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It is estimated that the global mobile workforce will reach 1.87 billion workers by 2022. The proliferation of mobile technology has changed the way people work and interact within the organization. Employees want to access their work-related data from anywhere and anytime without compromising on the data security, through any of their devices. Organizations thus need to adopt a new EUC architecture. Desktop as a Service (DaaS) provides end-users with a cloud hosted virtual computing environment, across devices and locations. Find out how DaaS can enable EUC Transformation in your organization.

The present-day workforce demands more collaboration and visibility in the workplace as compared to yesteryears. They want enterprise applications to operate like consumer applications – easy-to-use, interoperable, and accessible from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Recent Gartner report suggests that, by 2023, 70% of enterprises will support Android-based systems owing to greater employee demand, highly secure platforms, and dynamic business needs. This indicates that enterprises will need to revisit their EUC architecture and deliver a work environment that is device- and location-independent and ensures accessibility to applications across devices, regardless of their operating systems.

In such a scenario, enterprises will have to adopt a workforce-centric approach while implementing their EUC strategy. This would involve understanding and validating the number of users, their workload requirements and identifying potential use cases and the business applications to be accessed, peripheral, network, and security requirements.

Enterprises will need to move away from the traditional computing infrastructure and adopt cloud (public, private or hybrid) to accelerate their EUC transformation journey. A Forbes insight in-depth study, “Collaborating in the cloud,” highlights how business leaders look at cloud collaboration as a sure-shot way to increase productivity, obtain concrete results, and enhance innovation. It also depicts how adopting cloud technology is a business enabler in this digital age.

Moving workloads to the cloud will empower the workforce with secure and seamless access to applications and desktops across any device, anytime and anywhere. However, it is essential to provide continuous support to address any issues pertaining to end-user performance, mainly until the environment stabilises and teething problems are resolved.

End-User Computing for Businesses

To put it simply, EUC or End User Computing encompasses all computer systems, platforms and scalable technology that the core IT teams use. With EUC services, end-users within an organization get access to their applications, data and workstations required for their daily jobs on any device they prefer.

A crucial aspect of EUC is the VDI or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure technology, in which desktop environments are hosted on a central server and deployed to end-users upon request. It is a form of desktop virtualization as end-users work on specific desktop images running on virtual machines delivered over a network. This allows individuals to be introduced to new technologies seamlessly and use them without requiring system expertise. Besides, they can create and use simple applications without involvement from the IT team.

In essence, EUC services facilitate employees and stakeholders to connect and share data securely within their organizations as well as externally.

Implementing EUC for The Modern Workforce

Organizations today are having a diverse footprint when it comes to their geographical and physical presence. As remote working gradually turns to become the new normal, delivering consistent workplace resources becomes quite challenging. A EUC/VDI solution solves the problem. It offers improved and consistent resources to users as well as secure access to applications from remote places.

Moreover, as organizations try to establish their foothold in the competitive market, they need a variety of digital platforms to support their remote workforce. In this case, EUC services can help develop a hybrid multi-cloud environment so that it becomes effortless for remote users to access data from their applications and desktops across multiple devices. Consequently, users can increase their productivity while staying compliant with the platform requirements as well.

The primary objective behind implementing EUC/VDI solution is to identify all databases and the critical applications essential for day-to-day operations and consolidate them into an optimised platform, which remains the same throughout. Given the fast-changing workplace due to technological and digital innovation, the modern workforce needs a flexible and optimised platform, which is possible through streamlined EUC services.

For larger organizations that have internal data centres, employees can log in to their workspaces through their own devices with a VDI setup. As mentioned earlier, with VDI, users work on desktop images running on virtual machines created by using virtualization and hyper-convergence technology. The virtual machines offer data, applications as well as storage depending on the role of the user and the tasks assigned to them.

On the other hand, leaner organizations that don’t need complete control over their resources can simply access the equivalent of VDI over a public, private, or hybrid cloud infrastructure. With DaaS or Desktop-as-a-Service, users can access Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure apps, etc. easily through an HTML browser and integrate with SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS resources as well. For employees, this translates into hassle-free working with just a browser-enabled device and an internet connection.

