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It’s the year of VDI!

Gary Taylor
18 April 2022

As organizations begin their return to the office, they are looking for a hybrid approach to allow employees to work both from the office and anywhere else.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist it. As anyone who has been involved with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) over the past 20 years will know, on a yearly basis (for at least ten years) many have predicted the coming year would be the “year of VDI.” Of course, in each case it never happened – but could 2022 be different? Maybe. Covid-19 has brought VDI solutions back into sharp focus and may well be the tipping point.

The pandemic has altered how organizations approach work. It caused a rapid change for many organizations who had to adapt quickly to enable their employees to work from home. But even as organizations begin their return to the office, they are looking for a hybrid approach to allow employees to work both from the office and anywhere else. Hybrid working has its benefits – Capgemini research report, ‘The New Working Paradigm’, suggests that 63% of organizations saw productivity gains due to remote working – not forgetting that employees value flexibility, the ability to work from home appears to be a factor for some in mitigating the effects of the “great resignation”.

VDI technologies help accelerate the shift to hybrid work by facilitating seamless and secure access to business-critical applications – regardless of device, browser, or location. They are a cost effective and secure option for enabling hybrid work in your organization, and here’s why:

  • Scalable Cloud Model: To enable anytime, anywhere working, organizations are now demanding technology that is more secure, scalable, mobile, and cost-effective. Cloud-based VDI technologies such as Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) are efficient and secure. With the processing being performed from the cloud, organizations no longer need expensive dedicated hardware in their data centers for employees to access resources.
  • Inbuilt Security: Enabling proportionate security for their devices, data, and end points across home and offices is a priority for organizations. One of the main advantages of a cloud-based VDI solution is that the cloud provider also provides much of the security surrounding the solution. As none of the connecting devices store any sensitive data, this approach provides an extremely secure solution for organizations. In addition, security patches and software updates can be applied easily, ensuring the environment is up to date and hence less vulnerable.
  • Collaboration: VDI technologies can connect employees anywhere (e.g., at home or at the office), creating an inclusive workplace. They can also deliver collaboration apps to any device anywhere on the company network subject to governance policies. Employees can collaborate in meetings and work on documents stored on the company network, preserving data integrity and security.
  • User Experience: Adoption of cloud services is changing how employees work. Desktop machines and traditional software is beginning to be replaced by internet browsers and web applications on simple portable devices. Employees and IT admins want a streamlined, focused approach. This has given rise to the digital workspace, which delivers the ability to automate routine tasks, providing users with customized views based on their preferences.
  • Sustainability: We are witnessing a paradigm shift to where the industry is more open to shifting workloads to the cloud. We have already witnessed traditional on-premises applications such as Microsoft Office moving to the cloud with Microsoft 365 – VDI is now following suit with Windows 365. Reduced reliance on physical data centers helps reduce an organization’s carbon footprint. At Capgemini we are always examining ways to ensure the right technology and tools are in use to allow for reductions in carbon footprints to deliver on our vision of helping our clients save 10 million carbon tons by 2030. As a group, we ourselves also have an internal target of becoming carbon neutral by 2025 and net zero by 2030. Technologies such as VDI fit the bill.

There’s no question that the VDI market is hot and the shift from physical desktops to virtual has already begun.  The new working paradigm will accelerate this transition as businesses of all sizes need to facilitate their entire workforce with secure access to business-critical applications – regardless of device, browser, or location.

VDI solutions have matured and the technology and infrastructure that underpin VDI have also matured. VDI is a logical extension to the cloud and looks set to accelerate its growth.

At Capgemini, we help our clients meet their strategic priorities to deliver better outcomes for customers by implementing workplace solutions that keep their workforce productive, engaged, and happy. We would be delighted to provide our expertise to help clients with their VDI requirements to develop strategies and operating models and to help them prepare and deliver on their roadmaps to meet future challenges