If only the chip shortage was a potato problem; that would help most of us beat an unhealthy craving for crisps and fries! But no – that struggle continues. The chip shortage we’ve been hearing about since 2020 is far more serious and is impacting businesses all over the world. Unprecedented demand for electronics generated by the pandemic coupled with constraints on supply stemming from a variety of manufacturing challenges has created the perfect storm that resulted in the current computer chip shortage.
One of the ways organizations large and small are experiencing this shortage is in the form of acute delays in sourcing laptops. With remote and hybrid work now the rule rather than the exception, these delays are having a serious impact on onboarding new employees and contractors, replacing outdated/broken hardware and upgrading hardware as people’s computing requirements change. Not only does this all add up to reduced productivity for the business, but the “trickle down” effect of reduced productivity is exacerbating supply chain issues. It’s a vicious cycle. Most experts see the shortage persisting well into 2022, with others having more dire predictions. Regardless, businesses need what they need – now. Here’s how to move beyond the chip shortage.
No Shortage of Cloud PCs
The punchline of this story is exactly what you thought it would be: While many IT teams are struggling with providing laptops to end users, waiting weeks for orders to be fulfilled, Workspot customers have been able to move beyond the chip shortage with Cloud PCs. Just today, a new customer told us that the hardware they had on order was 16 weeks out from delivery. Now, they can easily spin up as many Cloud PCs and GPU cloud workstations as they need, anywhere in the world, in a few minutes. This brief video shows you how easy it is to provision 2,ooo Cloud PCs across public cloud regions in under 4 minutes.
Ease and speed of provisioning is so powerful I could end this blog right here. But there’s so much more value in our SaaS Cloud PC solution. Not only is provisioning fast and easy, but making use of existing laptops and desktops – even old ones – to access a state-of-the-art Cloud PC that is always up-to-date and always secure makes a ton of sense, even when the chip shortage is over.
Cloud PC Performance Rivals Physical PCs
Beyond fast provisioning and making what’s old new again, there are many other compelling benefits of Cloud PCs, and performance that surprises and delights even the most demanding power users is one of them. We used to talk a lot about how Cloud PC performance compares to traditional VDI. VDI is infamous for many things, and crippling latency is high up on the list. Latency and the commensurate poor performance is partially blamed for curtailing widespread adoption of virtual desktops. Comparing Cloud PC performance to VDI performance is therefore meaningless, because almost anything would be better! The comparison that makes sense is Cloud PC performance vs. Physical PC performance. Our customers tell us over and over that their Workspot Cloud PCs and workstations perform as well or better than physical PCs, especially if data stores are also put in the cloud to leverage multi-gigabit network speed. So you can take any performance concerns you may have off the table.
Gain the Agility that Physical PCs Hindered
Being able to pivot on a moment’s notice can deliver a powerful competitive advantage. If your organization could respond faster to new opportunities, adapt to changing business requirements, extend your reach to new geographies, hire the best people no matter where they are located and get your product to market faster than the other guys, why wouldn’t you take that step? Moving to Cloud PCs enables all of these things, and in the context of the other benefits discussed here, it’s a pretty powerful move.
Stronger, Less Intrusive Security
The threat landscape is really out of control. It’s unfortunate that so many bad actors are pretty smart and keep coming up with new ways to challenge your security posture. It’s only going to get worse. Plus everyone knows that really good people in your organization can make mistakes too – by clicking on a link that invites malware or leaving a laptop with sensitive information on it in an airport. IT teams can’t possibly be expected to keep every PC in your global fleet updated with the latest security patches. It wasn’t possible when people came to the office, and it sure isn’t possible now with people working everywhere, outside the firewall and disconnected from the corporate network. Stuff just happens, but that stuff can cause a grievous security breach. As you evaluate Cloud PC solutions, make sure you cut through the hype and deeply understand the security, compliance and user experience implications of the solution. Cloud PC security capabilities (and limitations!) stem from the solution architecture; it’s an architecture discussion that is critical for Solution Architects to pursue.
Greater Control Through Comprehensive Observability
There’s a perception that a SaaS Cloud PC service takes control away from IT teams – that they are more in control with PCs or on-premises VDI. At first it may seem counterintuitive, but that perception could not be farther from the truth. Why? Comprehensive observability. You need it. How can you possibly know how PCs scattered all over the world are performing? How can you know if someone can’t connect to their virtual desktop, and if one person can’t connect, could that mean hundreds or thousands of people can’t connect either? How can you know that a link someone clicked on let malware in? With PCs and VDI, you’re largely in the dark, and that means you are not in control.
A key Cloud PC solution differentiator you’ll want to know more about is Workspot Watch – a sophisticated, big data trending and correlation engine that makes global Cloud PC observability easy. Data gathered via Watch drives the Workspot Network Operations Center (NOC). Workspot Watch collects millions of messages from endpoint devices, virtual machine agents, protocol gateways, enterprise connectors, and other Workspot control plane services. The data is gathered from multiple clouds, spanning thousands of locations around the globe, and hundreds of networks in dozens of regional data centers. This continuous stream of behavioral data is then analyzed so our support teams and your team can anticipate, identify and help mitigate problems that could impact your Cloud PC availability. You cannot achieve this level of observability in-house, nor can other vendor’s solutions provide this level of observability. Workspot puts you back in control.
Flexible Pricing That Actually Makes Sense
Many people don’t think about the fact that each use case has its own desktop usage profile. For example, call center personnel (when they are in an office setting) usually don’t have a dedicated desktop. It’s the perfect use case for a shared hosted desktop where different people log on and off the same machine and use one or more virtualized applications. Contrast this with a CAD engineer who needs a high-powered GPU workstation that is in use at least 40 hours per week. A third use case to consider is a developer who uses a PC pretty regularly, but also needs a second machine for occasional testing. These three use cases all have distinct usage profiles with different levels of idle time, and that idle time is costing you money.
There are so many use cases out there in the world. This is why Workspot offers a variety of pricing models so you can benefit from applying the right model to each use case. This is a primary way Cloud PCs optimize end user computing costs, so make sure to ask vendors whether they offer this kind of pricing flexibility.
It’s time to move beyond the chip shortage. Adopting Cloud PCs is the best way to be ready for whatever the future of work holds in store for us.
Ready to bounce your requirements off one of our Cloud PC experts? Let us know how we can help. Schedule a demo and we’ll show you how it works!