Digital Transformation of The Workforce with EUC Services

The deployment of new cloud-based EUC architecture should deliver the following benefits:

Higher desktop-&-application availability – By enabling high desktop-and-application availability on the cloud, enterprises can achieve high operational continuity. A continuous and proactive monitoring and management solution enhances end-user performance significantly.

Lower MTTR (Mean-Time-To- Resolution) – Proactive monitoring of the virtual desktops on cloud infrastructure, including essential services like active directory, DNS, and network, will be pretty important. It should also include supervision of availability, capacity and performance of the applications. Therefore, proactive management and control can lead to resolution of end-user issues before it impacts users adversely. Pinpointing exact issue location, event correlation for all abnormalities, and addressing performance, capacity and configuration issues in advance can lead to reduced MTTR.

User migration, consistent patch upgrades, and zero business disruption – Centralised management of virtual desktops on the cloud enable seamless new user addition/deletion, implementation of updates, and patch upgrades while ensuring zero business disruption. This prevents any abnormal impact on end-user operations, thereby leading to enhanced productivity of the employees.

Anytime, anywhere, any device access – Cloud desktops are delivered to end-users anywhere, anytime, on any device. The cloud desktop solutions are tailored for remote work and mobile workforce due to their location-independence and device-agnostic requirements. Therefore, enabling users to work from the comfort of their home or even far-off places, even in the case of natural calamities, augment employee productivity significantly.

Secure Single sign-on & Scalability – Using a secure sign-on, applications can be easily added to an existing suite. This is helpful in new employee onboarding or inter-departmental switches. Cloud desktops also facilitate ease of scaling up/down depending on utilisation and addition/deletion of new users in case of mergers and acquisitions, seasonal peak loads and so on, thereby providing a boost to employee productivity.

As enterprises start moving their workloads to the cloud as part of their EUC transformation, they will need to keep an end-user centric approach that maximises application availability and workforce productivity. Available on a pay-as-you-go model, cloud streamlines the way enterprises can build, configure, manage and deliver desktops to their end-users and allow them anywhere, anytime access to their applications and data.

As a EUC transformation specialist, Anunta implements and manages some of the most complex use cases for some of the largest enterprises. With deep domain expertise in all virtualisation technologies, including Citrix, VMware and Microsoft and the ability to work on multiple cloud platforms like Azure and AWS, Anunta takes end-to-end ownership of the whole EUC environment focusing on critical operational continuity and proactive issues resolution.

The standard DaaS solutions typically provides you with only the software and hardware components with basic support leaving you struggling to get technical expertise for provisioning, configuration, integration and management of virtual desktops. Anunta’s Managed DaaS solution, powered by versatile and flexible Azure Cloud, is a complete end to end managed virtual desktop solution that offers build, configure, manage, store and execute functions to smoothen the whole migration and eliminate teething issues.

The new-age workplaces are evolving rapidly to meet the diverse nees of the always-connected workforce. Today’s workforce prefers a workplace that offers collaboration, promotes knowledge distribution, and empowers them by delivering the freedom to work from any location, at any time, and on any device of their choice.

Industry reports estimate that millennials are expected to account for 50% of the workforce by 2022. Ultimate flexibility and interoperability in EUC (End-User Computing) are the primary driving forces for this new-age generation. The paradigm shift in user demand is led by increasing mobility, extensive device proliferation, enhanced end-point security, and enterprise-grade Windows 10 OS deployment and migration. As the adoption of innovative cloud-based services accelerate, the digital workplace will see a complete transformation of the EUC architecture to securely and seamlessly deliver applications and data to end-users while ensuring an enhanced end-user experience.

Enter DaaS- a peek into the next-gen workplace

With the rapid influx of advanced devices, there is an urgent need to bring more uniformity across multiple devices in the connected world. On-the-go employees and remote businesses need 24×7 access to enterprise applications across operating systems as they prefer to use their own devices that provide them faster accessibility and reliability, specifically with the emerging trend of BYOD (Bring your own devices) adoption.

DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service) is a cloud offering, tailored for remote accessibility, security, and adaptability, thereby meeting the ever-growing demands of the mobile workforce.

  • Daas helps deliver a thin client to the user screens with remarkable agility and lower costs- simultaneously. It prevents download or sharing of data on any device thereby enhancing information safety significantly, making it the best match for enterprise IT in delivering secure access to data and applications.
  • DaaS is OPEX-inclined and not CAPEX-based, making it an apt solution for enterprises that have not invested in capital-intensive data centers or want to move some of their workloads to Cloud from their data center and SMEs thriving in today’s fast-changing ecosystems. DaaS allows enterprises to forecast and manage their user-defined budget better while preserving the high-performance capabilities of their solutions.
  • DaaS requires on demand-investment; thus, the pay-as-you-use model helps tackle the scalability challenges without any major disruption.
  • DaaS providers usually deliver services across vast regions. Due to its anywhere, anytime model, employees can work from the comfort of their homes or shared workplaces too. In addition, the backup and disaster recovery attributes help maintain the workflow even during natural calamities, providing a much-needed boost to business continuity.

Thus, DaaS takes the guesswork out of complex deployments and enables easy management of the resources on the cloud. This frees up the company’s tech-savvy IT staff to utilize their expertise on customer-driven goals, rather than worrying about the underlying IT Infrastructure. Delivered as a centralized model, DaaS takes away the pain in golden image management, regular antivirus updates, troubleshooting, application configuration, and patch updates as these are executed directly on Cloud with zero business disruption for end-users thereby driving efficiency and enhancing productivity. DaaS helps enterprises accelerate the transformation of a digital workplace in a cost-effective and secure way.

DaaS solutions- poised to be the future of hybrid work

Cloud computing has changed everything in IT. People no longer need to be around powerful hardware and storage devices to work. And many industry leaders and experts had already claimed that the future of work was going to be remote long before the pandemic started. However, the disruptions caused by the global health crisis did take away the choice for organizations to shift to the remote work culture at their pace. Things changed overnight, and employees had to get their work devices home and connect them to their home network or rely entirely on their own devices. Consequently, there were hundreds and thousands of end devices accessing the business IT network leading to a heightened risk of cyberattacks.

In the light of these major cybersecurity concerns, many businesses claimed to get back to working from the office, disregarding the productivity and flexibility benefits of remote working. What adds to the issue is the usage of personal devices for work by a significant majority of the employees without enterprise-grade security tools.

DaaS offers a simple solution to all the problems associated with the shift towards a software-defined workplace. It allows users to access their workplace desktop environment along with all the necessary software securely from remote devices. You can think of it as running Windows but from a cloud-based CPU. All one needs is a device connected to the internet. Here are a few ways in which DaaS is all set to become the workplace of the future.

  • Since desktop-as-a-service providers ensure the security protection and updates of the hosting devices are maintained as needed, the chances of cyberattacks are significantly reduced. Besides, data is more secure as nothing is stored on the end-point device or sent over a network. This means that the IT teams can just focus on the security and OS updates of one desktop image, and it can be used by several users who can work on it but can’t interfere with the standard configurations. DaaS also allows enterprises to ensure that all the end-point devices align with the security protocols and adhere to the policies regarding accessing sensitive data, approved applications, etc.
  • VDI technology has been available for years now, but with the present-day advanced hyper-scale cloud computing services, DaaS solutions have become more feasible to meet the high user experience expectations. Users can manage to run heavy software like CAD or the Adobe suite as well without needing any high CPU power and on-device storage.
  • Remote working and BYOD concepts are witnessing rising popularity among the younger generation workforce. They wish to work from anywhere and any device – probably, the same device they use for entertainment, socializing, and other work. DaaS providers can help enterprises and their workforce configure their iPads, Chromebooks, or whatever device they use and optimize it from a security and business perspective.

