Desktop Cloud Computing: A Better Approach to Decision Making in the Cloud
Since we at V3 Systems began our journey to the cloud, many roadblock statements have been made by multiple groups as to why one should not adopt VDI or any of its relatives like virtual desktops, remote desktop technologies, or DaaS. I wanted to write to address this as well as draw from a Harvard Business Review article which proposed that we not let the minimum win over the viable (Harvard Business Review Magazine; David Aycan May 25, 2012, “Don’t Let the Minimum Win Over the Viable.")
Some roadblock statements include:
- VDI (or other flavors) does not save money
- VDI (or other flavors) cannot replace physical desktops
- It is not yet known which one technology and architecture will win over the others
- Users will not care what architectures and technology go into the final service
There are additional roadblock statements; however, I think these give the general market consensus regarding how things are perceived. In the worst-case scenario, to these statements I say the only appropriate response is “Yet!” At best, and more than likely, just stay tuned and watch how simply being honest about what is needed and what improves viability will win and produce the desired market we all seem to want. Who does not want a desktop cloud computer where I sacrifice nothing but have on-demand resources to perform any function of any application? Who wouldn’t want any-time access, on any device, even when borrowing the best features from that resource, such as touch screen, drawing tools, and other input or output devices?
To put it simply, the essence of Aycan’s blog is summarized in his quote: “In the pursuit of a minimum viable product (MVP), we've seen that it's important to evaluate early the critical components that will differentiate an offer from competition and make a product truly viable.”
When I talk about cloud in its varying forms (public, hybrid, and private, are there others?), I like to focus on why the move to the cloud creates the value proposition in the end. I believe strongly that every billable application, piece of information, and compute cycle can be measured against known values, which provide visibility into how to best build value quickly, and how to measure that value against other possible alternatives that could be created.
Although Aycan’s quote applies to using agile methodologies to create products, I find myself seeing a future where all departments, companies and individuals deploy agile-like methodologies to measure their value in a manner similar to engineering teams or startup product companies. In that world, we understand how we have progressed throughout the years to build more efficient value creation cycles, and again I think the above article does a great job of describing those evolutions. I summarize it this way:
“The more options that can be modeled and evaluated, the better the decision making ability is to decide on the best answer to move forward to generate the most value.”
In his article, David Aycan represents the evolution of decision-making like this:
Linear Business Model Evaluation
Sequential Pivot Model Evaluation
New Recommended Approach for Model Evaluation
Although Aycan’s article is about business model and product hypothesis, I think in the “cloud world” we are already moving toward this to provide a framework. For me, the real question about desktop cloud computing is: “Can you really afford to compete in a world where your competition can utilize the cloud, providing more options faster, and making the best decisions possible for value creation?”
I think the obvious answer is No. This is why all the statements above are only being discussed until enough pieces are together, allowing new modeling to take place. These would include: newer software, updated desktop experiences, and application to individuals, departments, and companies so they can all focus on building visible and measurable value as quickly as possible. This also allows one to draw on as many options as possible before choosing the ideal direction for them, and then repeating the process again and again as they move forward.
Given that scope, I am excited about what the future holds for desktop cloud computing. It wasn’t that long ago that slow speed was a big deterrent to VDI. Today I hear that speed is an assumed attribute, like the high-speed performance guaranteed in V3 appliances and solutions. In addition, initiatives like BYOD and the desire to use the device which best suits me for what I am contextually doing at the time, will also help to unlock and build the value potential described in the HBR article for every individual, department, company, and group.
We are truly just getting started in the cloud. And what a journey it will be, especially where we are focused, which is desktop cloud computing.