Hosted desktop technology has developed substantially over the past few years, at the same pace as the larger cloud computing sphere and becoming a mainstream corporate product. Many businesses are still hesitant to embrace the trend, however hosted virtual desktops can benefit organisations in many ways.
7.1 Accessibility and Mobility
Hosted virtual desktops provide an unprecedented level of mobility. They allow users to access their business files and data anywhere in the world, and on any device. They also let the end users access their files at any time, meaning they can log in to their portable laptop computers, tablets, or smartphones and be up and running and ready to work immediately. Hosted desktops therefore also give businesses new opportunities to employ remote workers and by embracing bring your own device policies. The user may also run an operating system on their device, including those not originally provided with the device. For example, a Windows operating system could run on an Apple Mac, giving users the opportunity to access an interface that works best for them.
7.2 Productivity and Efficiency
Hosted desktop technology can also increase uptime, productivity, and efficiency. By utilising workers that operate remotely, employees save on the time they would usually spend commuting, and businesses can tap into the talent of a wider geographical area, which would increase productivity and lead to a higher quality of work. Additionally, hosted desktops store data in a data centre managed by the provider, meaning that a business’ data is stored centrally and not across multiple devices. Because files are centralised, workforce collaboration is a lot easier as staff do not have to wait for their colleagues to send files.
Furthermore, hosted desktops use the latest innovations in software to bring efficient working to businesses, providing users with an up-to-date and simplistic interface. The simplicity of the technology used by virtual desktop providers means that the service is completely scalable, and easy to do so. This benefits businesses that anticipate sustained periods of growth as it causes no disruption to processes, and therefore does not impact productivity and efficiency.
Businesses, particularly smaller businesses, tend to struggle with data storage and supporting the server it is stored on. Because hosted desktop providers store business files remotely, they usually provide support as part of their package. This means that instead of having to hire someone to manage an internal server, and therefore only have access to the expertise of one person that may be unable to cope with demand, businesses can have access to the a team of experts hired by the provider.
Another benefit of hosted virtual desktops is security, and their use foremost as a form of data backup. This would be useful in the instance of disaster, either human (accidental deletion), or natural (fires, flooding), because files are stored in an off-site data centre so there would be no risk of files being permanently lost.
Additionally, if business devices such as laptops are stolen, thieves would not be able to take important files as they would be stored away from the devices hard drive. As well as storing important files away from the device, the security measures within the hosted desktop interface are also strict, allowing businesses to lock down files and folders. This would only permit authorised staff access to those files, and data encryption technology usually means businesses do not have to worry about staff connecting to unsecure networks.
Perhaps the main reason a business would choose to implement a hosted virtual desktop is cost. To have an onsite server companies would be met with an upfront capital cost upwards of £10,000, and the ongoing energy and support costs could be a significant drain on finances. By outsourcing storage and support from a hosted desktop provider, huge initial savings can be made. An additional bonus of outsourcing support is that staff can focus on the betterment of the business as opposed to trying to fix internal IT issues.
Lastly, the ease of scaling the service up or down means that budgeting is simple, most providers offer the service at a fixed cost per user.