The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced many organizations to work remotely, and it’s no secret that this shift to a remote workforce will have lasting effects on the landscape of the modern workforce. Managers are already seeing the positive impact that working from home is having on their organizations and employees. Managers are also realizing the potential benefits of permanently adopting a hybrid or fully remote workforce post-pandemic. This is where remote work solutions such as VDI are crucial.
Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into some of the major benefits of VDI, and how it can help alleviate the major pain points of the transition to a fully remote or hybrid workforce. Before we get into the specifics of how it can be a beneficial solution for your business, we first need to understand exactly what it is.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is a type of desktop virtualization that refers to hosting desktop environments on a remote, central server. It gives users the ability to access their desktops virtually on nearly any device, without having to bring their personal laptop or desktop with them.
Remote work is becoming more and more prominent, so having the flexibility to work outside of the office is critical. When you leverage Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solutions for your business, your team has the ability to securely access their desktop anywhere from almost any device as if they were right there in the office. All of your employees’ applications, documents, and data will be consumable to them as if they were working on-site.
As an IT manager, it’s your job to ensure that any IT-related services or solutions that you procure fit into your yearly budget, or even better, save your company money. Hosted VDI is one of those IT solutions that will leave an amazing impression on your CFO, saving your business money from several angles.
First and foremost, purchasing or upgrading remote equipment for your employees can cost a pretty penny, but leveraging VDI will minimize this cost substantially. Since the virtual desktops can be accessed by your employees using nearly any device, investing costly laptops or desktops for remote workers is a thing of the past.
It’s no question that employing a remote workforce can cut your overhead costs immensely. When a majority of your employees are working remotely, you can downsize your office space and not only save money on rent but save money on office furniture and supplies.
Truth is, I can go on and on about the cost-effectiveness of VDI, but the last point I’ll make here is saving on human resources. When you procure a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solution “as-a-Service” from a provider, you don’t need to hire additional team members to set up and manage your desktop solutions. The provider has experts on staff that take care of all that and more on your behalf. This allows your existing team members to focus on more important tasks for the organization, which brings us to the next point: efficiency and productivity.
Productivity and efficiency go hand-in-hand, and they’re arguably the most critical concerns for business owners, C-level executives, managers, and team leaders alike. Ever heard the saying, “work smarter, not harder?” That’s what productivity and efficiency are all about. You need to make sure your team is maximizing their time, and producing & performing their jobs at satisfactory, or hopefully exceptional, levels.
Many managers have found that giving their employees the ability to work remotely has significantly increased productivity across the organization. There are many factors that we attribute to this increase in productivity:
While the above isn’t hyper-focused on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure per se and more focused on remote work in general, VDI is definitely a major factor in productivity and efficiency. Let’s say one of your employees reaches out to you and tells you their work computer crashed. All of that employee’s work is on that specific computer, and if they haven’t backed it up, well, all of his or her work is lost.
Think about how much time is wasted — from all the work they now have to re-do, to all the time it takes to either get the computer fixed or wait for a new computer. Days have been wasted at that point. If the employee’s desktop was accessible via VDI, that employee could’ve been up and running on another device almost instantly, with complete access to all of their work. Days of downtime versus maybe a minute… that’s a huge difference.
Let us talk about some of the other efficiencies around Virtual Desktop Infrastructure from an IT management perspective. VDI will allow your internal IT team to quickly perform mass updates and installs on all virtual desktops in the environment.
Let’s say you want to add the Microsoft Office suite to all of the desktops in your organization. Without a virtual desktop solution, your IT team would need to dedicate hours, or even days depending on the size of the company, going to each employees’ computer and downloading, and installing the software. With VDI, all your IT team needs to do is download and install the software to the master image ONCE, and the next time your employees log into the environment, they’ll have access to Microsoft Office. This is all done remotely. Again, this is a difference of hours or days versus maybe 15 minutes. Think of how much time that will save your IT team.
Another aspect of efficiency to consider is relative to procuring Virtual Desktop Infrastructure “as-a-Service”. As we mentioned earlier when talking about the cost-effectiveness of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, you have a dedicated team of outsourced experts that are trained and specialized in VDI who will architect, deploy, and manage the solution for you when you leverage virtual desktops solutions as “as-a-Service”. In this case, you don’t have to sacrifice the time and energy of your already overwhelmed IT team, and you don’t have to spend the time or invest money in hiring, training, or even repurposing existing employees.
Last but certainly not least, security is a massive concern when it comes to remote work. Having a remote team means you need to be more concerned than ever before about vulnerability to Ransomware, Malware, Spyware, Trojan Horses, or really anything that can wreak havoc on your network, data, and environment. It’s not enough to have your team working on a Virtual Private Network (VPN). While a VPN does have its security benefits, it certainly won’t prevent your employees from visiting potentially harmful websites or downloading potentially malicious software and applications. VDI gives your IT team the ability to manage security features on a company-wide scale, remotely, whether it be downloading and installing anti-virus software on the master image, blocking certain websites, blocking application downloads, and more.
One of the most important questions that you need to ask yourself as a manager is, “does VDI make sense for us?” We’re not going to sit here and tell you that VDI makes sense for every company because that’s just not true. What we will say is that it’s an ideal solution for businesses that do a majority of their business via a computer. Even if you don’t have remote workers or allow your team to work remotely, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure improves security and redundancy throughout your organization. As we mentioned earlier, with virtual desktop solutions, there’s no need to worry about employee devices failing, or having to go to each employees’ computer individually to fix an issue or install an application they need. Virtual desktop solutions allow your IT team to deploy and fix computer issues without physically being on-site.
When it comes down to it, every single service or purchase you procure as an IT manager should help your company adapt to the ever-changing times in today’s fast-paced world, and run in a more productive, efficient, secure, and of course, cost-effective manner. VDI is one of those solutions that hits on all of those points and much more.
Here at Opti9, we offer hosted VDI solutions for enterprises and SMBs on our ultra-secure private cloud environment, with 24x7x365 management and monitoring from our U.S.-based team of seasoned technical experts. Want to learn if Opti9’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solutions are a good fit? Give us a call at 1-866-932-2471 or send us a message and speak to one of our experts today!