Closing thoughts

Digital workplaces have evolved comprehensively in recent years. By incorporating the latest tools and technology, digital workplaces prioritize employee engagement, technical exposure, and enhanced interaction in a timely manner. Being edge-focused with device and location-independent capabilities, DaaS provides a seamless transition and delivers turnkey virtualized desktops with a minimal footprint. The adoption of DaaS ensures a highly responsive work ecosystem that empowers end-users by delivering enterprise applications across devices anytime and with the same experience as within the enterprise perimeter.

What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)?

In the past few years, we have witnessed a virtual explosion in the number of devices, dramatic change in the way end-users consume IT and a rise in workforce which is mobile and prefers to work from the location of their convenience. This has led enterprises to devise a strategy that accommodates the growing needs of mobile workforce. Enterprises are now faced with the challenge to strike a balance between windows-only and platform-agnostic applications, enterprise network and public internet, enterprise owned devices and user-owned devices. However, achieving a balance while addressing the needs of end-users is a challenge and complex process.

Enterprises are increasingly looking at virtualization technologies to provide the right answers to these issues. A recent Research and Markets report states that “the global desktop virtualization market is projected to reach US$28.345 billion in 2022, increasing from US$6.276 billion in 2016 at a CAGR of 28.57%.”

What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?

As opposed to a standard desktop infrastructure that stores data and runs applications locally on your machine, a virtual desktop infrastructure is a technology that delivers virtual desktops in the end-user computing environment. These virtual machines/desktops are relayed on thin or zero clients as images of data and applications which are stored remotely on a central server on a public, private or hybrid Cloud.

The VDI environment segregates desktop operating system, applications, and data from the hardware, and offers a robust, secure, flexible yet affordable desktop solution. The virtualization software creates desktop images and enables access to end-users over a network.

In the VDI environment, virtual desktops are provisioned based upon user-group profiling which ensures that end-users have an uninterrupted access to role-specific applications and data via a customized interface. Since data and applications reside on a central server, management becomes simple. All bug fixes, policy and software upgrades are applied only on the centrally stored golden images ensuring security and compliance adherence for all end-users. The ability to provide consistently high application availability in an anywhere, anytime, and across any device improves end-user experience and productivity.

Why enterprises should adopt Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?

Enterprises should adopt VDI for the following reasons.

  • Anytime, anywhere, any device access to data and applications – As applications and data are stored on central servers, this enables access independent of the time, place and device enabling end-users enjoy flexible yet secure application availability.
  • Simplified management – Centralized storage of data and applications enable IT to manage desktops in an extremely efficient manner. Since user profiles are also stored centrally, rolling out OS, application and bug fixes are simplified.
  • Secure access – End-users only have access to applications and data specific to their roles as a result of role-based user profile creation and policy adherence. This also enables enterprises in providing contract employees and partners with secured access to relevant data and applications.
  • Rapid disaster recovery and business continuity – In the event of a disaster, virtual desktops can be provisioned from the centralized backup, thereby ensuring business continuity.
  • Reduced costs – If properly designed and implemented, VDI are often lower in cost than PCs on a total cost of ownership (TCO) basis.

Some of the use cases/ business requirements where Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is particularly suited,

  • Supporting remote users who need access to core applications
  • Temporary/makeshift offices
  • Flexibility to rapidly ramp-up/ramp-down
  • Simplify licensing and compliance
  • Looking for next generation infrastructure at PC/hardware refresh cycle
  • Implementing a BYOD policy
  • Providing uninterrupted connectivity to remote branch offices that have poor bandwidth connectivity
  • Require a versatile setup for Developers, Contractors and Training requirements
  • Need high security to protect customer data or proprietary intellectual properties
  • Not wanting to invest in large internal IT team with specialized skills

The versatility and flexibility of virtual desktop infrastructure helps enterprises in addressing the demands of their end-users while ensuring security, compliance and ease of management. Some of the technologies used require specialized skills and enterprise often work with specialized partners who can design, deploy and manage virtual desktops and deliver high quality end user experience.

