October 20, 2016


 
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you work for (or run) a business that’s looking to switch to the cloud. You’ve looked at cloud hosting and Hosted Desktop, as well as other methods of desktop virtualisation; such as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and Desktop-as-a-Service. At Synextra, we really think that business Hosted Desktop solutions are the future. They combine the speed and control of VDI, with the flexibility and low-cost of DaaS. Today, we’ll talk about 5 key ways Hosted Desktop can improve your business operations.

 

What is Hosted Desktop?

Hosted Desktop refers to a virtual desktop that is hosted in the cloud, delivering a full desktop to any device that has an Internet connection. Whereas a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure hosts everything onsite – including servers, network and other infrastructure – Hosted Desktop takes the infrastructure and hosts it in the cloud instead. This allows providers to distribute the ownership and maintenance costs across multiple customers, bringing costs down.

 

Businesses that don’t want the upfront costs (CapEx) of VDI, but want to retain more control and isolation than DaaS, will find that Hosted Desktop provides the best balance for outsourcing their IT. – Chris Piggott, Technical Director | Synextra

 

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1. Regaining control with Hosted Desktop:

Before the PC revolution, computers were nothing more than ‘dumb’ terminals, only able to access information from a mainframe. Terminals were granted access to specific information, that was designated by management. Once Personal Computers became capable (and popular) enough to operate without a mainframe, end users seized the opportunity to customise their desktop experience. Installing everything from toolbars to games, users ran riot – to the dismay of IT. Seeing that giving end users freedom came at too steep a price, IT looked for ways to lock down business operations.

 

Fast forward to 2016 and Virtual Desktop Infrastructures do exactly as described above. VDI locks users into a network, using features such as Group Policy to limit what they can and cannot do.

 

A Hosted Desktop takes the mainframe server and places it in the cloud instead, taking this concept one step further. OS and security patches, as well as software upgrades are all now administered by IT. Users can no longer install what they want, when they want – potentially exposing companies to data breaches via malware and other nefarious exploits.

 

With Hosted Desktop, IT finally regains control over their business’ infrastructure.

 

2. Hosted Desktop security:

Security is possibly the most persuasive argument in favour of business Hosted Desktop solutions. User carelessness is a real threat to business security, with a recent study by CompTIA finding that user error was the root cause of 52% of security breaches in 2015.

 

With a Hosted Desktop however, everything is stored securely in the cloud – with only the remote access protocol passing through the connection – allowing remote workers to access company resources without the need for a VPN. This means that users on unsecure networks, such as public wifi hotspots, can no longer expose your network to outside attacks.

 

Considering the fact that even a small data breach can cost your company thousands of pounds (as well as a damaged reputation), this is not something to be taken lightly.

 

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Remote Working outdoors

 

3. Managing Remote Employees:

A Hosted Desktop allows users to connect to a preconfigured desktop that complies with your business’ security requirements, even when they’re working remotely. Whether they’re on a company laptop on the train to a meeting, or using a personal PC at home to double-check a document, the end user’s experience will be exactly the same. This makes device-level security less of an issue. That’s because a Hosted Desktop turns any device into a temporary thin client, with everything happening within a remote session, that takes place in a secure data center.

 

Synextra’s Hosted Desktop resets after each use, meaning that any viruses, malware or other malicious code is wiped as soon as you log off.

 

This makes it far easier to support remote workers, because every user is placed in the same, standardised environment. If a user can log in to the remote session, then their device is no longer be a major variable. This makes problem solving far easier.

 

4. Cut down on technical support time:

With a standard device, IT has to gather information on; its specs, what OS it’s running, what software version it’s been updated to, what other software they have installed (such as Flash) and so on. This slows down the time it takes to resolve common user problems – such as login and software issues – because IT have gather far more information, before they can even begin to diagnose and fix anything.

 

A Hosted Desktop however eradicates these types of major support issues, because everyone is on the same playing field. This reduces the strain on the help desk, speeding up help desk resolution times. Now, although Hosted Desktop does remedy the majority of remote worker issues, the help desks can still receive issues from remote workers. These issues tend to rather predictable (and thankfully simple to solve) however, with most problems boiling down to performance or connectivity.

 

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helpdesk phoneline

 

Disaster recovery:

A worrying statistic from reseach carried out by IDC: 40% of SMEs don’t have any backup processes in place for local devices. Meaning that should the worst happen, they’ll lose all of the data stored locally on that device.

 

If a hard drive fails, you’ll lose all of your data. If you lose a laptop and are unable to recover it, you’ll lose all that data. You may even expose your company to a data breach, with one in eight admitting “that their IT infrastructure had been damaged by malware in the past 12 months, costing an average of £10,516 in time and money spent managing each incident.” – ComputerWeekly

 

However, when everything is stored in the cloud in secure data centers – and is backed up to other, equally secure data centers in separate locations – your business can implement disaster protection and recovery plans that would be; complex, expensive and sometimes even impossible to implement on premises.

 

Summary

As outlined above, business Hosted Desktop solutions can help your business manage remote workers, regain control over your IT infrastructure and save your company from expensive data breaches – among other things. Hopefully, this piece will have outlined the positives of a business Hosted Desktop solution for your business, giving you insightful facts and actionable information.

 

If you would like to talk to one of our experts about how a business Hosted Desktop solution can help your business, get in touch with our team today.