According to Technavio market research, the cloud-based virtual desktops market is predicted to grow 44% by the year 2020. With so many hardware and software solutions now available to businesses, why is growth so strong for desktops-as-a-service? Let’s review the 3 key trends driving virtual desktop adoption.
1. The Way We Work Has Changed
Long gone are the days of being tied to your desk chair. Today’s employees never truly “unplug” and expect to have the ability to work from anywhere. Being able to work effectively from outside the office walls, whether planned or unplanned, is the new normal.
While businesses can benefit from increased productivity and more timely communications with this new work-space flexibility, it also creates technology management challenges. Oftentimes, staff are relying on email as their primary document management tool when outside the office which can lead to an overall lack of file organization. Even a VPN solution can fall short of performance expectations because of heavy bandwidth requirements.
Virtual desktops accommodate workplace mobility so well because they can be accessed any time, from any device with an internet connection, and offer a full user experience whether inside or outside of the office. File structures can be maintained, all of your programs are available and little training is needed to get started, delivering a truly flexible and reliable remote work experience.
2. Data Security Concerns are Stronger Than Ever
It should be no surprise to you that cyber-crimes continue to put businesses large and small at risk of costly data loss and downtime. Hardware malfunction, inclement weather, fire and flood also pose a risk to your business continuity, especially if you have an onsite server. Increasingly, small and medium-sized businesses are required to meet more stringent compliance requirements if they handle sensitive client information. And yet, many business leaders wind up being so focused on day-to-day operations that they overlook one of their most potentially serious and costly areas of exposure – IT security.
It can be time consuming and costly to research, implement and then manage IT security solutions to keep your business protected, especially if you rely on multiple services that must be integrated or you are trying to accommodate the BYOD (bring your own device) trend. Your business may not have the resources to manage this piece of your operations effectively, which could result in compliance gaps or uncontrolled fees.
Virtual desktops are a complete solution to address security and compliance requirements by delivering layered physical and network protection. Virtual desktops and their configured data and applications are hosted on redundant, load-balanced servers in a secure data center environment with military-grade backup encryption, so they meet industry compliance standards for SSAE 18 SOC 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 2, SOC 3 Type 2, ISO 27001, PCI DSS, HIPPA and more.
With virtual desktops, you have a built-in business continuity plan and everything is managed for you, so you can focus more on your core business goals and worry less about IT “what ifs”.
3. Businesses Want Cloud-Based, Scalable Solutions
With improved internet connectivity speeds, more organizations are relying on cloud services such as Office 365 or a CRM solution. By 2020, 78% of businesses will be taking advantage of cloud computing, according to a Microsoft SMB Study. Cloud services have become more attractive because they can easily scale up or down as business needs change. They also represent a predictable cost model which aids in more accurate budgeting and forecasting of operation expenses.
Cloud-based virtual desktops offer some of the same benefits as other cloud services that businesses may already be using. Implementing virtual desktops does not require a large upfront capital investment in hardware and can help a business avoid unplanned maintenance for a local server. Computing resources for individual virtual desktops can be easily adjusted to accommodate power users, and the number of virtual desktops a business needs can be scaled up during a period of high growth or scaled down due to seasonal shifts at a predictable per-user price.
Most importantly, when your desktop interface is cloud-based, your virtual desktop can be accessed from any computer and you are no longer reliant on local device configuration to gain access to your data and software applications.
Nikki Schmitt is a managing partner at CloudKoala, a full-service IT solutions firm based in Charlotte, NC supporting small and midsize businesses across the US since 2002. For more information, visit www.cloudkoalatech.com or email email@example.com.