As a recognized specialist in cloud and virtualization technologies, Anunta helps enterprises address today’s application delivery challenges by migrating them from traditional client-server architecture to a unified desktop and application services environment. Our solutions are focused on simplifying IT and maximizing performance and availability at the user end, at an optimum cost. Our decades of expertise in virtualization technologies and a track record in transforming and managing over 80,000 endpoints for more than 120,000 users, make us the virtualization solutions provider of choice for leading enterprises, for large, complex transformations across industry verticals.

Learn more about our virtualization solutions and domain expertise on http://www.anuntatech.com .

Considering a significant part of the workforce is still working remotely, many industry analysts believe that opting for EUC services is crucial for managing enterprise IT resources, and their demand will only continue to grow further. Some experts also believe that we will eventually stop relying on the on-premise infrastructure and entirely replace them with thin client devices.

In addition, the current pandemic situation has forced employees from almost every industry vertical to shift to remote working trends and find access to enterprise resources from a remote location. Anunta recognizes this need and delivers end user computing services to ensure a satisfactory end-user experience while also allowing them to make the most of their devices at the moment.

With changing end-user demand and dynamic business environment, it is time enterprises have a re-look at their end user computing strategy to drive workforce productivity and enhance the end-user experience.

Watch our latest video for more details:

FAQs

What is End User Computing?

End User Computing or EUC encompasses all computer systems and platforms that allow end-users to develop computer applications required for their work. The motive behind the EUC approaches is to ensure better involvement and integration of end-users and non-programmers in computing systems development. It allows the end-users to gain greater control of their work or computing environment without seeking the help of programmers or developers.

With EUC, users can access enterprise applications and data anytime and anywhere they prefer. That is done through devices with access to VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) present within the organization’s premises or public cloud. Besides, the end-users don’t have to worry about the type of devices they use for their work; EUC supports many devices, such as tablets, PCs, smartphones, or thin-clients.

All the applications and virtual desktop sessions can be run on enterprise IT infrastructure when users log into the system. Other aspects, such as servers, flash storage for desktop session images, networking infrastructure for handling the sessions, are a part of the back-end infrastructure.

What is an example of End User Computing?

An excellent example of End-User Computing could be virtual desktop infrastructure for providing and managing virtual desktops. The desktop environments that end-users can access remotely on their devices are hosted by VDI on a centralized server and deployed on request. With VDI, all the processing is carried out on the host server while users can connect to their desktop instances through a software-based gateway and work from any device or location.

This means that users accessing a VDI solution can manage data and applications on it similar to running them locally. So, end-users can perform their day-to-day tasks virtually without the need for specific hardware. As all the proprietary data is stored within the data center instead of storing locally, VDI solutions eliminate the risk of any potential data loss.

How does end user computing help?

End-user computing helps organizations primarily by offering centralized management, a highly secure work environment, and support for BYOD. One of the most daunting tasks that an organization has to handle is keeping track of multiple desktops that employees use for their work and the software licensing requirements and regulatory compliances. With a EUC environment, all the desktops and applications can be managed in a centralized platform. The environment can be designed to ensure that the end-users are equipped with everything they need to perform their tasks productively.

Moreover, with the proliferation of the remote workforce, organizations need to have a diverse set of digital platforms. Hence, they have to shift to a hybrid multi-cloud experience that can support the current workforce diversity without hampering the standard enterprise operations. A EUC environment can support this and allow end-users to work on their own devices while complying with the organization’s platform requirements.

On the security front, EUC services allow companies to control user access to certain data with advanced authentication technologies. As critical data is stored in the data center, it is easier to prevent it from getting stolen or lost.

What technologies gave rise to End User Computing?

The two leading technologies in the End-User Computing space are VDI and DaaS. In VDI, the desktop operating system is located on a cloud hosting data center. All the applications and files that the user needs can be accessed from the data center.

