As a company that’s always been fully remote (and whose technology enables secure remote work for millions), it’s a habit to keep our eye on the related trends in this space. What are the hot topics among industry experts and pundits? Which problems are customers seeking answers to? How are domestic and global events changing the way we think about and model the workplace?
Recently we've been monitoring interest in different subjects like working from home or virtual apps. Some are very timely, and some are fairly evergreen. Below, with the help of some standard industry tools, we'll examine how the velocity of people writing about these topics helps indicate which of these topics are surging and which are beginning to plateau.
A quick note on how to read the charts below. The blue vertical bars indicate the amount of NEW authors writing about a topic in any given month. The green horizontal line indicates the total number of authors writing about that topic.
For reasons that should be pretty obvious, the term remote work hit a significant high back in March with a nearly 4X increase in the amount of authors writing about the topic. The level of interest in this topic was constant up until that point, likely rising a little in February when foresighted organizations began to get a glimpse of what was to come.
That was followed by a stepped decrease in new interest, though new interest has stayed roughly within the same range since May despite occasionally falling below pre-COVID levels. The reason for that? By June, many organizations had already developed some kind of remote work policy and a corresponding strategy, even if it was only a stopgap. Once there's a bit more certainty globally, we expect to see interest increase again as organizations refine their remote work models.
Working from Home
The pattern for working from home broadly follows the pattern for remote work, very likely for the same reasons. An initial scramble to define working from home and identify work-from-home (WFH) strategies in March and April caused interest to spike. The amount of new authors covering the topic tapered off after that.
Here, too, we expect to see renewed interest in the subject of working from home once there's more shared confidence about what the immediate future holds.
In what's clearly a trend among trends, March saw a rush to examine topics like distance learning that had taken on fresh urgency.
By comparison, however, the drop in interest since then hasn't been as precipitous as others. That could be explained by the fact that the educational sector operates on a different schedule to the enterprise. As we know from our own experience with the significant number of educational organizations who've adopted Cameyo for distance learning, many districts spent the summer preparing for the 2020-21 school year and finding the right distance-learning solutions. Some are continuing to fine-tune their approach in response to the situation on the ground, which is why we saw sustained levels of interest into September. As we moved past the beginning of the school year, interest from new authors covering the topic is dropping.
For most colleges, universities and K-12 institutions, remote learning is more or less a synonym for distance learning. That's why the trends for this subject mirror the other fairly closely, albeit at slightly different volumes. Depending on the wider landscape when schools resume in 2021 after the usual winter break, you could very well see a fresh surge in distance & remote learning coverage and analysis.
This topic, digital workspace, is a bit of an outlier. It doesn't see the same volume of coverage as some of the more mainstream subjects, but it has seen pretty steady interest over the past year (naturally, with the typical peak in March).
We suspect that this is because the concept of digital workspaces was already gaining ground before the pandemic hit. Digital workspaces aren't tied to remote work exclusively. Rather, they account for mobile employees as well, and supporting mobility was—and still is—a top priority for many organizations.
Speaking of digital workspaces, that segues quite nicely into the virtual desktop.
Virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI, has been a conventional way for IT to provide remote, mobile and even static end users with a standardized computing environment. And it makes sense that virtual desktop would have been a go-to term back in March and April when organizations were making rapid transitions to offsite and WFH models. What's more revealing is how it compares to our next and final term.
If you were to overlay the virtual desktop graph atop this one for virtual apps, you might not see a huge discrepancy after March and April. The bars charting levels of interest are roughly the same height. The real difference is in volume. Since the pandemic hit, the topic of virtual apps has consistently been logging about 40% more coverage from new authors. In May, for example, when some 6,000 authors were discussing virtual desktops, more than 10,000 were talking about virtual apps. Prior to the pandemic, those levels are even more pronounced.
What explains that? Virtual application delivery has been increasingly recognized as a more efficient way to provide end users with flexible digital workspaces. It's why Computerworld dubbed Cameyo "the new alternative to Citrix" back in July. Granted - virtual application delivery doesn’t need to replace virtual desktops. In many organizations, some people (a smaller group of power users) may truly need a full virtual desktop environment. But the majority of people simply need secure access to all of their business-critical applications on any device, which is where virtual app delivery comes in. So virtual app delivery is more about enabling organizations to right-size their approach to desktop & application virtualization.
Stay ahead of the curve with Cameyo
While this post examines trends in how certain tech topics are being covered, our virtual application delivery solution helps turn that knowledge into action. Sign up today for your free trial of Cameyo and discover how easy it is to support work-from-home employees or distance learning students with secure digital workspaces that are tailored to their needs.