Gone are the times of being chained to your desktop computer or an office space. The introduction of cloud technology has seen the rise of trends such as the mobile workforce and BYOD. However, one area this hasn’t extended to is flexibility within desktop services and applications.

Whilst many see the obvious benefits of the cloud storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox, new technology now allows users to remotely access entire desktops through any device. Many are reluctant to take the next step to complete web-based working, but there are extensive perks to being able to access not just your files, but your entire desktop and applications through a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) or desktop-as-a-service (DaaS).

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Productivity and efficiency

VDI or DaaS allows businesses to massively improve efficiency and productivity in a myriad of different ways. One way businesses look to do this is by understanding the role of each department and their individual IT requirements. For example, IT managers can build and manage tailored virtual desktops for specific departments i.e. the marketing team probably won’t need access to a company’s financial software and the operations management department will almost certainly not want to have their desktops cluttered with CRM tools.

The inherent mobility and device flexibility characteristics of VDI or DaaS can also be used to drive productivity and efficiency. By creating a virtual desktop experience on the move, staff are no longer limited by often under-featured mobile applications or rely on their work to be picked up by other members of staff when they are travelling to and from meetings.

There are also financial efficiencies to consider. A VDI or DaaS often results in the freeing up IT resources and hardware, as there is less pressure on the installation of software or maintaining specific devices. This can result in a more strategic use of IT leaders, using them to drive efficiency and growth through improvement of processes rather than day-to-day management of current systems.

Security

There are many security benefits to web-based working. Storing files on hardware means that if your device or laptop is stolen your data will be immediately at risk. With DaaS, you can keep your files locally on your browser meaning that can take further measures to protect your information once you learn it has been compromised.

But say you are subject to a security breach. How easy is it to get back up and running afterwards? Having to reinstall all of your software and applications can take hours or even days. With modern cloud systems, you can access your entire desktop and all of your applications in seconds. No reorganisation. No reinstalling all your apps, and as we all know every minute as a business is crucial.

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This is also music to the ears of your IT manager, who can now easily keep track of the applications your workforce are using. Previously, applications downloaded to a desktop couldn’t be easily monitored, which posed a threat to security as these apps hadn’t been vetted. Now IT can administer all software licences from a central location, making everything easy to control and manage. If a new person joins your team, they can easily be set up in moments, eliminating hours of installation. It’s also easier for new users as they can start being productive straight away.

Flexibility

Flexibility is also a key benefit. There’s nothing worse than the dread when you go on a trip and realise you’ve forgotten your laptop, or if you’ve accidentally spilt your 9 am latte over your keyboard, and suddenly the screen’s gone blank. With virtual desktop software, you can quickly hop onto the spare laptop, or into your home office, and access a replica of your desktop anywhere. No stress.

This also applies for new trends such as wearables and IOT. Imagine being on the run or out in the car, and your colleague wants to Skype, you have your smartwatch, so you can, but what if they ask for an important document immediately? With cloud technology, this is becoming a reality. There’s not normally enough storage on these devices to keep entire files, but with internet connection and web browsers you can access files on any end user device.

It’s understandable to be anxious about the idea of making the jump to keep your business completely online. However it’s simple to try alongside your current systems, and most vendors will gladly guide you through the setup process every step of the way.