virtual desktop

While there was once a time when IT changes needed to be synchronised across device types which meant high support costs, recent developments in cloud technology have now changed that.

Thanks to the emergence of secure virtual desktop infrastructure, business leaders can achieve consistency across all devices using a desktop operating system that’s hosted in a cloud server.

Companies that adopt desktop virtualization can experience a range of business benefits, including greater workplace flexibility, fewer security risks, cost savings, business continuity and more control. As companies shift to a new normal with end users increasingly working remotely or splitting time between home and office, virtual desktop solutions represents a technology solution that requires careful consideration.

Defining virtual desktops

Usually, businesses depend on desktops that are unique to each device. This means that when there’s a need to use a new application or update an operating system, a company’s IT team has to install it on each individual laptop, tablet, smartphone or other devices. It also means that the owner or user of that device must take control of updates, which could result in increased security risks.

In contrast, a virtual desktop lives on a cloud server. An end user who needs to access their desktop can do so from any device due to the virtual desktop infrastructure. With cloud based desktop virtualization, IT administrators don’t need to worry about installing applications on individual laptops which saves time. Companies and IT administrators also have greater control over apps that are available, secure, and access control.

The use of Desktop as a Service (DaaS) can deliver a range of benefits to businesses.

10 benefits businesses can leverage from virtual desktops

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) delivers companies a wide range of benefits. Here are 10 key benefits you can leverage for your organisation.

1. Workspace flexibility

While there has always been a need for workplace flexibility, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the consequences of not having the right tools to achieve that flexibility. Businesses that can’t upscale and downscale rapidly find themselves facing financial and logistical challenges. And in a modern business world, a flexible approach to technology and device accessing rests at the heart of having an adaptable workplace.

Desktop virtualization is a secure solution that typically comes in the form of a cloud based subscription service that an IT department can modify at a rapid pace. When there’s a sudden increase in demand, they can recruit remote workers and implement Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies that allow users to deliver a virtual desktop to their new users and personal devices. Similarly, when demand drops, they can withdraw access from an end user’s own device and adapt their workforce accordingly with minimal to no hardware wastage.

2. Productivity benefits

Downtime following changes or hardware failures can have a negative impact on productivity. For example, when there’s a need to use a new app, business owners may need to rely on drafting in IT professionals to perform patches. If an employee isn’t immediately available, that can delay the app’s use and induce employee downtime.

With a virtual desktop and infrastructure in place for end users, IT teams can install new apps to each desktop and make them immediately available for employees to use. As a result, there’s minimal downtime and employees have the chance to press on with new projects that depend on certain applications. 

3. Decreased security risks

Another problem that comes with relying on locally stored desktops is the increased security risks. Every time that a physical device or mobile device requires an update, business owners depend on their employees to perform said updates. When updates and patches don’t take place, they open security loopholes that criminals can exploit. Such security concerns can result in data theft, ransomware, and more.

When using secure virtual desktop infrastructure In the cloud, employers can instantly install and update apps for each user while protecting user data. As a result, end users who use them are not likely to use outdated versions. Consistently using updated versions of apps means fewer security loopholes for criminals to expose and safer systems overall. Also, as each virtual desktop benefits from the stringent security protections that come with cloud hosting, they’re typically harder for hackers to expose.

4. Cost reduction for licensing and infrastructure

Software can soon become expensive when business owners are paying for licences for multiple devices. With each new device that’s added to their network, business leaders need to expand the number of licences they use. This can soon become expensive, and may result in a sudden increase in IT spending when they suddenly need to upscale.

Using DaaS means paying for fewer licences. Rather than blanket software deployment across all staff, only employees that require software access will be provided with it, thus reducing software licence fees. When employers need to pay for individual licences, they may need to ration the number they hand out. Rationing can result in poorer access, which may translate to reduced profitability. With a virtual desktop environment, such issues are eliminated.

5. Simplifying IT management

IT management can often become a logistical nightmare. For example, when employees have IT queries, they may find themselves joining lengthy help desk queues to find a resolution.