The VDI is a popular form of desktop virtualization that allows enterprises to manage, control and secure their end-user computing environments. Although it offers excellent business agility, it has some limitations when deployed in dynamic environments. With DaaS, users get all the agility of a VDI solution with speed. They don’t have to install any software or plugins. All they need is an online connection to access their virtual desktops and relevant applications. While VDI offers virtual desktops through on-premise servers, DaaS is a virtual desktop solution on the cloud instead of in-house servers.

Traditional desktops are no longer a feasible option for corporate enterprises as they are expensive, difficult to manage, and lack effective cyber-security measures. In addition, they undergo hardware refresh cycles after a few years, require regular patch upgrades and software updates, as well as require highly skilled in-house IT staff to manage the complexities and end-user specific operational challenges. This increases the IT costs considerably for most enterprises. Apart from that, the modern-day demands of the millennial workforce for anytime, anywhere, and any device computing at the enterprise-level further escalates the challenges.

To address these challenges and drive workforce productivity, Anunta brings you an effective ready-to-use desktop solution, i.e. Managed Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), hosted on the powerful Azure Cloud.

Anunta’s Fully-managed DaaS solution on the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform offers unmatched flexibility in managing your desktop environment. With a complete focus on end-user computing, enhanced cyber-security, and lower costs, this efficient cloud solution is a best-fit for enterprises owning a traditional computing infrastructure.

Anunta’s Managed DaaS-on-Azure provides complete end-to-end management of your computing ecosystem, which includes build, configure, manage, and store functions to facilitate a smooth migration and amplify high availability- by adhering to a pay-as-you-go business model, this service is well-equipped to meet the seasonal peak loads and scalability requirements of all enterprise-types.

The Managed DaaS cloud solution provides better business value compared to most standard DaaS solutions, which provide only software and hardware components with basic support; instead, it takes complete ownership of provisioning, configuration, integration, and management of virtual desktops, ensuring a steady state of operations on the robust Azure Cloud platform.

Combining the intuitive elements of Design & Consulting Services, Onboarding & Implementation processes, and End-to-End Support, Anunta’s Managed DaaS-on-Azure delivers a streamlined end-user experience and drives the workforce productivity significantly.

Onboarding & Implementation processes include-

  • Azure Subscription readiness
  • Active Directory Integration
  • Golden Image creation & Profile creation
  • User Provisioning
  • Installing Custom applications
  • Adv. features like UEM, VIDM integration, etc.
  • Peripheral Integration
  • Project Management

End to End Support include-

  • Highly-skilled Help Desk
  • Smart Monitoring & Management

Available in both Shared & Dedicated options, this solution offers a storage capacity of 10GB on Windows Server 2016 and RDS CAL as the OS and Access license. This solution is suitable for task workers, and virtual desktops can be accessed over the internet and are available 6 days-a-week from 8 am to 8 pm.

The minimum number of users for the Shared Option is 10 while that of the Dedicated Option is 200. Microsoft O365 suite is available as an add-on depending on customer requests or requirements.

Benefits offered by Anunta’s Managed DaaS-on-Azure solution include-

  • Built on highly scalable & powerful Azure platform with Simplified & Centralized management
  • Pay-as-you-go model with Zero upfront cost
  • Lower TCO due to no Maintenance overhead
  • Reduced requirement for highly-skilled IT workforce & manpower resources
  • End-to-End Implementation & Integration with available resources
  • No compromise on Security, Performance, & Compliance
  • Single Point of Accountability
  • Shared & Dedicated Flexibility with reasonable pricing
  • Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) Upgrade facility (including multi-user WVD solely on Azure)
  • Compatibility with MS Office 365 suite on a single license
  • Cost-effective Back-up & Disaster Recovery

To learn more about Anunta’s Managed DaaS-on-Azure Cloud solution, visit: 

For sales inquiries, feel free to connect with us at: sales@anuntatech.com

The workplace has evolved. Employees now prefer anytime, anywhere, any device access to enterprise data and application. With changing end-user demand and dynamic business environment, it is time enterprises have a relook at their end-user computing (EUC) strategy to drive workforce productivity and enhance end-user experience.

