- Managed DaaS
- Happy End Users
A critical part of any successful project is careful planning and goal setting. Without understanding what you’re trying to achieve it will be difficult, time consuming and frustrating to find the right solution and implement it properly. Careful project planning and expectation setting are particularly important with big changes, like moving to desktop virtualization.
Organizations turn to virtual desktops to address a range of needs and drivers. Identifying your top reasons for adopting cloud desktops is key to selecting the right provider and implementing a solution tailored to your needs. You may already have use cases in mind (such as specific departments you want to support), but setting goals for VDI is a higher level task that is important to creating a strong foundation for the entire project.
Common goals for desktop virtualization include:
Whether you want to make it easier to support full-time remote employees or want to give employees a secure, easy way to occasionally work outside of a traditional office setting and hours, enabling remote work is one of the top goals for desktop virtualization.
Virtual desktops let employees access their work desktops, applications and data anytime, anywhere, on any device (including personal computers), all they need is an internet connection. The same security measures remain in place, giving organizations peace of mind that no matter where employees are they can be productive and secure.
Enabling remote work can also be a key component to a robust business continuity or disaster recovery plan.
Key Consideration: Make sure there will not be latency issues between the desktop and data center or with cloud hosted applications, no matter where users are. Latency can create poor performance and roadblock your goal of enabling remote work.
In some industries employees are constantly on the move, losing valuable time and productivity each time they need to log into a new computer and the associated applications. This is often the case within healthcare, retail and other industries where workers are not assigned to a specific endpoint device.
Persistent virtual desktops allow employees to leave their applications open and logged in. When they move from endpoint to endpoint they only need to log into their desktop and everything is where they left it and ready to go.
When it comes to the desktop, there are many opportunities for a data breach:
The fact of the matter is, every time an employee leaves the office with a laptop your intellectual property and data goes with them. Desktop virtualization keeps desktops and data in a secure data center. No sensitive information is ever stored on the endpoint, mitigating that major risk. (VPNs create a secure connection, but don’t do anything to address security at the desktop level.)
Because virtual desktops are provisioned off a master Golden Image, implementing patches, updates and security control changes is much faster and reaches every user without the risk of human error missing a device. Changes are made to the Golden Image and automatically implemented for all users accessing that image.
Key Consideration: If there are key controls you want to put in place for specific use cases or groups of users, ensure these controls are easily supported (a custom-built feature opens the door to headache and isn’t really helping you address this key goal). Also ask about the number of Golden Images allowed and who is responsible for building and maintaining them.
Provisioning and maintaining desktops can be a full time job for IT, especially if a centralized team is responsible for supporting multiple locations or remote workers. While this is important, it does not often do a lot to drive business and certainly isn’t an innovative task.
Many organizations adopt desktop virtualization as a way of reducing the mundane task of desktop maintenance to allow IT to focus on tasks and projects that are more in line with business goals. With virtual desktops, provisioning is much faster and maintenance is more streamlined. The right VDI monitoring tools can even help reduce help desk times.
Key Consideration: Understand the level of post-implementation support. Will your IT team still be responsible for everything or will the service provider take on some of the burden, such as automated vulnerability patching?
Infrastructure has a finite life and can represent a large line item on budgets. Many companies are turning to cloud solutions to reduce their hardware footprint. Building virtual desktop infrastructure in-house won’t reduce hardware costs (exactly the opposite!), but desktop as a service (DaaS) will. A DaaS solution shifts infrastructure costs to the service provider and represents a move from CAPEX to predictable and forecastable OPEX for organizations.
Desktop virtualization can also help organizations address endpoint costs. Because the desktop OS is virtualized, it’s not hardware dependent and can be run on any endpoint, including devices that might have otherwise passed their useful life. Another common goal in this vein is for organizations to move toward thin clients, zero clients or a BYOD policy.
Key Consideration: Understand exactly what endpoints are compatible with the specific virtual desktop solution you’re considering (if you’d like to use a specific endpoint, inquire directly about its compatibility). Ask if the provider has a secure endpoint solution that can be implemented as part of the service.
According to RightScale’s State of the Cloud Report 2018, moving more workloads to the cloud is the number one focus for 51% of organizations using cloud solutions. Recognizing the ease of use, increased security and other benefits of cloud solutions, many organizations have adopted cloud-first initiatives.
Many organizations started by adopting cloud-based applications, the next logical step is to virtualize the point where all these applications connect – the desktop. The global VDI market is currently at $3.7 billion but is predicted to reach $10.5 billion by 2023, representing a strong shift toward cloud delivered desktops, driven by a large move toward cloud solutions.
Key Consideration: What cloud service is used to support the solution? Is it public or private? What is the associated service level agreement?
To many organizations, more than one of these common goals is attractive, making the move to desktop virtualization more appealing. But trying to tackle too many things at once can muddy a project. To ensure an experience that you’re happy with and a satisfactory end result it’s important to prioritize your needs and identify your top goals for desktop virtualization. If you choose the right virtualization solution you’ll likely be able to address more than those main goals, but having a guiding light will keep the project in scope.
Once you’ve identified and prioritized your key goals, seek out desktop virtualization service providers and experts. Present your key goals – and any secondary goals – to see if they can help you achieve your specific needs. Under the surface, not all desktop as a service providers offer the same solutions. If you’re evaluating potential service providers based on a specific set of goals, you’ll be able to quickly narrow the field. Once you’ve established that a provider can meet you baseline needs, you can move deeper into solution discovery and choose the right provider for you.
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