While virtual desktops and infrastructure don’t remove the need for IT assistance altogether, they do centralise the help that’s available. Providers that offer DaaS also offer IT support. When they’re able to apply a fix to a problem, that fix will benefit everyone who uses the virtual desktop. As a result, there’s a reduced need to perform fixes on individual laptops or devices. And if a hardware device does fail completely, users can turn to alternative devices and pick up where they left off.

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6. Scale up or down based on need

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the need for businesses to scale up and down at speed. In some industries, such as travel, businesses suffered considerable losses and needed to scale down rapidly. In others, businesses boomed and owners found themselves facing the task of having to rapidly increase their workforce and adopt working from home policies with minimal notice.

Without virtual desktops, businesses needing to scale up or down would need to manage physical premises and equipment. In the event of scaling down, this can mean losses. In contrast, businesses relying on virtual desktops can scale down by reducing the number of users requiring IT capacity. They can also scale up by increasing new employees and adopting BYOD policies for end users who work remotely. 

7. Better disaster recovery and protection against outages

Unexpected disasters, system failures or security breaches can result in startling financial losses when it isn’t done right. For example, if there’s a large server outage or system failure, businesses that depend on hosting their desktops locally across individual devices may find themselves with significant operational downtime. Such operational downtime happens because end users need to wait until those devices become operable again in order to continue with everyday tasks.

The use of secure virtual desktops means that an organisation can fail over to cloud based backups quickly if they suffer a failure. Any issues with device access are removed swiftly and any impact to business data is minimised. One example of this is if there is a sudden loss of power due to adverse weather. Rather than wait for power to return, employees can use devices at home and enjoy the same desktop access they benefit from at the office. As a result, there’s minimal downtime and business owners can keep their key stakeholders happy.

8. Centralised troubleshooting

While many IT professionals share similar skills, some are more adept at certain tasks than others. Such differences in skills can make it hard to find the right support person to address technical glitches quickly. Another issue that may arise is that employees could find themselves making several calls or raising multiple tickets before they find support from a professional with appropriate seniority. They need a solution with one of its major benefits being saving time.

When using DaaS, all IT calls go to the same place and the troubleshooting is handled from there. Centralised troubleshooting means no more raising multiple tickets and fewer phone calls overall. As a result, employees may benefit from shorter wait times for fixes and can spend less time making IT-related phone calls and more time working on their projects.

9. Geo-replication

One major challenge that disaster recovery poses is being able to recall and fail back data. When that data is crucial for several projects, this can mean that employees miss out on days or weeks of work. Moving back a few steps on a project can feel frustrating and may result in financial losses.

Geo-replication involves storing data at several different locations. While this is something that business owners can achieve without virtual desktops, accessing and disseminating that data is time-consuming in itself. With a virtual desktop, data is available at any location a user can access it from. As a result, if one location’s hardware fails, users can access it from another.

10. Dynamic updating

Dynamic updating is a process that’s readily available through virtual desktops. It involves downloading various components during an update process to make sure that the update is stable. As a result, when an update takes place, there’s no need to perform further installations or update drivers afterwards to ensure software remains usable.

Without virtual desktop solutions that ensure dynamic updating, performing updates can result in further work for IT teams after an installation takes place. This can mean reduced app access and increased downtime for employees. With dynamic updates, projects experience fewer delays and there’s greater productivity.

Discover how you can benefit more with virtual desktop infrastructure

If you want data security, lower operating costs, smoother processes and fewer glitches, consider making the change to a virtual desktop no matter if your users are working from your office or from home. As an employer, you’ll enjoy greater access control and can identify unnecessary data usage. With greater control, less downtime and more cost savings, your workplace and users will become more productive while you reduce costs at the same time.

To learn more about cloud based virtual desktop infrastructure and to discuss using Desktop-as-a-Service solutions in your business, speak to our sales team by calling 1800 282 5683. Alternatively, you can email us on sales@australiacloud.com.au.

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