The increase in number of diverse computing devices with multiple operating systems, continuous application upgrades, transitioning from windows 7 to 10, availability of digital collaboration platforms, and ensuring seamless applications availability for end-users have become more challenging and complex for IT teams. Hardware refresh further complicates enterprise computing environment with large Capex outlay.

Desktop virtualization technologies delivered asVDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) or DaaS(Desktop as a Service) promises seamless mobility and secure availability of data and applications – addressing key challenges in delivering seamless end-user experience. Enterprises with in-house or collocated data centers often choose the VDI way of virtual desktops as it offers full control over hardware, software and data minimizing the threat of data loss and device theft. However, VDI deployments require upfront Capex and specialized skills to deploy and manage virtual desktops making it an extremely challenging proposition for IT teams.

With large scale adoption of Cloud technology, enterprises now have the flexibility to implement Cloud-hosted desktops delivered as DaaS. DaaS converts Capex spend into Opex and negates the cost of owning specialized technical skills, desktop maintenance and infrastructure depreciation.

Gartner’s Market Guide for DaaS, 2016 estimates that by 2019, 50 percent of new VDI users will be deployed on DaaS platforms.

Let us outline 5 reasons why enterprises will benefit by moving virtual desktops to the Cloud.

Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – Available as ‘pay-per-use’ model, Cloud converts the upfront Capex (investment required in setting up infrastructure and software licences) into Opex. Also, the effort, time and investment in managing, securing, and upgrading physical desktops are minimized, thereby bringing down the TCO. Fewer onsite support staff, fewer support calls and tickets, reduced cost of application delivery and overall better utilization of resources further reduce the TCO.

Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device Computing – Cloud promises the availability of applications and data to end-users anywhere, anytime and across any device. This addresses the increase in demand for on-the-go workplace and simplify operations for remote workers, making applications available even at low bandwidth in remote locations. In addition to flexibility of being able to access data and application at will, today’s workforce also wants to use devices of their choice (BYOD). Cloud-based DaaS helps with implementation of uniform security protocols across end-user devices, thereby ensuring fully secure and compliant access to corporate data and applications.

Security – Centralized desktop management enables IT teams to make available secure and policy-based access to data and applications. This means enterprises can provide selective access to data and application, and curb end-users from downloading multiple application versions or unnecessary third-party applications, thereby ensuring compliance.

Scalability and Flexibility – Cloud offers the much-needed agility and scalability to ramp up and ramp down workloads as and when needed. This simplifies the tasks of setting up backend infrastructure, implementation and management of virtualized environments. Many DaaS on Cloud providers also take complete ownership of managing and ensuring a secure cloud environment, thus allowing enterprises to not burden themselves with maintaining skilled technical resources.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery – DaaS mitigates the challenges in ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery for virtualized desktops on Cloud. In case of any disaster, Cloud-hosted desktops not only ensure all data and applications are safe and secure, but also allow for instant infrastructure duplication at any location of choice, thereby maintaining business continuity.

As enterprises adopt Cloud-based desktops, they need to choose a partner that enables seamless end user computing (EUC) transformation. As a recognized specialist in Cloud and desktop virtualization technologies, Anunta manages over 80,000 end-points for more than 120,000 users globally with 99.98% application availability. Anunta works with global enterprises in successfully designing, implementing and managing EUC environment for enterprises delivering un-matched end-user experience. Our focus on unmatched end-user experience management and operational flexibility makes us the partner of choice for implementing and managing DaaS on Cloud for global enterprises.

Learn more about Anunta’s EUC Transformation Services at: http://www.anuntatech.com

The hype around cloud computing has probably been among the most persistent and long enduring ‘next-killer-thing’ kind of conversations for a while now. Try as you might, you can’t get away without having a ‘cloud strategy’ in place. But like one CTO pointed out on LinkedIn, “Yes and we have had one in place for years. It is only marketeers who have suddenly ‘discovered’ the cloud”. And rightly so, marketers can’t be left to discover technologies or create spin around what will drive adoption. Technology adoption drivers need to be grounded in a sound business case and logic.

