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Cloud VDI or More Real Estate? Your Next Office Should Be in the Cloud.

Workspot is growing – fast – you can really feel it when you enter our office (back in the good ‘ol days of face-to-face working!). More people were being tightly wedged into the available office and desk space every day. Conference rooms were booked solid, and the noise level kept growing and growing; most of the time that was exciting, and at times it was distracting. Just like that, we have grown out of our office space – a really nice problem to have!

CFOs are Rethinking Real Estate Investments

So given the current environment, what’s a CFO to do? Invest in more real estate? Well, in a recent survey of 317 CFOs by Gartner, 74% said they “will move at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions post-COVID 19.”  It seems that remote working, long doubted as viable by many organizations, continues to be proven an effective, perhaps now preferable, way to work. While the primary driver at this time seems to be a cost-cutting measure that can help avoid personnel cuts and other belt-tightening during this economic downturn, the flip side of remote work holds promise too, and that’s why it may make sense for your next office to be in the cloud!

The Perception and Reality of Working from Home

During our Workspot & Microsoft webinar series that some of you may have attended, we regularly poll the audience on a variety of topics. One question we have been asking lately is “What concerns you most about remote working?” Let’s just say that perception is definitely not always reality, especially when it comes to remote working. Let’s explore the top 2 answers, because this is the flip side of viewing remote work as a real estate cost-cutting measure. The 2 “concerns” that come up over and over in our polls are some of the best reasons to move to cloud desktops: Productivity and security. The flip side of cost-cutting is about growing and protecting the business. As we try to anticipate what our new normal is going to be like, it seems to me that the future of work has to be a natural flow between in-office and remote working. Remote working should not be “a thing”. COVID-19 aside, it makes sense that during the regular flu season, for example, there would be far less opportunity for transmission if people work from home if the nature of their job allows it. Now that we’ve had a crash course in remote work, easing into this combination of face-to-face work and remote work will be easier. Workspot cloud desktops give you the flexibility to make the switch back and forth, office to home, completely seamless.

Number 1 “Concern” – Productivity

During our webinar polls, every time we ask the question ‘What are your biggest concerns with remote working?”, performance/productivity always comes out on top as the biggest concern. Clearly it’s primarily this perception that has stymied many organizations from allowing remote work. It certainly isn’t the technology that is the biggest roadblock. It is really interesting that the idea that people will be less productive at home persists when most of the evidence points to the contrary. Numerous studies have shown that companies realize greater productivity from their people when they work at home. In 2019, Airtasker surveyed 1,004 employees, 505 of whom worked remotely. What they found was a combination of significant personal and professional benefits, including saving on fuel costs and improved health. They also found that remote employees worked 1.4 more days per month than office workers. That adds up! I’ve also found that anecdotally, people believe they are more productive. My personal experience is that I am definitely more productive. Additionally, Workspot customers tell us they are seeing productivity gains during the COVID-19 stay-at-home directives, validated by an increase in billable hours. And importantly, studies have found that people value the flexibility to work from home so much that they are willing to go the extra mile – to work evenings and weekends – so they can continue enjoying this privilege. A company’s willingness to offer remote working also helps with hiring and retaining great people. Workspot cloud desktops make all of this possible.

Number 2 “Concern” – Security

In our polls, security is usually the second biggest concern about remote work. It’s interesting because it’s pretty well accepted these days that the major public cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure, can do a much better job securing your data than your in-house IT team could ever do. Microsoft invests millions and millions of dollars into security for Azure, and most CIOs feel confident about these capabilities. Even when we think about legacy VDI, many IT teams made the move because it improves security – although they had to make some pretty serious tradeoffs, such as performance!  So the poll results tell me that the people answering the question are going to be pleasantly surprised at what is possible today, and why they no longer have to make difficult tradeoffs. If you’re not using VDI today, you were really under the gun to support remote work, and you may have implemented a stop-gap measure such as RDP, in which case you should be concerned about security. If you’re using RDP to allow your users to remote into their physical desktops, we should talk. Unlike other vendors, Workspot delivers more robust security because of the way we architected our solution. We’ve talked a lot about our design decision to separate the control and data planes, and security is one of the top reasons for that approach. Your data never crosses our control plane. We can’t see it or access it.  Your data stays off of endpoints that can be lost or stolen, and it stays safely in Azure. This fortifies your Zero Trust Security posture. So improving information security is one of the best reasons to transition your physical PCs and on-premises VDI to Workspot cloud desktops and workstations on Azure.

Time to Downsize All that Infrastructure?

Workspot on Azure alleviates the top concerns about remote working, but the value goes way beyond improved productivity and security. Massive value is derived from greater agility and the ability to scale quickly to meet business demands, especially as the economy begins to rebound once the pandemic is behind us. Business continuity capabilities strengthen your BC/DR planning and execution as well. Workspot customers were able to have their employees productive from home in hours. For all these reasons, infrastructure, both the IT and the real estate variety, is overhead that makes little sense for many organizations today. So before you open that next branch office, let’s talk about what your “office in the cloud” looks like, how quickly it can be live and supporting your employees and contractors anywhere in the world, and what business opportunities it can actually create.

Ready to learn more? Let’s discuss your unique requirements; just schedule a demo and discussion here.