Desktop Virtualisation for SMBs

Given their growing appetite for IT but limited resources, small and medium businesses can benefit enormously from desktop virtualisation, says Manish Sharma

Desktop virtualisation delivers all the computer performance required for businesses to remain competitive in today’s market, while addressing their top IT priorities and liberating them from IT infrastructure management hassles at an amazingly low cost.

Staying current with the latest and greatest in hardware and technology is challenging for organisations of any size, especially so for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) that are often extra challenged with limited resources and personnel. It’s no surprise that today’s SMBs are moving toward desktop virtualisation, which offers a modern and cost-effective approach. Desktop virtualisation is a viable alternative to traditional PCs. It delivers all the computer performance, manageability and security required for businesses to remain competitive in today’s market.

Recent studies, focused on the state of IT for SMBs, reveal growing IT budgets and also continued rapid adoption of virtualisation technology, cloud services and tablets in the workplace. It’s been also observed that while a sizeable number of small and mid-sized companies have already adopted desktop virtualisation for their business, many others are looking into adopting the technology in the near future. However, limited IT staff and IT budget constraints continue to remain perennial challenges for this segment.

Such findings are intriguing as they reflect the need and growing shift towards modern computing solutions, as the use of tablets and leveraging the cloud continue to escalate.

Desktop virtualisation, therefore, makes sense for SMBs, as IT budgets are expected to grow and accommodate BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and cloud office environments, while staff sizes to manage the environments remain the same.

Desktop virtualisation offers the following benefits to SMBs:
Long-term reduction of IT costs and IT staff headaches: Continual management of multiple individual PCs, desktops and hand-held devices is time-consuming, cumbersome and costly.  Already strapped IT staff members can leverage desktop virtualisation technologies to control and make system-wide updates and upgrades from a single centralised source in a timely fashion, rather than updating workstations and BYOD devices one by one. The payback is — freed time to focus on other projects and fewer headaches; thanks to the streamlining of IT.

Sharing his experience, Gopinath TK, Head-IT, The Bhavasara Kshatriya Co-op. Bank Ltd, who recently deployed desktop virtualisation solution in the bank, says, “we were facing problems like frequent downtimes and wear and tear, slow machines resulting in slower operations, cumbersome management of individual PCs, virus threats and issues related to data security. It is at this stage that we sought to deploy an agile technology (desktop virtualisation) that addressed these challenges, squarely.”

In the long run, desktop virtualisation offers a reduction in administrative and maintenance costs, which increase over time with company size.

Improved enforcement of security and compliance mandates: SMBs are particularly concerned over the management of their end users — with security and compliance topping the list, and for good reason. For example, a significantly high number of laptops are stolen or sometimes even lost every year at public places such as airports, etc. The loss of business-critical information is a very real threat particularly for industries like financial services, healthcare and government.

SMBs can turn to desktop virtualisation to meet security and compliance mandates, by moving data off end points and into the data centre where it can be more efficiently and securely managed. Compared to a conventional desktop, a virtualised desktop is more secure given that its data never leaves the data centre. The result is a drastic decrease in vulnerability and data loss.

Increase in overall employee productivity: The impact on overall employee productivity is also worth considering. In typical scenarios, a desktop machine going down means lost productivity, as that employee has to sit around and wait for the workstation to be repaired.

With desktop virtualisation, however, IT can get the user up and running again on a new instance of the original virtual desktop. The immediate ability to access the same desktop from a different device means no more lost time when such IT problems arise. Additionally, the fact that desktop virtualisation supports BYOD devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, means IT is able to support the demand for a virtual working environment and immediate access to information.

As the demand for IT to support business growth increases among SMBs—while staff sizes are expected to remain the same—now is as good a time as ever to consider desktop virtualisation for making the most of your resources.
By enabling streamlined IT processes and enhanced employee productivity in today’s BYOD world, desktop virtualisation can provide a step ahead for SMBs.

Manish Sharma is Vice President – APAC, NComputing Inc.

businessdesktop virtualisationInformation technology
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