If you work in an office setting, more than likely you were assigned a desktop or laptop computer. This essentially is to ensure that you have complete access to the resources you need to do your job. Pretty straightforward, right? Let’s be honest, desktop computing is not the most exciting aspect of IT management. However, we can’t deny that it is critical to your organization’s success. One thing we can also agree on is that there is serious room for improvement. For organizations with more than a handful of desktop computers or laptops, ongoing management of those workstations can be an utter nightmare. It’s inefficient. It’s expensive. Adding desktops can take a lot of time. Managing and maintaining the environment is increasingly difficult. This is why virtualization has made such a big splash over the years. More specifically, this is why virtual desktops have been replacing traditional desktop fleets over the years. With that said, this blog will highlight how virtual desktops are providing value to organizations of all sizes.
Virtual desktops are rapidly replacing physical desktops and laptops in many work environments. These virtual workspaces may be delivered by virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) running in your data center, or desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) solutions in the cloud. They enable users to access applications and information from anywhere while data remains secure, making them ideal for end-user computing needs. They also try to ease the desktop management burden for administrators, provide improved levels of flexibility for users, and improve the overall security of the entire environment.
How Virtual Desktops Benefit IT
Managing and supporting a large number of desktop and laptop workstations with locally installed software is nobody’s idea of a good time. Keeping close tabs on desktops and laptops across numerous physical locations is difficult, time consuming, and expensive. Each computer needs regular software updates, patches, and additions. Let’s not forget the IT team is also on the hook for fixing failures, backing up data, and providing user support. Oh, and hardware evolves very quickly, so these systems long term usage is not guaranteed. This matrix gets exponentially more complicated once you factor in attrition and seasonal hiring.
For most companies, device management is a far smaller concern than the security risks created by hard-to-control devices with data stored locally. In 2018 alone, there were multiple reports of data breaches from laptops that were stolen or lost. Adopting a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, as many companies are now doing, only makes device management and security challenges more intractable. Even if your company hasn’t formally adopted BYOD, the reality is that employees inevitably find ways to use their own devices to access corporate apps and data. Virtual desktops fit well with many companies’ transformation goals, and address the challenges described above by moving a lot of the “heavy lifting” into an enterprise or cloud datacenter.
How Virtual Desktops Benefit Users
To keep up with growing business demands, employees need greater flexibility regarding where and how they work and which devices they use. A user may want to work on a project at home in the morning, collaborate with a team in the office in the afternoon, pick up where they left off at a significant others dwelling that evening. The benefits can be even greater in situations where users must collaborate on large digital files. For example, a global architecture firm may have teams around the world designing a new building. Each team can use digital workspaces to get to and collaborate on evolving the common architectural model without having to copy large data files from one physical device to another.
Today, job responsibilities change quickly, and the needs of users engaged in project-based work may shift. A computer that’s adequate to meet a user’s needs now may be inadequate in six months—or six days. A user may need advanced graphics or more compute power than a particular device provides. Intelligent digital workspaces address the challenges that modern workers face. A worker can access their applications and data from any device and any location, without being limited by the performance of the device. Users can shift from desktop to laptop to tablet to phone—and find everything right where they left it. And, with virtual desktops, a device failure, loss, or theft is much less of a disaster. Applications run on reliable virtual hardware in the datacenter or the cloud, so there’s no loss of work or exposure of data.
So what now?
Physical desktops and laptops are becoming a poor fit for today’s dynamic, digital workplace. That’s the obvious. What’s not so obvious is what the next step you should take is. Well in order to help you determine that, I’d like to offer you a free download of our Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) for Dummies Ebook. Within the ebook, you’ll find guidance on the expanding desktop and application landscape. It will encourage you to massively rethink how you provide desktop services to your employees.