The novel coronavirus has hit the entire global economy severely. It has upended businesses and lives to an extent nobody had ever imagined of. It compelled some of the most powerful nations of the world to go on out-and-out lockdown, pushing the entire world to an unprecedented situation.
With close to 1.2 million people already dead across the globe, the fight is still going on. The United States alone has about 9.08 million of the worldwide 45.5 million infections, as we compose this piece of information.
The pandemic has also caught most of the global businesses seriously off guard, bringing a majority of them to a screeching halt. All of their business continuity and disaster recovery plans have fallen short in containing the consequences of the COVID-19. While the Work from Home (WFH) wasn’t anything unknown for a few sectors, some had to adopt it for the very first time. There were still some business sectors, especially those associated with manufacturing and production, who could not operate amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organizations that were already familiar with the concept of remote work had the challenge to implement it on a very large scale, something nobody had done or ever expected. Even the most competent organizations were unprepared for the unprecedented remote work situation. That is where cloud computing came to the rescue. Powering the hosted desktops and work systems for hundreds of millions of users across the globe, it emerged as the true savior for them in these extremely demanding times. It enabled businesses to swiftly move to the remote working strategy that ensured a minimum business loss and uncompromised productivity.
“As per the data accrued by Snow Software, about 82 percent of the surveyed IT leaders confirmed the ramp-up of the cloud as an immediate response to the coronavirus situation.”
What is a Hosted Virtual Desktop?
A Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD) is a virtual machine that acts as an interface via which users can connect to data and applications stored on a central server. The central server could be an on-premise data center or a cloud server hosted by a Cloud Service Provider (CSP). An HVD that connects to a central server hosted on a cloud is also known as a cloud-hosted virtual desktop.
In order to work remotely on his/her virtual desktop, a user requires a system having a connection to the internet. Each hosted desktop is listed as a Virtual Machine (VM) on the central server and offers the end-user an experience that is identical to a machine that has all the applications and data stored locally. This indistinguishable experience offered by a hosted virtual desktop makes remote working easier, smoother, and productive for the users.
Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a model of desktop virtualization where the virtual machine is hosted by a cloud-based backend server offered by a third-party cloud service provider. It is the most flexible form of a hosted virtual desktop and takes lesser time to deploy, compared to all other desktop virtualization options. DaaS is also easily scalable and does not require server or data center investments.
Similar to other cloud-based virtual desktops, DaaS offers many of the common advantages of cloud computing. Some of the most general benefits it offers include supporting varying workloads and fluctuating storage demands, on-demand access to all the information and applications via any device having a connection to the internet, irrespective of the geographical location of the user, and usage-based pricing etcetera.
How Has the Hosted Virtual Desktops Benefited Millions of Businesses During this Pandemic?
Enabling virtual, remote access for hundreds of thousands of employees across locations, the hosted desktops have been the knights in shining armor for millions of businesses around the world. They have been a boon for many of the business sectors who otherwise would have no option but to absolutely shut all their business processes and operations due to the novel coronavirus.
If not for the hosted desktops, the corporate world would have been completely disrupted. With businesses shut, billions of people would have been pushed to unemployment. It would have created a horrible plight for the entire world. But, thankfully we are on the other side of the discussion, analyzing ways in which the hosted desktops have saved millions of businesses from turning to rubble, and eventually helped us all avoid their dangerous consequences.
The following are the advantages of the hosted virtual desktops that helped businesses during this COVID-19 pandemic:
1 Remote Working Flexibility
Flexibility in the workplace had been on the rise even before the coronavirus hit the world. It is something that every modern business wants to achieve and why not? It gives employees a great amount of satisfaction as they are able to work as per their convenience, and at the same time helps businesses maintain high productivity, a win-win situation for all.
But, ever since the pandemic has struck the earth, businesses were in dire need of remote work capability, that too on an unprecedented scale. The much-needed business competence was provided by the virtually hosted desktops. An HVD offers instant, remote access to all the required resources for all the employees to enable a business to run close to its full potential, even out of office.