It is for this very reason that I find it baffling as to what CIOs/ CTOs will typically cite as drivers for cloud adoption. The focus is almost always on lowering the TCO (typical marketing spiel) which we at Anunta have spoken about before and believe is flawed in today’s context. Let’s look at some of the commonly mentioned cloud drivers.

All of these drivers are definitely reasons to look at the cloud but I also think that it misses the point to some extent. Cloud is fundamentally an application delivery model as were the MSP and ASP models of old. So as mentioned in our earlier posts, end-user experience is the imperative and application delivery becomes the means to that end. Consequently, cloud is the means to optimal application delivery. In fact, this holds true for physical on-premises infrastructure as well where if application delivery is considered critical and central to the enterprise infrastructure, then every other components of the infrastructure need to be aligned to facilitate it.

Once IT has this basic premise covered, the conventional drivers of cloud adoption begin to hold true. In that, costs become variable (pay as you go),  scalability is instantaneous and consumerization of IT becomes truly viable.

While our last blog discussed the issues that the Indian BFSI sector faces in application performance management, the root of the problem really lies in the flawed approach to measuring it. Most are measuring it at a device level and therefore are satisfied with 97-99% uptime at a server level even if the uptime is much lower at end-user level. The best analogy to this: the health of the patient is fine but the patient is dying!

Let’s take a deep dive into some of the primary measurement methods/ metrics and the circumstances under which they are put to use.

What: Application performance from end user perspective is measured only for critical business applications

Anunta Take: While this sounds okay, when one drills deeper into the study, several related issues come to light:

a. Is Application performance really being measured from an end-user perspective? If true, why do 53% percent respondents see no consensus between IT and end-user? Why is assessment broad not detailed: What this means is that the process is rather unstructured and its ability to provide any real insight is relatively limited. As a result, the process is almost redundant. When it comes to mission critical applications, the need becomes even more intense since they are responsible for driving revenues and ensuring productivity. While the customer facing applications such as core banking or internet portals are no-brainers, what about the ones that provide insight into a bank’s risk exposures or anti-money laundering applications that have much wider implications on the success of the business. The end-users in this case are often the CFO or CEO and while it may be a smaller and less frequent end-user base, its functioning is essential to the health of a bank’s business at a different scale.

b. The metrics are not monitored regularly: Measuring end-user satisfaction is not something that can be done in fits and starts. An initial assessment needs to be acted upon with the relevant fixes being put in place and then reassessed at regular intervals to gauge progress. The BFSI sector has the added level of complexity that ensures that not just internal end-users but an external customer’s user experience needs to be measured as well. As we’ve often stated before, one dissatisfied customer can repel more customers than 10 happy ones can attract.

c. Most of the metrics are around end-user feedback which signifies a reactive approach towards monitoring: I find this revelation about as amusing as it is startling. While end-user feedback is a great mechanism, it often goes unattended to especially by IT departments. This is essentially because, when testing these applications, they’ve ascertained optimal functioning even while the end-user continues to suffer at the hands of badly performing applications. What this also means is that IT SLAs often mean nothing from an end-user standpoint and need a business logic applied to them that ultimately relate to the end-user experience. For example, a link latency SLA from the ISP should be translated to the application behavior SLA in the end-user terminal. This calls for a study of how the application performance changes when the latency fluctuates and how it can create business impact.

What: The metrics around user experience are gathered for incident reporting and problem solving rather than performance improvement. Moreover, these metrics are not linked to business metrics

Anunta Take: This reflects two things: 1) a reactive approach where more often than not, the damage is already done and 2) it does nothing to improve performance and consequently generate revenues.

What organizations and their CIOs often fail to recognize is that while 99% application uptime looks great on paper, that 1% of downtime or brownouts can be expensive. Take for instance 1 minute of downtime across an organization of 5000 customer facing end-users. On average if even 10% of those end-users were working on lead generation/ customer acquisition tasks, that is 500 possible lost customers.

These issues are often exacerbated by the various reasons offered by our respondents for their lack of measuring application performance at the end user-level. We’ll delve on these reasons in our next post.

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