It has been claimed by IT experts that hosted desktop adoption is currently slow because of lack of support for user installed apps and hard to ‘hostedize’ applications, high storage costs and system complexity. So what are the benefits of choosing a hosted desktop solution?
Security was cited as the biggest reason for deploying hosted desktops (86%) for businesses surveyed by Citrix. Each year over 250,000 laptops are stolen in the UK not counting the many more that are lost, acccording to figures by Backup Direct . They state that 60% of business information is stored on a person’s laptop; this causes big security problems if laptops are lost or stolen. One of the benefits of utilising a hosted desktop is that sensitive data is stored on the server in the data centre and not on the device. There is the facility to centrally lock down data and prevent the copying of data to a local machine. Through employing this strategy even if a device is lost or stolen, only the device is affected, not the critical data.
It has been estimated by Gartner that 90% of successful attacks occur against formerly known vulnerabilities where a patch or secure configuration standard was already available . A hosted desktop enables IT managers to have effective desktop management, including the capability to centrally maintain and update individual PCs. The Windows Purchasing Intentions 2012 survey by TechTarget found centralised endpoint management to be the driving force for most (63%) businesses considering hosted desktops. This ability to centrally and quickly update and patch applications on PCs and other devices means that businesses are able to quickly respond to new and emerging security threats.
In the current economic climate businesses need to be able to adapt to the changing conditions of the market. Hosted desktops are easily scalable allowing businesses flexibility in how many users and desktops there are in an office. With a hosted desktop, businesses have the option for staff to use their own devices, but this may raise security concerns. The hosted desktop solution ensures sensitive company data is not saved on personal devices but is in a centrally hosted server instead. This is also ideal for disaster recovery, as users are able to use the snapshot technology, which gives the ability to roll-back desktops to different states.
Hosted desktop implementation allows businesses to increase employee productivity by reducing log-in times. Seattle Children’s Hospital reduced their time logging on and off computers by 45 minutes a day. Easy log-on and log-off times also create workplace flexibility as employees are not confined to one desk.
Workplace environments are changing; people are working remotely and want to access their desktop from different devices. Redshift Research’s survey found that an iPad is requested by 21% of the workforce. The threat of severe weather conditions and employees not being able to reach the office no longer causes a problem for businesses. Employees are able to access their files and data, using a hosted desktop, as they would have done in the office; therefore, the working day is left uninterrupted, making hosted desktops excellent in business continuity plans.
Cost savings can be made with hosted desktops through a shift to OpEx rather than CapEx. Businesses can improve employee productivity, cut costs and increase data security by implementing hosted desktop infrastructure. These benefits would be valuable to any business, and it is therefore important that the initial ‘cons’ that may appear to exist do not overshadow the numerous ‘pros’ of hosted desktops. Provisions such as upgrading internet connections to a leased line to improve upload speeds will ensure that the benefits of a hosted desktop are provided at their full potential.The views expressed here are that of a guest blogger and do not necessarily represent those of OneStopClick.
Tim Walker is the founder and Managing Director of Iconnyx, a Managed IT, Internet and Hosting provider to SME’s. Prior to founding Iconnyx in 2008, Tim was the Sales Director of a leading business internet service provider, and has a career spanning a number of roles in the IT and Telecoms market, including Redstone Plc.
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