During the pandemic, many businesses were forced to support remote work to stay afloat. While this shift was initially a temporary solution, the resulting increase in productivity and an overwhelmingly positive employee response has since led high-profile companies such as Google, Apple, Twitter, Salesforce, J.P. Morgan, and Slack to establish permanent hybrid and remote work corporate policies.
Most IT leaders predict that a digitally powered remote workforce will be the new norm moving forward. According to my company’s 2022 State of Remote Work report, 76% of IT leaders agree that providing remote work opportunities helps them attract and recruit top talent. With the continued rise in demand for remote work, businesses need a secure, reliable, and scalable end user computing solution for enabling remote access to business-critical resources. With a variety of technologies on the market today that provide remote access capabilities, which ones are flexible and scalable enough to successfully address the requirements of the new remote and hybrid work era?
Remote Work Brings New Technology Challenges
With employees often working outside the perimeter of a central office network comes a myriad of new IT challenges that can stall productivity, challenge business continuity, and pose cybersecurity risks to the enterprise. Organizations striving to remain competitive amid these significant industry changes recognize that they cannot afford to be offline to troubleshoot complex systems. As a result, most enterprises already have a cloud transformation strategy. In fact, according to the aforementioned report, 83% of IT leaders surveyed report that cloud strategies have been expanded or accelerated because of remote work.
Alongside cloud transformation, leaders also need to come up with strategies that address their key business goals and the new reality of their hybrid or remote workforce. This has resulted in an increasing reliance on cloud-native end user computing solutions as the realization sets in that traditional virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and physical PCs cannot keep up with today’s requirements for security, performance, scalability, and reliability. Indeed, the global desktop virtualization market is projected to grow from $2.27 billion in 2022 to $7.22 billion by 2029, with SaaS delivery models garnering a rapidly growing share.
Major Shift: Leveraging Cloud PCs to Monitor and Regulate Cloud Health
Business continuity depends on having full visibility into the overall health of all cloud resources globally, in real time. Given the increasing popularity of hybrid and remote work, the adoption of multi-cloud IT solutions has skyrocketed, intensifying the need for holistic visibility across multi-cloud and multi-region environments.
To build a healthy cloud-first IT environment with comprehensive visibility, organizations are relying on cloud-native SaaS solutions. Cloud PCs are purpose-built for the cloud era and serve to future-proof remote work. In addition to providing a secure end-user computing environment with minimal latency, leveraging a cloud PC solution can help take overall cloud computing solutions to new levels of reliability by monitoring behavioral trends and identifying the root cause of issues that arise, as well as determining the blast radius of these issues.
The ability to use this intelligence to proactively mitigate the impact of potential issues before they adversely impact business operations and workforce productivity is a transformational business continuity capability. Now, employees no longer need to spend valuable time troubleshooting IT issues, and adverse results for the business’ bottom line are greatly reduced or avoided. Therefore, when considering a cloud PC solution, one of the key attributes to look for is 24/7 monitoring with trend correlation and analysis.
Today’s Key to Success: Continuous Global Data Observability and Analysis
Proactively addressing cloud PC health requires 24/7 monitoring of the millions of data points gathered from endpoint devices, virtual machine agents, protocol gateways, and enterprise connectors across multiple clouds and cloud regions globally. Cloud PCs can provide valuable, real-time data that helps IT teams remain in control of the end-to-end environment.
Using this continuous stream of behavioral data collected via instrumentation at all levels of the cloud PC platform, the global data observability engine reveals activity patterns across the environment. For example, indicators of a brewing security breach can be identified, and real-time alerts sent to stakeholders, providing the opportunity for proactive protection measures.
This trove of data provides the IT operations team with a real-time view of every end user. Data analysis can also include distributed tracing that enables rapid tracking of the root cause of a connection or performance issue, often before the end-user is even aware of a problem. Take, for example, the benefit of understanding the full extent of a potential outage and being able to quickly move resources from one cloud region to another to mitigate downtime for end users. In this way, business continuity execution is held to the highest standard.
Other Major Differentiators to Consider
Once the benefits of continuous observability and data analysis are understood, there are other cloud PC capabilities to consider, including:
- Increased security by separating control and data planes. For maximum security, organizations must ensure the cloud PC control plane is separate from the customer’s data plane. This way, IT teams can operate with peace of mind, knowing that the principle of least privilege is enforced, so even the cloud PC solution provider cannot gain access to company data.
- Instant scalability and simplified management are enabled by a cloud-native, globally distributed architecture. Traditional VDI solutions were essentially built for a single data center. They may be hosted in the cloud, but they are not cloud-native. In the cloud era, IT leaders have hundreds of “data centers” at their fingertips. Enterprises can take full advantage of this with a solution that allows the addition of thousands of cloud PCs across cloud regions globally – in a few minutes – with the ability to manage it all through a single admin console.
The Future of Business Operations Is in the Cloud
If the dramatic shift to hybrid and remote work has taught us anything, it’s that the future of business operations is in the cloud. As the workforce adjusts to this remote work reality, IT leaders must equip remote workers with the compute, security, and collaboration capabilities required to meet end-user needs. The time for end-user computing modernization is now.
Successful companies will leverage a cloud PC solution that proactively addresses computing issues before they inhibit business operations. Prioritizing and continuously analyzing cloud health means employees spend less time troubleshooting and more time contributing to overall company success.