Employees are able to work on their complex, high-end applications simply using their internet-enabled devices. It has given the businesses not only the opportunity to be operational amidst the pandemic but has also provided the employees the freedom and flexibility to work as per their comfort. The night owls can pull all-nighters, while the early birds can get done with their work by noon, both ensuring the productivity of the business. It has been possible only because of the flexibility that the hosted virtual desktops provide.
2 Reduced Operational Costs
The hosted virtual desktops are ensuring business operations during these difficult times, while at the same time curbing the operational costs. Hosted desktops eliminate the need to invest in costly desktop computers and hence, also removes the recurring maintenance expenses. Given the remote access and flexibility offered by the HVDs, one may think of them to be expensive. However, the truth is that HVDs can be accessed using normal internet-connected devices, which make them extremely cost-efficient.
As the majority of the computing tasks happen at the hosting cloud server, there is no requirement to re-invest in hi-tech systems for the employees. Even the obsolete systems can be useful to access the hosted desktops to continue operations. Further, the requirements of setup, migration, maintenance, etcetera are taken care of by the hosting service provider. This eliminates the requirement of having a dedicated IT maintenance team.
Hence, the hosted virtual desktops have enabled businesses to shift to the Work from Home (WFH) strategy without burning their pockets, which is a great economical advantage in these difficult times.
3 Data Security and Protection
A business may enable remote working, but if the strategy adopted to do so is not secure and protected, then it is destined to be doomed eventually, due to the ubiquitous security threats. Hosted virtual desktops, in addition to offering remote work capabilities and being cost-efficient, offer greater security and protection. It is a huge advantage for modern businesses relying on the remote working strategy.
The data and resources stored on the local systems in offices can easily get corrupt or lost due to hardware failure and other catastrophic events. On the other hand, in an HVD, the data and applications are stored on the cloud, or other remote servers that are more secure and protected. Also, most of the businesses use cloud-based virtual desktops where the cloud hosting service provider incorporates sophisticated data security strategies like multi-factor authentication, data encryption, intrusion detection and prevention system, etcetera. All of these strategies ensure data safety and protection.
Moreover, in an unfortunate event of data loss or theft, cloud-hosted desktops have a modern backup and recovery plans in place to restore critical business data.
The security aspect brings great relief to the businesses relying on hosted desktops for operating remotely. That way, they are sure of the privacy and protection of their important business data, that otherwise, is subjected to great security threats in this world of the internet.
4 Better Control and Easy Updates
It is always difficult for a business to restrict unauthorized access by its employees on the on-premise systems. The hosted virtual desktops have enabled it to restrict an employee’s or a team’s activities. It has given them better control over their resources as they can easily manage the access provided to various users.
Moreover, the application patches and security updates are only required to be installed on the central server, and hence, employees do not need to update the individual systems that they are using to access the virtual desktops. It saves businesses from huge trouble as it would have been difficult for them to do so in the middle of this dreadful situation.
5 Focus on Core Business Activities
Managing a business is no walk in the park. It involves all kinds of hassles from hardware-fixing to application failures. It is a great hurdle for business owners as they are not able to focus on their core business processes. However, with the hosted virtual desktops, business owners can hand over their system requirements and configurations to the hosted desktop service providers who work round-the-clock to ensure your business operations.
Thus, the hosted virtual desktops also help business owners to invest their energy in core business tasks and future strategies to ensure business growth and profitability.
Today, when the world is fighting one of the deadliest virus attacks ever, hosted desktops are letting businesses run at full throttle. The above-discussed benefits are the reason why they are being considered the champions during the times of the novel coronavirus. They have not only ensured the businesses are operating in difficult times like these but have also proved that the ease and benefits they offer make a business more agile and efficient. Hence, the hosted desktop technology is one for the future and should continue witnessing great growth even after the world is free from coronavirus, hopefully soon.