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The PC Knockdown: Will Cloud PCs Take the Title?

Boxing fans (I am definitely not one!) will recognize the reference in this blog’s title. As much as I abhor the sport, the term “knockdown” seems particularly apropos when we examine what’s happening as desktop workloads increasingly move to the cloud. The traditional PC is taking some blows; in boxing three knockdowns is a technical knockout. Is a PC TKO coming?

In 2011, Marc Andreessen famously said “Software is eating the world!”  There are so many ways his prediction has come true. We read books on our smartphones and tablets, we press a button on an iPhone to light our way, we navigate by asking Siri or Google for directions. We don’t carry special purpose devices or a bunch of paper any longer. All of these capabilities are software-driven today.

Software is Now Eating the PC!

The same is now true for personal computers.  Software is eating the PC! With so many enterprise applications being served up from the cloud, it was only a matter of time before desktop workloads went to the cloud too.  The modern PC is now delivered from the cloud as a software-as-a-service solution, with the operating system, applications, CPU, GPU, massive memory, fast solid-state drives and networking interfaces all provided in the cloud. This transition from physical to SaaS PCs is accelerating – and with good reason.

There are clear advantages to cloud PCs, and they are driving widespread adoption. Can physical PCs keep up? Or will they join the paper map, the bank teller and the hardback book and be replaced by software and cloud services?  Modern desktop-as-a-service is now a SaaS solution, from Workspot, Amazon, or Microsoft. These solutions are vastly different, and IT teams will want to spend the time to understand each approach to ensure complex enterprise requirements can be met.

Better Security

Security is a top concern for all IT professionals and business leaders. Especially now with so many people working from home and distributed around the world, disconnected physical PCs are out of reach of the IT team. Trying to apply the latest security patches and OS updates to thousands of physical PCs around the world is complex, time consuming, and frankly, almost impossible, because so many devices are out of IT’s control. Failing to patch even a single PC creates risk to the organization.

Conversely, cloud PCs come with major security benefits. Cloud PCs are never lost, never dropped, and never stolen. They are always connected to the Internet, so IT teams can easily control when to apply the latest security updates, and it’s all executed from a central location, dramatically simplifying the process of securing company data. An added benefit of centralizing data files in the cloud, close to your cloud PCs, is that end users are happy because everything runs faster and they don’t have to worry about tedious backups.

Additionally, some solutions, such as Workspot, offer 24/7, global monitoring that can quickly identify a possible security problem, helping to keep your cloud PCs up and ready for use.  IT teams must inquire about monitoring capabilities because of the added protection they can offer.

Together, these sophisticated security capabilities allow IT teams to rest easier because data is centralized, plus the full force of cloud PC, as well as public cloud security measures, are in place – and that reduces overall risk.

Greater Business Agility

Here’s a substantial cloud PC advantage: It takes minutes – rather than weeks – to provision cloud PCs in multiple regions globally. That’s a powerful driver for agility, giving you the edge when it comes to responding to new opportunities – wherever they arise. Cloud PCs give you the freedom to hire the best people, wherever they reside. Onboarding is fast, and people can be productive anywhere. Improved business efficiency and lower TCO are part of the agility formulas as well. With cloud PCs, you’re never under provisioned or over-provisioned; you’re precisely provisioned and flexible so you can meet ever-changing business demands.

Furthermore, unlike the CapEx of physical PCs, some cloud PCs offer flexible pricing models to suit individual use cases. These include hourly pricing and shared usage models to optimize price/performance.

This new level of agility afforded by cloud PCs is a sea change for enterprises seeking a competitive edge and growth opportunities beyond prior boundaries. Together, these advantages add up to an agile business that is ready for anything!

Unlimited Performance

Another PC knockdown? Once a physical laptop or desktop is configured and shipped into the world, the clock begins ticking on its 3-to-5-year refresh cycle. And with every tick of the clock, that PC is degrading, becoming slower and slower, annoying its owner and sabotaging productivity. On the other hand, cloud PCs are “evergreen”, which means the CPU, GPU, memory, storage and network speeds are continuously being updated with newer, faster, and innovative components so your cloud PC gets better over time – not worse.

Cloud PCs are also tuned for each use case and should be placed in the cloud region closest to every user so latency is virtually undetectable, delivering outstanding performance to end users. Even power users such as CAD engineers love the performance! Our customers have told us many times that their Workspot cloud workstations exceed  the performance of their physical workstations. That’s pretty impressive, and it’s a requirement for power users. For use cases where large data sets need to be accessed, such as in Manufacturing, Life Sciences and in Design/Build firms, using a local device with a VPN connection is usually inadequate when speed counts, while a cloud PC will access large, local design files and the internet with gigabit speeds. The best possible file access times are a productivity boost for everyone, especially as teams collaborate.

It’s Time to Modernize Enterprise IT

Today we are on the path to software-defined everything, including the PC. End users simply grab their device of choice, whether it’s a personal tablet or smartphone, or a company-issued, low-cost laptop or thin client, they connect to their cloud PC and they get to enjoy the freedom of anywhere-productivity.

It’s time to modernize enterprise IT and make the transition from physical PCs to cloud PCs. Greater business agility, stronger security, and stunning performance users love might just mean that the physical PC is going down for the count.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo and we’ll show you how Workspot’s Enterprise Desktop Cloud™ platform  can transform IT in your organization.