How Do Virtual Desktops for Businesses Work?

Getting every project done on time during work hours isn’t always easy for the average employee. The longer you work tediously in the same sitting, the easier it is to find yourself wasting time and getting distracted.

Years ago, there were some options available to access a work computer outside of the office, but those methods usually included a clunky, work-issued laptop or slow, buggy system that proved unreliable.

Although the technology rolled out long ago, it was not until recently the systems have become reliable enough to trust integrating them into your company’s network. Now, an overwhelming number of businesses use virtual desktops as their preferred means of using company technology. While we are light years ahead of what we have been, there are still VDI advantages and disadvantages.

It is essential to have a knowledgeable IT staff or work with a company who are experts in the industry when setting up and maintaining a VDI server because should anything go wrong or be compromised, there can be more widespread outages. There are select service providers that eliminate potential issues caused by lack of experience with the technology by both hosting and managing the network themselves.

What Is a Virtual Desktop?

 

If you’re unfamiliar with virtual desktops, you might wonder how a virtual desktop works. For the user, it’s essentially the same as any other desktop.

A virtual desktop allows employees access to their work computers remotely. The operating system and personal data are stored on a network which can be located anywhere using unique log-in credentials, instead of locally on the PC itself or other computing devices. A desktop or laptop is standard, but if you are looking for the added convenience of browsing your work desktop with a tablet, smartphone, or another device that can connect to the Internet, that is a possibility as well.

The beauty of this technology is that there are multiple ways to set up a virtual desktop. A standard computer is best run through a Desktops as a Service (DaaS) to host the online server. More portable hardware such as an iOS, Android, or Chromebook can benefit from cloud-based virtual desktops. Using many different operating systems such as Windows, Linus, iOS, and Android can optimize a workstation for a complicated task.

Each system provides different advantages and purpose, but changing between many different operating systems requires jumping through some hoops. Doing so lowers productivity by having to cross these barriers each time an employee wants to switch devices to perform a specific task. With a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), simply choose your favorite device and get down to business.

The virtual desktop behaves just as a traditional desktop would. Your programs, history and personalization settings stay intact and appear just as you left them at the end of the workday. These aspects include wallpapers, widgets and everything that you are familiar with on your work computer. When you are finished working on a project, just save as you normally would, and the files will be kept in a folder within the virtual server and are accessible whether you are in-office or remote.

Remote servers use software called a hypervisor to simulate the user desktop. This technology enables the server to run many instances of the same operating system, so it’s perfect for quickly sharing work between multiple devices or a workplace setting with many different users coming and going from the office. The hypervisor stores the system’s memory, processor and other vital aspects of the operating system, juggling all the different users with ease.

Advantages of Having a Virtual Desktop

So why would a business want to make the switch when their current system is functioning just fine? Why use a virtual desktop at all? There are more virtual desktop advantages that may meet the eye.

Many expenditures come into play when dealing with traditional servers that run on each individual’s device, and many overlooked aspects of the tech that could be strengthened using a VDI. Investing in virtual desktop capability offers many benefits to a business:

1. Easy Access Anywhere

Giving your employees the ability to work remotely allows them to get projects done more conveniently and precisely. Desktop virtualization offers on-demand access to their work resources anywhere, anytime, on any device. Granting your employees the ability to work from anywhere with Internet access solves many problems that most companies face.

Virtual desktops store their data in the cloud. You likely already use a cloud network to save photos and other files on your smartphone or at your network to connect different devices you use frequently. Businesses can harness cloud computing to enable their employees to access collaborative projects remotely instead of only being able to bounce ideas off one another during the workday.

Some situations that use this handy ability include the following:

  1. What if the work day ends, and an employee decides a presentation could use some last-minute tweaks before their meeting the next morning? Logging in and making those changes that evening at their leisure allows them to take the time they need and get the job done right, rather than subjecting themselves to a frantic morning and throwing off their focus.
  2. An employee takes a sick day but is still feeling well enough to get some projects done from the comfort of their own home. Falling ill is no vacation from work, and those employees often are playing catch-up to make up for lost time to stay on schedule. This rush to meet deadlines increases the likelihood an employee is not putting their best foot forward and making careless mistakes that could have otherwise seen prevention.
  3. Online meetings work seamlessly with a virtual desktop. Conducting a meeting with company members from across the globe is extremely easy and ensures a good connection due to all parties using the same network.
  4. Switching to virtual desktops increases your reach for employment. Your company can then hire any qualified candidate from around the world. It’s often hard to find suitable candidates from your local region, but increasing your reach gives you the power to find the perfect candidate for the job no matter where they might be.
  5. What if in the future your business expands by purchasing property to open up at another location? Setting up an entire computer system in a remote office can take weeks. But, if you use virtual desktop technology, that process can be streamlined and done with ease. Another instance the added benefit of simplifying the set-up process includes the event of an acquisition.
  6. A worker who is traveling might have important projects or ideas to share with no means to do so without a virtual desktop. Using one enables individuals in that situation to stay in the loop and get their job done on the go.

