The Benefits of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure in the WFA Shift

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Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been around since the early 2000s, but it wasn’t until recently that businesses began taking advantage of this ground-breaking technology and integrating it into their overall digital transformation strategy. The VDI market is expected to be driven by the need for desktop virtualization from the IT industry. Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the need for employees to work from home, the VDI market is anticipated to increase by a CAGR of 14.4%, from a value of $4,490.0 million in 2019 to $12,971.3 million in 2027, according to Research and Markets.

What Is VDI?

A virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a computer operating system that runs inside a virtual machine. Think about each employee having his or her PC on their desk — that’s what happens when you connect with legacy systems. But instead of hardware and software sitting on a physical device, VDI turns those functions into 1s and 0s running in software-defined data centers.

How Does VDI Work?

A virtual desktop infrastructure solution provides workers with an easy way to work anytime, anywhere. As Gartner describes it, VDI solutions consist of software and related technologies required for users to connect securely to virtual desktops or applications hosted in central locations. With VDI, end users log into a centralized system that provides a user experience similar to running applications locally even though they are executing remotely.

VDI can be persistent or non-persistent, depending on your needs. Persistent VDIs can be personalized and changes are not lost after the connection is reset, it works just like a physical desktop. While the non-persistent VDI does not save changes after the connection is reset, it is more appropriate for organization employees that don’t perform recurring tasks.

Also read: How Much Does it Cost to Set Up an Intranet?

Benefits of Implementing VDI

VDI offers several benefits for companies and remote workers, and can make things simpler for IT admins as well. Here are six benefits of implementing VDI.

  • Cost efficiency. By leveraging a virtual desktop infrastructure, a company can reduce hardware and overhead costs by having a centralized computing resource instead of numerous physical ones. This means companies will have a lot more capital for other important initiatives.
  • Flexibility. Thanks to virtualization, employees will be able to access their desktops from virtually anywhere through a web browser or thin client.
  • Reliability. A virtual desktop infrastructure ensures that all data is consolidated onto a single server — meaning if one machine goes down, nothing is lost and users aren’t affected.
  • Security. With fewer workstations on hand, there are fewer ways for hackers to infiltrate an organization. Data security is also easier to manage when everything is contained within a single location.
  • Mobility. As long as everyone has internet access, workers can still log in to their virtual desktops while outside the office.
  • Higher Productivity. When employees know how to do their jobs effectively, productivity increases and companies make more money.

VDI Use Cases

VDI can provide an excellent user experience for your mobile workforce. Let’s look at some use cases for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

Distributed workforce 

Today’s companies have employees all over the world. Whether they’re onsite at international branches or working remotely from home offices, distributed workers need access to applications and data on their local devices while still maintaining security measures to keep sensitive information private. With VDI, remote workers can securely connect with corporate servers using software installed on their PCs. One of the biggest benefits of VDI is mobility — no matter which device is being used, users will have full functionality available through their remote connection.

Rapid scaling for new hires 

Whenever your business grows, your team needs to grow with it. One of VDI’s greatest advantages is that it allows companies to scale up on demand. When an employee starts a new job, their virtual workstation is immediately ready for them. They can be up and running in minutes while administrators focus on more important tasks.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement

More and more employees are bringing their phones, tablets, and laptops to work. According to a stat posted by Techjury, 67% of employees use personal devices at work, 87% of businesses are dependent on their employee’s ability to access mobile business apps from their smartphones. Using VDI makes it easy for them to access all of their necessary apps and data.

Challenges Of Enterprise VDI 

VDI promises access via any device at any time without having to install software or reconfigure hardware each time someone switches machines. But some challenges accompany VDI, and they vary depending on whether they relate to technology or people.

Cost may be higher than expected 

One reason why so many businesses opt to host their apps in public clouds is because of its cost-efficiency. But cloud costs come down significantly if your company hosts servers rather than use external providers. If your company needs support staff dedicated specifically to maintaining its internal cloud environment, then expenses may increase due to high labor costs.

Lack of business continuity planning 

Larger enterprises typically hold multiple data centers. However, smaller organizations may lack adequate disaster recovery plans since small business owners tend to prioritize profit over safety. The fact that downtime results in lost revenue should make it evident enough, without proper preparation, downtime leads to revenue loss that might cripple operations, especially for new startups.

Also read: Best Business Continuity Management Software Solutions for 2021

Inconsistent performance 

Applications need to run smoothly. Otherwise, productivity suffers. Network bottlenecks can disrupt daily operations. One way to circumvent hiccups is by ensuring that your internal network isn’t saturated with traffic.

Why VDI Matters Now

It’s no secret that technology has become a crucial part of doing business. Employees don’t work from just one place anymore. They might start their day at home, then head to their office, or take on some work at a coffee shop or on the go. This new and increasingly popular work-from-anywhere model allows businesses to transform how they operate on a whole new level — namely by allowing more employees to work remotely and giving them access to everything they need no matter where they are. Organizations are benefiting financially from WFA due to significant reductions in IT costs, reduced infrastructure needs, lower power consumption levels, easier system management, and an overall more flexible workforce. All great reasons for any organization looking into virtual desktop infrastructure today.

Read next: Managing Security Across MultiCloud Environments

Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi is an experienced B2B technology and finance writer and award-winning public speaker. He is the co-author of the e-book, The Ultimate Creativity Playbook, and has written for various publications, including eWEEK, Enterprise Networking Planet, Tech Republic, eSecurity Planet, CIO Insight, Enterprise Storage Forum, IT Business Edge, Webopedia, Software Pundit, and Geekflare.

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