Cloud Desktops: What’s Good for IT is Good for the Business

It hasn’t always been the case that IT teams’ needs align with business needs. For enterprises, there has always been tension and tradeoffs: IT simplicity vs. user performance; data security vs. user productivity; IT resource allocation vs. business ROI, and so on. Turns out that cloud desktops alleviate much of this tension, and that’s what I want to explore today.

I’ve been traveling the last couple of weeks, both to industry conferences and customer sites. In the many conversations I had with business leaders and  IT people in a variety of roles – CEOs, CIOs, IT managers and desktop admins – one thing became perfectly clear: IT teams have never been in a better position to influence, if not drive, business strategy and growth.

Cloud-First Initiatives Get Real with Cloud Desktops

Most of our customers arrive at our doorstep with a cloud-first strategy but limited in-house cloud expertise. For these organizations, the business strategy has dictated that cloud-based solutions are to be considered first before any further investments in on-premises solutions are made. As IT teams evaluate their options, they often quickly realize that moving desktop workloads to the cloud is “low hanging fruit” in their cloud-first execution strategy. Of course, there are a few ways to approach a cloud desktop implementation. You can find a Managed Service Provider, who will run someone else’s cloud desktop solution for you, you can choose a legacy VDI solution that is hosted in the cloud or go with a cloud-based “Broker-as-a-Service” product, or you can choose a cloud-native, turnkey, SaaS solution.

Most of our customers also have prior VDI experience, so they are familiar with the challenges and the tradeoffs I mentioned above, and they are ready to move on. Primarily they want greater simplicity and flexibility, and they need to improve performance to keep users happy while also better-securing data. With end-of-year legacy VDI renewals looming, it sure is a good time to explore your options!

Simplicity

Simplicity comes up over and over, whether I’m speaking with a prospect or an existing customer. Enterprises need to simplify desktop management, whether it’s physical PCs they’re managing or on-prem VDI. The complexity of both models is just not acceptable in this crazy, fast-paced world we live in. I spent some time with one of our customers, C & S Companies, where Workspot has dramatically simplified IT. They no longer have to open a branch office to support new employees or a new project. The company makes use of shared work environments, such as WeWork, as often as possible, and of course, people now work from home too. What’s unexpected is that even their CAD users can work wherever it makes sense and they get great performance; they are no longer tied to an expensive, inflexible workstation. Now they have “a Workspot”, and everyone wants one. The number of help desk tickets has gone down, and as the C&S IT team was released from spending so much time maintaining on-prem VDI, their new-found time is being applied to better support other aspects of their IT mix and being more responsive to their users. You can access a webinar featuring CIO Eric Quinn talking about his journey and how IT “went from OK to awesome” with Workspot. This is what a turnkey SaaS solution delivers to IT.  For the business, providing a great user experience and remote work support makes for happy users and employee retention. Simplicity for IT now means great performance for users!

Security

Lately, we’ve been talking about Zero Trust Security and how cloud desktops can support it. This is one place where the rubber really meets the road. There are a few aspects to consider. The days of managing endpoints really must end because it’s a losing battle. IT has lost control over the myriad devices people use to get work done, and that’s a scary reality because just one unpatched PC can introduce the opportunity for a massive security breach. VPN use is another potential security risk. Both issues are good reasons to move desktops to the cloud, but here’s where you really need to do your homework. The architecture of the cloud desktop solution really matters. I can’t emphasize that enough. When you combine Workspot’s cloud-native architecture, which separates the control and data planes, with Microsoft Azure’s highly secure network backbone and cloud services, you have a cloud desktop solution that is more secure than any other vendor’s cloud desktop solution. That’s powerful stuff. Whether it’s better securing intellectual property for a manufacturing customer, client data for law firms or healthcare information for hospitals and clinics, siloing and protecting that data in keeping with a Zero Trust Security model requires a cloud desktop solution that separates the provisioning and management components from customer data flows. Period. And there’s only one. Workspot. This is how you get to robust security without ever impacting user productivity. Users don’t have to do anything special; they get to enjoy a seamless experience that just works, so they can just work too! No more tradeoffs between security and user productivity. Now both can be even better. Take a deeper dive into how Workspot’s architecture uniquely fortifies security in this joint webinar with Microsoft.

ROI

Out with the IT cost center and in with the IT growth-enabler center! There are so many stories out there about IT investments in enterprise software that just never paid off for the business. For this and other reasons, IT has been a cost center. Now you can change that story. Thie new story is about an IT investment that completely overhauls the way computing resources are delivered to users so the business can easily accommodate new opportunities. It’s the story of business agility. In this story, IT teams are the strategic enablers of business growth. For example, our AEC customers engage in acquisitions quite often. Imagine having to integrate/reconcile multiple IT systems. They don’t have to do this anymore. Now their corporate data is stored securely in the cloud, and it’s accessed by secure cloud desktops and workstations. New team members can have a cloud desktop in minutes and get to work, accessing everything in the cloud. Our large enterprise customers are supporting remote workers, whether employees or contractors, more cost-efficiently because they can work anywhere – no branch office or expensive IT equipment needed. This means that new business opportunities can be pursued and supported anywhere in the world. With Workspot, the ROI is realized pretty quickly in most cases. Our customer, Dudek, grew the company 300% with the same staffing levels after implementing Workspot. CIO Brian Nordmann discusses that in a brief video here. And now, instead of spending time on a high-maintenance VDI system or trying to keep track of thousands of endpoints, IT teams are enabling the business to be more agile than has ever been possible, and the ROI comes not only from cost savings and resource reallocation but also from new revenue opportunities. With Workspot cloud desktops, IT is producing ROI from what they are not doing, and also from what they are now free to do.

With the end of the year approaching it’s a great time to re-evaluate how you’re delivering Windows desktops to your users. Request a demo, and let’s explore how to put IT in the “growth” business in your organization!