducing the need for true interoperability. In other words, hundreds of containers can be used to host numerous applications with very different needs and set-ups. Tools like Docker and Kubernetes are common tools used to streamline the process of creating, deploying and running applications as part of a broader containerisation strategy. With an increasing number of people working remotely, the portability allowed by containerisation will obviously prove useful in 2021. Developers stand to benefit too, lending them the agility to seamlessly integrate with existing DevOps environments.
Hosted desktops are here to stay
We’ve already touched on the idea of virtual desktops as a way of helping businesses survive COVID, but all signs point to DaaS being a permanent fixture well into the future. There’s been an emerging trend toward outsourcing when it comes to digital transformation for a number of years now. From software-as-a-service (SaaS) to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), businesses no longer want the burden of having to install, manage, maintain and update their own digital resources. It’s far easier to outsource this stuff, whether it’s ‘renting’ server space or accessing cloud-based software, so they can get on with running their business and doing what they do best. DaaS takes this idea and applies it to the staff experience. Instead of each individual having to manage their own computer, ensuring everything is safe, secure and up-to-date, they can now just log-on and get to work, safe in the knowledge that their IT department or third-party desktop provider has taken care of everything.
Many businesses have had to progress their plans for digital transformation a little more rapidly than planned, but with the right management and some careful long-term planning, they may look back on this period as the first step toward a brighter, more efficient future.
About the Author
Neville Louzado is the Head Of Sales at Hyve Managed Hosting. He is experienced in working for the information technology and services industry. Main Skills include Sales, Managed Public and Private Clouds, VMware, Data Centers, and Virtualization. He is a strong sales professional who graduated from Staffordshire University.
Featured image: ©DenisMagilov