Over the last decade, cloud computing has taken over offices around the world. Currently 90% of companies use the cloud for at least part of their workflow and by 2021, it’s projected that cloud data centers will process 94% of all workloads. There are multiple ways that switching from a hard drive-based software to a cloud-based application have helped make offices more efficient and reduced costs for small, medium, and large businesses. These include:
- Ability to access their work from any location on any device
- Scalability, only paying for the number of users you need
- Keep business running in the event of an outage at your premises
- Makes it easier to work remotely and open your talent pool
- Managed cloud services mean ease of use and less IT problems
Now that we’ve discovered all those benefits when it comes to the software we use, it’s only natural that cloud virtualization would also extend to the very workstations we access to get our jobs done. Virtual desktops that are hosted in cloud environments are not a new concept, but what is new is that one of the largest players in office productivity and PC technology has entered the virtual realm.
As of September 30, 2019, Microsoft announced that their Windows Virtual Desktop was available worldwide. When a giant like Microsoft puts out such a significant technology, companies stand up and take notice. So, what can you do with Windows Virtual Desktop? Should you start hosting your workstation environments in the cloud like everything else? We’ll give you an overview below of this new cloud-based PC environment and the benefits.
Overview of Microsoft’s New Windows Virtual Desktop
A virtual desktop allows you to access what you typically consider “your computer” from anywhere because the operating system and files are not located on your physical hard drive, but rather on a cloud server. This has the benefit of untying the last cord that kept us tethered to a particular location or device for our daily workflow.
When you use a virtual desktop, it means that from any device, desktop or mobile, you can simply login via a web-based interface, load your operating system, programs, settings, and files, and have the same computer environment no matter where you are. Features that make Windows Virtual Desktop different than others that are available include that it’s the only multi-session Windows 10 virtual desktop experience available. It also is the only one to offer extended support for Windows 7 after its end of life in January 2020. Let’s get into feature details for Windows Virtual Desktop below.
A Desktop That’s Always Up to Date
You don’t have to worry about missing critical operating system patches and updates when using Windows Virtual Desktop. The OS is always kept up to date automatically, so you can ensure system security no matter where you’re accessing your workspace from.
Fast Set Up for New Users
No longer do you have to go through time-consuming desktop cleaning and setup to get a computer ready for a new user. Using virtual desktops allow you to have a preset virtualization template that includes the exact programs and settings that a new employee would need based upon their position. Then you simply load the new desktop environment for them in just minutes, without worry about old files or emails that might be left over from a former employee being on that device.
Free Extended Security for Windows 7
For some companies that have certain legacy programs using Windows 7, the transition to Windows 10 might take more time, putting them at risk after Windows 7’s EOL date. You get free extended security updates (up to 3 years) for Windows 7 when you use Windows Virtual Desktop that will provide the time you need to upgrade, while ensuring your network security.
Secure & Simple Administration of All Your Workstations
Is everyone’s workstation in your office fully updated for all OS, software, and firmware patches? In most cases, the answer is either “no,” or “unsure.” It’s time-consuming to have to administer updates and security policies to devices spread out throughout your organization. This is one area where virtual desktops are a huge improvement. When your Windows desktops are hosted virtually, you have full visibility into each environment and can automatically apply updates, patches, and security policies companywide from one central control panel. This not only significantly decreases the time it takes to administer your technology infrastructure but also keeps you secure.
Ensures Business Continuity
Just like cloud platforms like Office 365 and QuickBooks online can ensure the integrity and safety of your data in case of a physical disaster at your office, virtual desktops can as well. If someone loses a laptop while traveling or a hard drive on a computer crashes, you haven’t lost anything except the physical device. All your files, programs, and entire PC environment are safely intact on the cloud server and can instantly be access by a different device.
Get Help with a Transition to Windows Virtual Desktops
Cloud-based workflows are the future of office operations and offer multiple benefits for flexibility, mobility, and security. Managed IT Asia can help migrate your physical PCs to Windows Virtual Desktops and keep you competitive and ready for the future. Contact us today to learn more about what virtual desktops would mean for your business. Call +65 6748 8776 or reach us online.
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