Technology is the beating heart of today’s business world. And we are far from passive users. Increasingly mobile and remote workforces, the explosion of cloud services and escalating demand for a personalised experience have created opportunities never before imagined. But to capitalise on these opportunities and deliver the best possible user experience for both internal and external customers, business owners must leverage that technology like never before.
One of the most powerful ways to do this is by using virtualisation.
It’s not as futuristic as it sounds. Indeed, many of us have already adopted some form of virtualisation in our business such as cloud accounting or outsourcing administration to a virtual assistant.
But virtualisation can also be applied to your business technology in a more significant way. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a technique that streamlines the desktop or desktop sessions of every user in your business to one centralised data centre. Essentially, it enables you to give everyone in your organisation access to the systems, software and functionality they need, without having to physically install them on the desktop or mobile device.
This means that each user will see their own unique desktop each time they log in, no matter where they are or what device they’re using, enabling them to work on centralised systems from anywhere that has access to the internet.
VDI can be hosted onsite or in a cloud system via an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service) provider. Either way, it can help you improve business performance in several ways, including:
- User Flexibility – Each user’s login can be tailored to suit their needs, and the level of function and data they are permitted to access. Downtime is minimised as there’s no need for them to be onsite in order to receive updates or maintenance, and they can stay connected with the organisation while on the road. Each user has the freedom to bring their own device and personalise their settings and preferences, giving them a greater sense of ownership.
- High Security – As all aspects of the system aside from each user’s device are centralised, your IT team has a high level of control over data security. If a device falls into the wrong hands or is lost, not only can the data be easily recovered from the central data centre to get the user back up and running, but there is less risk of that data being accessed or interfered with by an unauthorised person.
- Resource Efficiency – Whilst the initial setup cost and data storage requirements of a virtual desktop infrastructure are significant, it provides a number of efficiencies for your IT team. Everyday tasks like maintenance, installations, and patches need only be done once at the data centre level, rather than on each individual device. Changes to staff are also a quick adjustment, as the IT team can simply add or remove users. Technical support can be provided to individual staff without IT staff needing to be physically present at the branch or store, keeping productivity high.
Making the transition to a VDI is a substantial change for any organisation. It depends largely on a commitment to flexibility ahead of (initial) cost savings, but the long-term benefits are great – particularly if your organisation maintains a significant mobile or remote workforce, several branches or offices, or operates around the clock. It also relies on a stable, quality internet connection. But with forward planning and a focus on overall productivity gains, virtual desktop infrastructure can give your organisation a real competitive advantage: greater staff and customer satisfaction through a responsive, personalised experience, more efficient use of resources, and the agility to respond swiftly to opportunity.
If change and meeting your customers’ needs is constant, doing nothing isn’t an option. Be sure you are partnering with a company with the depth and breadth of expertise you require. Particularly one who can help you navigate end-to-end managed services, cloud, mobile and paperless office technology. GPK consultant, Ben Holian, is available for a no-obligation discussion on how GPK can help you reduce operational costs, manage your IT footprint more effectively and create an exceptional experience for your customers. Contact: Phone 1300 000 475 or email email@example.com for more information.