A few weeks ago, I posted an article announcing the results of the VDI Like a Pro survey. In that piece, I noted that an astonishing 74% of companies don't do any sort of application layering. That data, though, is only part of the story, because there was another question that asked which application virtualization people used. Predictably, it had different results, indicating that only 39% of organizations don't use anything, while App-V is the clear frontrunner among companies that use app virtualization with a 35% share. (ThinApp accounts for another 12%.)
When I speak about managing Windows applications, I usually group both application virtualization and application layering together under the umbrella term Application Management. Frankly, I don't care how you manage your applications, layering or virtualization, I just care that you do something. With that in mind, I asked the VDI Like a Pro team for the raw data for both questions so I could get to the bottom of just how much application management is happening these days.
587 people responded to both questions, though 66 of those chose "not sure" for one or both. I threw those out because a) they screw up the math, and b) they don't seem like the most reliable data points.
The end result indicates that 49% of respondents are doing no app virtualization or app layering at all (since I threw out the "Unknown" responses altogether, this number is larger than the one in the VDI Like a Pro survey). That means 51% are using something, which is good news!
Of the 51% that are doing something, 7% of respondents are using layering, while 44% are doing virtualization. It's interesting to note that not a single response indicates that they are doing both virtualization and layering.
I'm a little relieved to see that the majority of organizations are doing something to manage applications, but I have a question for the 49% of you that aren't: Why not?
Unless you're such a bleeding edge organization that you have no Windows apps to manage (which, if so, why are you reading this?), you probably have a need that application management can address. It could be managing different versions, updates, licensing, or even delivering applications to multiple desktop platforms (traditional, VDI, SBC, DaaS). Manageing applications by compartmentalizing them can help ease migrations down the road as you move users between platforms.
It's possible that you've reached a point where the number of Windows apps in your environment is manageable through traditional means like SCCM. If so, kudos to you. But if you struggle with updates, versions, licensing, and multiple delivery scenarios, you should seriously consider doing something–anything–to make life easier.
Of course, this is good news for application management vendors. There is a lot of room to grow!
If you want to compare your own environment to the results of the VDI Like a Pro survey, head over to VDILikeAPro.com and check it out.