Virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI) was developed over ten years ago. Yet, its true potential is only being discovered now. I’ve written about VDI before – it just goes to show how much of a VDI fan I am. I still remember the excitement of logging on to my first remote desktop over than a decade ago. To sit at home and still have the exact same files and software I had at office was magical!
Today, virtualized desktop environments have come a long way. Built on the same prose as VDI, these allow for desktops to be hosted at a data center or on the cloud. Considering that IDC predicts nearly three quarters of the workforce will be online by 2020, it’s absolutely necessary for any organizations to drive full adoption of VDE. Amongst other benefits, VDEs can store legacy systems and applications in a central location, as well as be accessed from any device. With the exponential rise of bringing your own devices to work (BYOD), VDEs become of utmost importance. Here’s why businesses need to fully embrace VDEs in the years to come.
While the “how” may not be obvious at first, a centralized virtualized environment boosts productivity in many ways. In the business world, efficiency comes in the form of time and cost savings. VDEs provide both. For one, employees will be able to work when they want, from a location of their choice, using a device they prefer. For those employees who thrive in more creative office environments as opposed to a cramped cubicle, this could do wonders. In case an employee is stuck at an airport, or delayed at an appointment, VDEs will allow him to still complete work that needs to get done. In terms of upkeep, IT productivity increases too – having a centralized system to manage devices, applications and security concern is easier and more efficient than dealing with troubleshooting of individual devices. Updates can be done at one go, freeing up IT staff time to focus their efforts elsewhere. In general, VDEs help overall business productivity through greater mobility across the organization.
One of the greatest benefits of a virtualized desktop environment is that it sets the stage for better security practices across an organization. VDEs successfully keep corporate applications and data off user-devices, allowing a company to have control over the security of the same. In the past, if an employee chose to work from home, he may have emailed his work-related documents to his home computer. In this case, the company would have lost all control over the security of the document as soon as it was opened on the home computer. With VDEs, all work takes place via a data center or cloud. In these spaces it can be monitored and protected, leading to more secure data. Similarly, when the need arises to apply a security update, VDEs allow for a more streamlined process. The IT department can simply patch one image in the data center or cloud, updating all devices promptly and reducing the risk of security breaches due to time lag.
As I mentioned above, VDEs can generate huge cost savings. Once virtualization is securely set up, companies can institute BYOD programs, which completely eliminate the cost of device-related overhead. Then as personal devices are successfully connected to enterprise data, organizations don’t need to purchase any new devices, sparing a significant capital expense. Additionally, organizations can reap cost savings through a more efficient and fully centralized IT management system. Ultimately, by enabling centralized management through virtual environments, an organization’s bottom line is bound to improve.
In conclusion, it is integral that companies use VDEs, especially as more and more employees become mobile In the process of driving full adoption, organizations must avoid some key mistakes. Picking the right hardware, carefully sizing storage, and planning out networks (LAN, WAN, WLAN) can have a big impact on how smoothly the transition into a virtualized desktop environment occurs. It’s also prudent to design and define workloads, as well as size up the business environment before integrating VDEs into the workplace. After all, the transition to VDEs should be seamless and well received, so that employees actually understanding its benefits, and can fully embrace this technology of the future.
This article was first published on FOW Media.
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.