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The New Year may technically be four months away, but in business time that’s right on the horizon. As Q3 begins to wrap up, many teams aren’t just planning for the end of the year, but also outlining their overarching goals and plans for 2018.
For many IT teams, that includes evaluating the technology stack to identify large initiatives, anticipated projects and much-needed upgrades. There are several changing factors – from workforce trends to technology solutions – that are making virtual desktops a solution worth revisiting as we prepare for a new year. With an anticipated CAGR of 27.35% from 2016-2020, organizations are increasingly exploring the benefits of VDI.
As you begin to evaluate your tech stack and determine what changes need to be made next year, keep these common compelling drivers in mind to determine if implementing virtual desktops should be on your roadmap for 2018.
Hardware refreshes are a necessary evil … until now. If you have a hardware refresh in the near future, strongly consider whether investing in brand new desktops, laptops, servers or infrastructure is the right move or if it’s time to look into virtualization solutions that can ease this endless and expensive cycle.
Virtual desktops allow companies to extend the life of legacy hardware or move to more affordable thin or zero clients. With virtual desktops in place, organizations can also adopt the increasingly popular BYOD (bring your own device) approach without data security and application compatibility concerns. On the infrastructure side, the business no longer needs in-house infrastructure to support desktops, data storage and disaster recovery.
The money for a hardware refresh is likely already earmarked in next year’s budget. Take a step back and evaluate if that funding could be better spent and allow you to avoid future costly CAPEX by replacing the traditional hardware refresh process with the more predictable OPEX of desktop as a service.
Curious about the total cost of ownership for in-house VDI versus outsourced Desktop as a Service? Check out the Virtual Desktop TCO Calculator.
Remote working is an increasingly desirable option for workers seeking a better work-life balance. It can be equally enticing to organizations as it expands the talent pool for new hires, can drastically decrease operating costs by not having to support office space for a large staff and can even have a positive impact on productivity.
If launching or expanding a remote working, contract worker or work at home program is a company-wide goal for 2018, virtual desktops should also be in the discussion as an easier and more secure way to support that initiative. Shipping all remote workers a company-issued laptop is expensive, time consuming and simply impractical. Meanwhile, allowing employees to use their personal devices without any corporate control over data access and security is a data breach waiting to happen. Both approaches are also an IT nightmare in terms of maintenance, desktop support, compatibility, application access and patching.
Virtual desktops solve this challenge by allowing employees to use their own devices or more affordable company-owned thin clients without the same provisioning, compatibility, maintenance and security concerns. IT can easily manage all virtual desktops from a central location, regardless of the employee’s location, making remote working programs easier to support on a daily basis.
If your organization is in the M&A mind frame going into 2018, IT teams should be working on a plan to support those changes now. Following a merger or acquisition, one of the most difficult things for IT teams is meeting immediate data and application needs across the now expanded organization and getting the correct security and compliance controls in place for everyone. There are definitely larger projects that follow an M&A, but not meeting immediate needs in the meantime can slow down productivity and create a security risk.
Virtual desktops are quick and easy to provision and scale. Have a whole new office location that needs access to your databases and approved application set? Issue them fully loaded virtual desktops with the exact security controls needed from a single golden image in a matter of hours right from your headquarters. Any organization that is moving into an aggressive merger or acquisition phase should heavily consider implementing virtual desktops ahead of time to easy the transition.
Many businesses were resistant to cloud solutions in the past over perceived concerns about security and control. That ship has mostly sailed and now even the largest enterprises are adopting cloud first and cloud only approaches. If your organization is moving in this direction than virtual desktops are a natural – and necessary – part of that transition. The desktop is the single application every employee touches every day, yet many organizations don’t think about virtualizing desktops.
Cloud desktops allow employees to access all their applications and data anytime, anywhere, from any device, with the exact security controls you put in place. It’s the perfect combination of productivity, accessibility and security that today’s workforce and cybersecurity threat landscape demand and that companies are looking for with cloud-first approaches.
If you’ve already decided that virtual desktops are the direction your company needs to go, have you decided if it will be an in-house initiative or if you’ll evaluate outsourced VDI and desktop as a service (DaaS) solutions? For many organizations, building and maintain in-house VDI doesn’t align with business goals. Virtual desktops may help the organization achieve its goals, but the expertise and expense required to maintain in-house VDI can undermine those advances.
If virtual desktops are already on the roadmap, consider evaluating specialized DaaS providers that will give you access to purpose-built infrastructure without the maintenance and upgrade requirements over time. This approach also gets you access to VDI expertise and support (depending on the provider) and allows for easier scaling without the need to install additional infrastructure.
Good luck with your 2018 planning, and if any of these events is on the horizon consider starting your virtual desktop journey today so you can get – and stay – ahead.
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