What Are the Benefits of a Virtual Desktop?

With so many people likely working remotely for the foreseeable future, cybersecurity, flexibility, and accessibility are all key concerns. With that in mind, a cloud workspace for professional services might be an option to consider in your business.

The following are some of the most important things to know about a cloud workspace, also known as a virtual desktop, and the upsides of having this service.

Businessman using virtual desktop

The Basics of a Virtual Desktop

A virtual desktop takes all those elements of a desktop environment and remotely stores them on a server instead of on a computer or computing device. With desktop virtualization software, there is a separation between the desktop operating system and the data and applications.

Some of the other terms you might hear used to describe a virtual desktop include, as was mentioned, a cloud desktop, a hosted desktop, or Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS). While a lot of these terms are used interchangeably with one another, in reality, there are a few technical distinctions.

Desktop as a Service is a cloud-based version of a virtual desktop, which is touched on a little more below.

The idea is that the experience of using a virtual or cloud desktop, for the end-user, is the same as if they were on their computer in their physical office.

Whatever device they’re using, and including when they’re working remotely, with a virtual or cloud desktop, employees have all of the things they need to do their job, as long as their device is internet-enabled.

Cloud Desktops vs. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Another term that often goes along with cloud desktop is a virtual desktop infrastructure, but there are differences between the two.

A virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI means that an IT team has to manage the server and hosting through the use of virtualization software. You have to manage then your hardware, software, deployment, and licensing. VDI also needs network connectivity to work, and scalability isn’t a strong point of VDI.

With cloud desktops, everything is stored and managed by your service provider. As is the case with other cloud-based services, you pay a subscription to a vendor, and they’re in charge of ensuring everything is working as it should.

The Benefits of a Virtual Desktop

For a business considering a virtual desktop, there are a number of benefits.

First, it can save money because you’re cutting out the need for a big IT budget and staff. You can avoid or cut out the costs that come with maintaining different, separate desktop configurations.

If you have VDI on a local network, you still will need some IT support, but less so than you would otherwise if you had individual desktops. Then, if you went entirely cloud-based with DaaS, your costs would go down even further.

Many companies still have a big chunk of their workforce remote, which was something that rapidly accelerated at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Virtual desktop

Having a virtual desktop or a cloud-based desktop can improve productivity.

Employees have the ability to access their desktops no matter where they are and what device they’re using. Also, depending on the situation, you can cut down on some of the downtime that comes with an employee being out of work if their desktop is accessible by other employees during that time.

If you have freelancers or contractors who are regularly part of your team, again, a virtual or cloud desktop is helpful.

Security is a big issue now that so many people are working remotely, and virtual desktops and DaaS are highly secure. This is especially true for businesses that might be professional services, financial services, or related to health care.

One single cyber attack can end up costing a business millions of dollars in damages. With a virtual environment, data is stored in a centralized repository, which offers a higher level of protection than if it were individually stored on employees’ devices.

Also, you have centralized management and control over things like access.

A virtual desktop can be helpful in the event of disaster recovery too. Again, your data is stored in a central place, and along with being safe and secure, is backed up regularly.

Finally, when you use a virtual or cloud desktop, you’re going to improve your overall productivity and start to develop the foundation of a more agile business. Your employees will have flexibility in how they work, you’ll have a more secure environment, and you’re better prepared if a disaster does occur.