We currently stand at the intersection of several revolutionary advances in computing — mobile and cloud computing chief among them. Like many such advances, they might have started out as the result of technological innovation, but they’ve quickly become important and influential drivers of further innovation. A case in point is virtualization – specifically application virtualization and application streaming. The rapid and widespread adoption of BYOD/mobile devices along with cloud-based architectures has increased both the need and the desire for lightweight, platform-agnostic, highly available and easy-to-manage software in the enterprise. Virtualization has consequently become a popular and cost-effective method of addressing some of the more obvious challenges of running code natively on the client side.

As more organizations consider application virtualization solutions in particular to meet these evolving demands, tech analysts are estimating that this global market will reach $2.6 billion by 2020, double what was spent in 2015.

To understand where we’re headed, though, it helps to know where we’ve been.

Decades in the making

Virtualization in and of itself has a surprisingly long history. Early attempts date back to the 1960s with IBM’s development of the CP-40 virtual machine — positively bleeding edge at the time. Yet it would be another four decades before the virtualization space truly started heating up, with industry heavyweights like VMware, Citrix and Microsoft all jockeying for the lead.

VMware enjoyed quite a head start at first. It took IBM’s experiments in operating system virtualization and translated their underlying ideas to x86 systems. This was more difficult than it sounds, as the x86 platform wasn’t created with virtualization in mind. These pioneering efforts were geared more toward server virtualization than app virtualization, which abstracts the app from the OS for greater speed, security and efficiency.

In 2008, perhaps anticipating that server virtualization wouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all solution, VMware debuted ThinApp, an application virtualization suite that repackages most (though not all) applications into portable-type applications with few or no local dependencies.

That same year, Citrix released XenApp, a competing app virtualization solution with a long pedigree in remote access and server-based computing. XenApp was and remains compatible with a wider variety of clients than the Windows-centric ThinApp, but it’s also tightly bound to the Citrix ecosystem and its idiosyncrasies.

Application Streaming: Crossing the streams

The advent of cloud-based computing around this same time accelerated the development and adoption of app streaming over the next decade. In this scenario, fundamental components of a given application are stored and run locally, but access to a remote server is ultimately still necessary for some features.

The advantage of app streaming over app virtualization is that the apps can be designed to run natively on many clients using cross-platform programming languages. Their locally stored components also make them better suited for use outside of the LAN. For legacy apps, however, developing a streaming-capable version would require a lengthy and costly porting process and still might not replicate the full functionality of the original.

Driven by innovation

For many organizations, this process of migrating mission-critical apps to the cloud—a strategy called lift and shift—with a view toward app virtualization and streaming is a necessary step, albeit a lengthy and expensive one. According to Forrester, 50% of them are spending more than $1 million to do so. And that doesn’t even account for protracted development times.

Cameyo is an application migration and modernization solution that marks the next phase in the evolution of app virtualization. With Cameyo, every one of your apps can be lifted and shifted to the cloud in its native form, reducing development time and costs to zero. And because Cameyo leverages HTML5 to deliver new and legacy applications alike to end users, they can be accessed securely and seamlessly anytime, anywhere via any modern browser. Including mobile devices.

Unlike many app virtualization solutions, Cameyo doesn’t require complex user profiles or rights management, making it incredibly easy to deploy and administer apps for your entire workforce. Its forward-thinking architecture also allows for infinite scalability, which eliminates quotas, maximum numbers of instances and other limits on productivity typically encountered in app virtualization scenarios.

A major innovation in app virtualization and streaming, Cameyo will enable enterprise-scale organizations to take their mobile and cloud computing initiatives even further — at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time it would take using conventional solutions.