Business continuity, security concerns, and the expanding mobile workforce are the main drivers behind the projected growth of the remote access services market.
Posted Aug 29, 2006
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged the Gulf Coast region a year ago, and we're bracing for the potential destruction of this year's storm season; concern surrounding potential terrorist attacks hangs over our heads; and during mind-numbingly hot temperatures this summer businesses across various locations, including major cities like New York, suffered from power outages. The sobering reality is, any organization can go through an experience--whether it be a fire, computer glitch, or otherwise--that can foil its usual operations and leave it grappling with lost or damaged technology infrastructures. Business continuity/disaster recovery initiatives are essential to help enterprises return to normalcy.
As organizations continue efforts to craft business continuity plans, the market for remote access services will realize a year-over-year growth rate of 34 percent through 2010, according to the IDC study, "Worldwide Remote Access Services 2006-2010 Forecast and 2005 Vendor Shares." The study, which examines vendor revenue trends and market growth forecasts, also features profiles of leading vendors and identifies characteristics vendors will need for future success. The vendors included in the market share table are 01 Communique, Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Laplink Software, LogMeIn, and WebEx. Newer entrants into the market include Netopia, NTR global, and Senvid.
Remote access services use screen-sharing technology that enables one PC to stream its desktop to a remote PC through an Internet connection, and once on the remote PC, the user can access all applications sitting on their desktop via a Web browser, according to IDC. "If a disaster occurs, and a company has a remote access services strategy in place, the disaster does not have to affect worker productivity if they can't get into the office," says Stacy Sudan, research analyst in IDC's Mobile Software research program.
But business continuity is just one of the drivers behind the expected uptake. Other factors spurring growth include security concerns and the increasing number of mobile employees. Some companies are growing more leery about allowing employees to travel with their laptops because of potential security breaches if their laptops are lost or stolen. Remote access services enable traveling staff to access their desktop while on the road, and similarly, with mobile employees--who may split time between company offices, home offices, and the field--retrieving information is pertinent to their productivity.
Both consumers and businesses can leverage remote access capabilities. But remote access services have had the most penetration within the "prosumer market," which Sudan broadly defines as a product that appeals to both the consumer and professional market and may be targeted towards both. "What we find commonly in this market is that consumers will adopt these products--often times for professional use--and then introduce the product into their companies." For instance, an employee may buy the solution so that he or she can access the desktop from home so they can work remotely, and then inform the company since it may be beneficial to other employees.
This market has realized the most success with the prosumer market to date because it has been most heavily marketed to them, mostly via the web," Sudan says. "Most remote access services companies allow these products to be bought through their website. However, often times if you get to a certain number of PCs or versions of the services that are targeted towards the business market, you will be directed to their direct sales force. Some companies have found that targeting the prosumer first is an effective inroad to their business as well."
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