May 20, 2015 – No end user would tell you that they prefer to be tied to their workspace in order to achieve any level of productivity. But this is exactly what happens when your business is operating on an outdated desktop fleet. Their desktop is the own personal sacred business ground. It belongs to them, and this ownership is validated through their login and passcodes, personalized settings, unique applications, and files utilized for both business and personal purposes.
But this personal office “kingdom” is really more detrimental to security and business productivity. Even if your company utilizes on premise file services where files can be accessed from computers attached to the network, workflow efficiency is extremely limited. The time it takes to log-in to a different computer, find the needed document, open the correct application, adjust settings to fit their personal needs, and get back to work can be an enormous productivity loss.
There’s new technology out there, no new news to you, which allows your company to virtualize their desktop fleet in a number of ways. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been on the scene for almost half a decade, but there could a be a number of things holding you back from engaging this fantastic addition to your end-users work flow.
I’ve talked to a number of CIOs who find the move to VDI a risky one, primarily in cost of implementation. The top concerns we hear are being unable to get VDI technology to a point of full functionality, the impact to workflow efficiency without proper end user training, and the costs of ongoing maintenance. All very valid. But in truth, ongoing VDI maintenance quickly pays for itself by allowing you to expand your hardware refresh cycle from 3 years to 8 years. That’s some solid ROI. And it’s because VDI requires lower cost devices to run the same business functions as your current, expensive desktop fleet. Beyond that, if you partner with a solid IT provider then implementation, training, maintenance, and capital expenditures will all be done properly, effectively, and strategically to your benefit.
However, we don’t make the decision for you. To help you out, we’ve outlined your 3 basic options for virtualizing your desktop environment:
1. Stay the status quo.
This might feel like your safest bet – especially if you’ve already attempted to move to a VDI solution without success. But while maintaining your company’s technological status quo may work for now, it won’t allow your end users to stay competitive, enhance productivity and revenue, and ultimately achieve top business objectives. The technology you implement is a vital component to your company’s overall ability to succeed.
2. Only implement the VDI solutions most appropriate to your end users’ needs.
You don’t have to dive straight into the deep-end. You can start small. Replace your desktop computers with laptops that can move around the workspace, be taken home, really just allow your end users access to their work from any location. Truthfully, people will work more if you give the freedom and flexibility to do so. Another option is to virtualize your applications by putting them into a cloud so they can be used from any device, accessed through a simple log-in process. With the increase of millennials entering the workforce, who have grown up with the fluidity of technological capabilities, they expect to be able to use multiple devices to accomplish a task, and don’t like or understand being tied to one desktop computer.
3. Embrace the full advantages of a complete Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.
VDI technology allows your end users to access their own personal “desktop” from any computer on your network, simply by logging in. They won’t be required to drag any hardware around from place to place, they won’t have to configure a different computer to readjust to their workflow needs, and they can maintain full productivity regardless of what hardware they’re using.
VDI solutions are beneficial to all business types and verticals. One of the main reasons is that a migration to a virtual desktops and a replacement of aging traditional PC’s with low cost Thin Clients allows IT to skip refresh cycles or use those refresh dollars to fund a virtual desktop initiative. For industries with a mobile sales force or road warriors, VDI can users to be mobile and access their desktop, applications and data from anywhere. VDI can also serve as a way to minimize risk of data loss and downtime, by reducing the amount of reliance end users have on a specific, personalized device. And ultimately, it makes your end users happier and more productive, which makes your customers or clients happier, which makes your CEO happier, and your work world becomes a much happier place. It’s like you’re some kind of super hero.