Is there space for a Hosted Desktop in 2015?

It’s an interesting question that small businesses should be thinking about. “Is the Corporate Desktop soon to be a thing of the past and have the advancements in Cloud Computing made the concept of a Hosted Desktop or VDI redundant?”

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Hosted Desktop has gone by many names over the years; Thin Client Computing, Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Hosted Desktop and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to name a few. A Hosted Desktop can offer a business of any size, working in any industry, many benefits including; improved security, flexibility for workers, reduced costs and ease of support. While it may be easy to assume that a Hosted Desktop is the answer to all your IT needs the quick response is that there is no simple answer and every situation will be different!

The benefits of Desktop as a Service:

– Access your corporate data and applications from anywhere

– Improve your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans instantly

– Allows staff to easily hotdesk and share workstation

– Improves security as no data is left on the endpoint

– An excellent way to connect Branch Offices back to the Head Office system

– No capital outlay, you pay per user/ per month

– Makes “Working From Home” easy for all users

Whether it is right for your organisation, will depend on your specific business needs, the applications that you use, where you work from and what device fits the need of the workforce. Taking this into account you need to question the concept of hosting your desktop remotely and does it have any value to SMB’s? Zenzero have a number of customers from different industry types who enjoy many of the benefits of Hosted Desktop service. To understand more about the suitability of a Hosted Desktop service for your business please contact the team at Zenzero.

If a Hosted Desktop isn’t the correct solution, then Zenzero would recommend considering moving to suitable applications and services into the cloud. One of the most logical places to start is Email and File Storage and as a result Zenzero are moving more and more organisations to the Microsoft Office 365 platform. This option has many benefits including removing the need to have (and manage) a dedicated Exchange server. It is important to remember that e-mail is not the only application that needs to be considered and your move to Cloud Computing should be a well-planned strategy.

Customer Case Study – “Driving productivity through IT investment”

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What is Thin Client Computing?

In the late 1990’s, early versions of Citrix WinFrame were at the forefront of what was later to become known as Cloud Computing. Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the only way you could remotely connect to key line of business applications was via a remote session to Server running a form of Thin Client Computing that presented a virtual copy of your desktop or business application. Thin Client computing relies on backend server infrastructure to do the “computing”, then the user connects to it from a device that acts as a (dumb) terminal to view the applications/data. Because the end point device is not doing anything other than displaying images and transmitting keystrokes, a wide range of today’s devices can be used (PC’s, Laptop’s, Mac’s, Tablets and even Mobiles!)

Important Considerations: Over the past 7 or 8 years, Cloud Computing has really accelerated in its adoption due to two real reasons, the improved connection to the internet for home users and businesses and the advances in web technology which has changed the way we work in today’s world. As a result of this, more and more applications that were traditionally installed as “Client – Server” applications (where business would have to buy a dedicated server to run them and then a client such as a PC or workstation would connect to interact with that data) are being offered as Software as a Service (SaaS) and are accessed via a standard web browser. While Cloud Computing or SaaS has caused there to be a significant slowdown in the adoption of Hosted Desktop deployments, this is the reason that the solution is more viable than ever for SMB’s.

Conclusions:

– The technical viability for a reliable Hosted Desktop has never been better. Faster internet connections from more devices in more locations allows users to connect to business systems from almost anywhere.

– Cloud computing is here to stay and a Hosted Desktop is just one of a number of cloud offerings.

–  If you want to share line of business applications such as CRM systems and accounts applications with users who are not working from the main office then Hosted Desktop is an excellent solution

–  If your business applications are delivered via a browser (essentially SaaS) then a Hosted Desktop solution might not be needed. A simple review of your working practises and systems integration might be the answer.