Overall, anyone could be out of the office and still accomplish the tasks given to them with the same if not greater efficiency, and management can set-up new devices remotely without any headaches.

2. Increased Cybersecurity

Hackers are coming up with even more inventive and malicious ways to conduct data breaches and compromise companies’ data. Due to cybercriminal’s innovations in the ways they can hack into online networks, more companies are shifting to virtual desktops.

Previously, anti-virus software and firewalls were proven effective enough to trust. These days, they are only supplemental to strong network security. As more businesses are storing nearly all their information online, there is a lot to lose. With a remote desktop, user data is backed up online continuously, so corruption or loss of files is almost impossible. Using a virtual desktop requires the hacker to break into a company device and to get their hands on an employee ID and password to crack into your company’s private servers.

You also do not have employees carrying around personal devices that hold company data just because there is not an alternative. It is not unreasonable to copy a work file to a particular device or flash drive so that the work can continue out of the office. But, personal devices get lost, stolen or compromised all the time. Once a file downloads, it is out of the company’s hands and could go anywhere. Using a VDI enables employees to use their devices and access data anywhere, but the sensitive files themselves do not leave the corporate data center.

3. Lower IT Costs

Centering your company’s network around virtual desktops directly impacts your infrastructure costs. Switching to a virtual desktop allows you to eliminate the costs of servers, complex switching and other hardware.

Your IT team will not have to fret with lengthy provisioning of new desktops and can fix issues remotely rather than having to track down each user experiencing an issue. With traditional desktops, it may take longer to locate the employee than to fix the problem. The initial investment of a device is usually only 30 to 50 percent of the costs that will incur throughout its lifetime. Maintaining and managing PC software and hardware far exceeds the value of buying the device in the long run. Switching to remote servers slash the costs of IT labor which can eat up a lot of resources.

Think about the process it takes when a new update or patch must go through separate installations on each employee’s work computer. This job alone could take an in-house IT tech an entire day going from desktop to desktop, installing necessary applications, backup files and virus scans that must be installed in addition to the update itself. Centrally managing all the computers in one place can reduce a day’s work into a few clicks. This ability also speeds up the reaction time your IT support team can get to issues, which in turn gets your employees back to work and not sitting idle waiting for a response to their problem.

Using a virtual desktop network saves money on hardware costs, software licensing and long-term maintenance and replacement of components. Switching to virtual desktops also allows for a more efficient infrastructure that lowers the cost-per-device and makes it easier to manage your technology.

Why Businesses Should Make the Switch

 

The bottom line for making the switch from independent operating systems to a virtual desktop system is to lower costs while improving the ease of management.

An average work computer worth the investment can cost hundreds of dollars, and a conventional device comes with many extra costs such as anti-virus software, monthly patching, application upgrades and paying your IT team’s salaries to go desk-to-desk fixing employees’ issues. Switching to a VDI can slash these costs and save $2,015 per year for each user on the system.

If your small business has 30 employees, making the change can equate to $60,450 worth of savings on average. Using a virtual desktop means that you could have the convenience of managing the entire system in the back end as though you were making the changes to a single computer, slashing your IT costs. Only one system needs to be updated rather than many individual ones, and that level of efficiency is where independent operating systems cannot compete.

You can cut these costs even more by allowing your employees to bring their own devices into the workplace instead of providing each person with one of their own. In many cases, workers would prefer to use their personal device instead of a work computer that might not be what they are used to or prefer. A virtual desktop with a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy benefits both the business by lowering the cost of acquiring devices and gives employees more freedom.

For employees, the most enticing part of switching to a virtual system is the ability to work from anywhere. When you allow your employees to work remotely, they assume the system will run smoothly without additional headaches. If you have decided that a VDI is the right decision for your business, be sure to do research and find one with excellent performance packages. A poor VDI can cause issues with quickly loading multimedia applications due to accessing them from a network rather than from a dedicated device.

Choose PCS for Virtual Desktop Setup and Support

PCS works with clients to identify their issues and implement permanent virtual desktop solutions to solve them. Setting up companies with the best virtual desktop technology in the industry can save you a great deal of time and maintenance costs of your network. We build relationships with our customers to completely understand their business objectives and provide excellent customer service. Too often are IT companies good at their job, but do things their way and cannot correctly articulate what exactly they are doing to the non-IT professional. At PCS, we speak plain English and break down each process so everyone involved is on the same page.

The cost of our services at PCS directly correlates with each customer’s number of devices and employees. We come up with a support plan based on your unique business that makes the most sense for you and your employees.

If you are looking to make the switch to virtual systems, but are not sure where to begin and are not getting the guidance you need, contact us today. PCS has a team of over 100 IT professionals who are experts in specific industries. We can help you reach the goals you are looking for without the complicated technicalities and confusion that often plagues the IT industry. We tailor our services to the people we serve. Request a free quote today to see how we can revolutionize your business.