With the desktop OS in transition, now might be a good time to take another step, to a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Better security, compliance, and control are compelling VDI benefits.
According to a CIO.com report from a few years ago over 63 million people could telecommute by 2016. At this point, my sense is that estimate is low. While this level of telecommuting represents potential savings to enterprises (reduced office space and telecommunications costs, plus added worker productivity), combined with the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, it does bring new risks. Security, availability, and reliability are at the top of the list.
Given the volume of data most enterprises create every day, protecting your data should be a primary concern. Ensuring your workers have reliable access to that data when they need it follows closely behind. Combine all of these trends, risks, and concerns, and you quickly realize that enabling your users’ productivity transcends the concern over which computer or device they’re using. How do you achieve this? Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) could be the answer.
As you plan to move your workers off Windows XP, consider the many benefits VDI offers now and in the future. For instance:
- Secure access to a centralized desktop
- Safeguarding your data since it never resides anywhere outside of your control
- Data access is guaranteed regardless of worker location or device used
- Upgrades and migrations can be planned and performed without outages
- Software licensing is less error-prone as you control the packages installed, and accurate inventories are maintained
- Overall IT management is centralized, standardized, and the costs are controlled
Let’s take a closer look at four specific areas VDI can help your migration and worker productivity efforts. First, security:
- Migrate VDI images to the latest OS to ensure users aren’t on unsupported versions
- Continually ensure the latest security patches are rolled out
- Keep data safely within your domain
- Allow secure access from both computers and devices (i.e. tablets)
Next up is productivity:
- Automatically install the latest software according to user type
- Provide 24-by-7 access to remote workers
- Tune VDI images for ideal application performance
- Provide collaboration tools for a growing mobile workforce
Next, consider the cost savings:
- Reduced desktop maintenance and support costs
- With desktop images stored elsewhere, the hardware upgrades process is more efficient
- Some VDI solutions help extend the life of older hardware
- Maintain accurate software licensing records
- Reduced liability exposure due to greater security
Finally, a look at desktop management:
- Automated patch installation
- Automated, proven, back-up and recovery
- Remote access eliminates in-person IT calls
- Centralized, remote, potentially outsourced IT
- Consistent and predictable processes
In summary, embracing VDI will help you modernize your desktop infrastructure including hardware, OS, and software, while keeping your data, your employees, your customers, and ultimately your business secure. Worker productivity will go up as a result of increased mobility, and your costs will go down as a result of controlled IT maintenance.