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Reasons to Deploy Desktop Virtualization

Published on 26 January 15

Desktop Virtualization, or hosting your employee desktops from a data center, is a relatively interesting technology that pairs well with the goal many companies have to implement Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies. In a nutshell, the employee can use whatever device they wish, and they log on to their work terminal via an application that accesses software such as XenDesktop where their actual desktop resides. From there the employee can work as if they had a traditional PC. Some organizations might ask what the benefits are for doing this, but there are actually several big benefits that this can provide.

The most commonly known benefit of the technology is that it grants the ability to have employees work anywhere that their devices are. This can grant companies a plethora of benefits, including but not limited to expanding to new branches, new geographical areas, or granting employees the ability to work at home instead of the office. In fact, employees donât have to be situated at all when they work; if an employee is on a train with Wi-Fi, they can be traveling across the seaboard and still be able to work as if they were in the office. While these are certainly great features to have, the mobility of these desktop virtualization applications lead into an even bigger benefit that isn't as clear.

The absolute biggest benefit is security that can transcend even when an employee loses their mobile device or laptop. Many travelling employees such as sales staff or executives can be carrying incredibly sensitive information on their work machines for work. Losing a laptop in an airport can lead to serious regulatory breaches or cause business deals to be lost because the Sales Agent doesn't have all of his notes and paperwork together. Virtual desktops solve this problem by putting the desktop in the cloud - the employee might be upset that they lost their laptop, but they can just go to a local retailer, purchase a new machine and log back into their virtual desktop. Ideally IT should reset their credentials to access the virtual machine so that the person who acquired the laptop or mobile phone just has the hardware; software and sensitive files are safe in the data center where the server hosts everything.

Of course, even if you donât have traveling agents or employees that work from mobile devices, using desktop virtualization makes PC refreshes that much easier. Since the server in the data center is handling all of the work, the specs of the machine at the employees desk or in their mobile donât matter much at all when measuring performance - they are just screens to show the employee what is going on in the data center. This can dramatically reduce capital expenses when PCs need to be upgraded - this is absolutely vital for any companies that still use XP (no longer supported) or Windows 7 (nearing end of support). Best of all, since all of the employee desktops are effectively in one place, IT can handle help desk calls without traveling to the employee. If an application isn't working they can just log in as an admin to troubleshoot the issue. This is a great benefit indeed for a remote worker in Chicago or a salesperson in Seattle when the company HQ is in Dallas.

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