What Are The Benefits to Cloud Desktop Hosting?
Many companies are looking to the cloud for many things like servers, storage, applications, infrastructure and now desktops. Cloud Desktops, also known as Desktops as a Service (DaaS) have many benefits such as centralized management, accessibility on any device from anywhere and an overall reduction of IT costs.
First, let's talk about traditional desktops in an organization and what is required to prepare one for an employee; then we can discuss the benefits of Cloud Desktops. For a new desktop to be set up there are many steps involved, you have to figure out what vendor hardware to use/purchase as a standard, you have to purchase software licensing and ensure license compliance and finally you have to have a support staff to install, configure and support the day to day issues related with desktop support.
Traditionally desktops and software are purchased for employees every few years as a refresh or whenever a new employee joins a company. Next, the IT Department sets up all the security rules and account access to all systems they need access to. Next all the software and antivirus will be installed on the desktop or laptop. The IT department may perform all of this manually per employee or they may have standard images depending on which department the employee will work in. Maintaining these images is a large task in itself. Let's look at this a little closer, so say the accounting department hires a new employee, this employee receives a new desktop or laptop or in some cases both. Next they may have Microsoft office installed, accounting software, a CRM application and lastly antivirus. So to conclude, the cost involved in buying new hardware, refreshing the hardware every few years, buying software, maintaining software versions/licensing and employing an IT staff to support all the desktops will add up to 10's and even 100's of thousands quickly if you have over 20 employees. So at this point maybe I have your ear. Are you saying ok, how can Cloud Desktops help with costs and make management easier? Ok, let's talk about that next.
If you as an organization were to go out and sign up for Cloud Desktops for your employees the first thing that would be requested of you is a list of all your employees, the departments they are each in and the software each department requires. Once this information is received each employee will be set up in the organizations private cloud with access to folders in the environments that you request. The software that they need will be provisioned to the employees specific to your instructions and finally they will be assigned a desktop login.
Usually the costs associated with a cloud desktop solution is for any customized software licensing , the monthly fee associated with the cost of each cloud desktop and a one-time setup fee. Ok, here is where the savings come in, you can save on buying new hardware, as you can use your existing desktops /laptops, Ipads, Microsoft or Android tablets, Iphone/android phone and Macs to access your desktop as long as you have internet access. Basically you will be able to access your desktop from any device anywhere on the internet over an encrypted connection. In regards to saving on software costs and maintenance, in the past you had to install the software and license on every desktop that would require the software. You had to keep up with software compliance, you had to install all software updates whenever a new update came out, you had to install all new operating system updates and virus updates. With Cloud desktops you can centrally assign the amount of licenses or instances that are allowed to run and centrally assign this to an active directory group. This will reduce the work required for software management and compliance and ensure you do not exceed your allotted count of licenses. Also if your organization needs to upgrade software packages to the latest version or needs two versions on their systems your IT staff does not have to go to each employees system individually. The cloud desktop provider can deploy this once from the central management console and this would then provision the update or the additional version of the software to the required cloud desktops. This will significantly reduce management and configuration costs and allow you to reduce your overall IT costs.
Also with the use of Cloud Desktops a company can use an alternate low cost low maintenance option to desktops by using thin clients. One well known thin client vendor commonly used that you can look at is Wyse. Thin clients are about the size of an external hard drive so they use minimal space and power and they have a minimal operating system built into the chip set which allows you to connect over the internet to your cloud desktop or cloud applications. By having just thin clients in the office you could basically reduce your office hardware and desktop support down to a very minimal amount. Also the thin clients are solid state devices so they will last longer that traditional desktops with much less maintenance required.
So I'm sure by now you see the advantages to Cloud Desktops over traditional desktops. The costs savings associated with system hardware, software and overall IT support requirements. Cloud Desktops can really help streamline an organizations use of technology and overall company operations. As technology continues to advance you will see more and more organizations go to this solution over the traditional desktop. Happy trails in the Cloud!