I still remember the excitement of logging on to my first remote desktop more than a decade ago. The magic of sitting in my house and using the exact same files and software I had at the office—it felt like a holy miracle! No more lugging my external drive back and forth to my workplace, no more heavy computer bags (back then, lap tops were not as aerodynamic as they are now). I didn’t even stop to think about the company’s benefits: 24/7 work access for its employees, and less overhead for those working—albeit into the wee hours of the night—at home.
Fast forward to 2017, and desktop virtualization is less of a novelty and more of a necessity for modern businesses. Building on the foundations of the virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI) created back in the day, a new virtualized desktop environment (VDE) is available at almost any price point, both by cloud and by home data center. Today, Desktop as a Service (Daas) offers companies the ability to send their desktops where most of the world’s data is going—to the cloud, for 24/7 access by Internet. And the original VDI allows companies to maintain greater control by maintaining session-based virtualization from their own data center infrastructure. Either way, each solution offers its own set of benefits. If you have not yet taken the journey from multi-desktop to VDE, you’re missing out on tremendous efficiency and cost savings. Below are just a few.
VDE Increases Efficiency
In the business world, efficiencies can come in the form of time or cost savings. When it comes to VDE, you get both.
Both VDE and DaaS help save your IT teams time in centralizing desktop management. But it also increases the time an employee can be productive by making their work available anywhere, at any time. Stuck at a doctor appointment? Stuck at the airport? Employees no longer have to wait until they’re back in the office to keep a project rolling. Heck, there’s really no excuse for “out of office” messages at all.
VDE can also save money. Companies can institute Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs incredibly easily once virtualization is up and secure, which eliminates the cost of device-related overhead. And especially in the case of DaaS, companies are able to pay a third-party to carry the brunt of the costs of infrastructure development and maintenance. Not to mention, virtualization also frees up your IT team’s time to focus on more valuable projects than daily routine maintenance.
VDE is Scalable
While both VDE and DaaS offer scalable solutions, DaaS is far easier in that the service is managed by an external vendor that manages all infrastructure and maintenance. Even better, you can pay as you go for the services you need and use, allowing you to add users as your company actually grows, not just in line with annual forecasting.
VDE is Secure
Where DaaS wins on scale, VDE wins on security, as it allows your company to maintain control in keeping your data safe. With VDE, you can manage regulatory and compliance issues on-site, and manage issues as they occur, without relying on a third-party. That’s not to say cloud-based DaaS is not secure; it just means you’re relying on an external vendor to uphold their part of the contract in terms of keeping your data safe.
If you’re still not convinced, consider this: Nearly 75 percent of the workforce will be mobile by 2020. If you don’t have a virtualization model in place, it’s likely you’ll be facing either one of two problems: unproductive workers, or an inability to find workers who are willing to work in a traditional office setting. With both VDE and DaaS options, there is a solution for nearly every kind of business, large or small. As companies continue to move from mobile-first to mobile-only environments, it just makes sense that we make it as easy as possible for our workers to do what they are hired to do: work. And as the traditional office space becomes a relic, that means creating a mobile solution that replaces it: VDE. Yes, it requires a data connection. But who among us actually go anywhere today without that?
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.