What is cloud desktop and why should I care?

Cloud desktop has been the IT buzz word on people’s lips for the last few years. The benefits of cloud desktops are well-documented (link to blog), but many organisations still haven’t adopted the technology which could boost productivity, keep them agile and enable mobile working throughout the business – something that most organisations strive to achieve today.

In this blog, we explain what a cloud desktop is but more importantly, why you should care. We answer the top questions we most commonly get asked:

• How can using cloud desktops benefit my business?
• Why is it worth my investment?
• What return will it offer my business?

What is cloud desktop?

Like the name suggests, a cloud desktop is a computer desktop that is accessed in the cloud. All your files and apps are stored in the cloud instead of on a physical device. This means that you can work on a range of devices and from any location. Essentially, your data, files and apps ‘live’ online instead of on a hard drive. They’re totally secure, and because they live in the cloud they’re backed up regularly.

The benefit of this for your users means they are no longer tied to a single device or desk, overcoming that all to familiar situation when your users arrives at work and they have left their laptop at home. IT teams then have to scramble around to find a spare device, clone the users profile and spend time setting it. Invariable there are important files and programmes that the user will need that wont be on this spare.

Is a cloud desktop the same as VDI?

Not quite. Cloud desktops are hosted by a third-party in the cloud, which means there are no on-premise servers or infrastructure for the customer. A VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) is hosted on-premise and deployed by a company’s in-house IT team. Because the company pays for servers, storage, upgrades and maintenance, VDIs are generally more expensive than cloud desktops.

Why should I care about cloud desktops?

Cloud computing is fast becoming the norm for businesses because there are so many benefits associated with it compared to the traditional on-premise IT infrastructure. Desktops are no exception. All businesses are looking to save money and improve productivity; cloud desktops deliver both. Here’s how:

1. A cloud desktop can save you money: Using a cloud desktop provided by a third party means your business can avoid the costs of on-premise hardware and infrastructure. You also pay for your desktops on a per user, per month basis which gives you predictable spend and means there’s no overspend on unused desktops.

2. A cloud desktop includes regular updates: Because your cloud desktop is managed by a third-party, you don’t have to perform updates and upgrades yourself; it’s all taken care of for you. Plus, this is included in the monthly subscription charge, so there’s no additional costs. You’ll always been on the latest version and you don’t have to do anything yourself. You can save time, money, resource and let your internal IT teams focus on what matters.

3. A cloud desktop makes mobile working easy: Cloud desktops let employees access their desktop from anywhere, and on any device. Because the desktop is stored elsewhere, not on the device itself, it doesn’t matter if the device is lost or stolen, and there is no risk of a data breach. This is especially useful for staff who need flexible working arrangements or in unforeseen circumstances like adverse weather which stops staff getting to work.

4. A cloud desktop is flexible and scalable: Cloud desktop licences can be added and removed as needed which makes it a really flexible option for growing businesses. The per user per month basis means you only ever pay for what you use.

5. A cloud desktop means files are secure: Disaster recovery is easy and fast because data and files are stored in a centralised database and always backed up.
These benefits mean there is a compelling business case for moving to a cloud desktop. Adopters of cloud desktops are often at a competitive advantage because they can stay agile and adapt to the changing needs of their business, their customers and the industry. Cloud desktops are also more environmentally friendly because the company uses less energy and carbon emissions are lower.

A 2018 report produced by Microsoft Corp. and WSP shows that using the Microsoft cloud can significantly reduce carbon and energy emissions compared to on-premises datacentres. Using the cloud can be as much as 93% more energy efficient and 98% more carbon efficient, with the cloud having reduced energy and carbon emissions compared to every on-premises deployment scenario.

I’m interested in cloud desktops for my organisation – what now?

Desktops can be migrated across multiple platforms with little or no disruption as part of a well-planned and executed migration performed by experts like Core.

If you think a cloud desktop could be beneficial for your business, we can help. Our Desktop as a Service solution puts your users on cloud desktops and manages every aspect, from migration to ongoing support. More information on the benefits of cloud desktops can be found in our series of desktop blogs.

Ready to see how you could benefit from Desktop as a Service? Try Core’s solutions calculator now for your personalised package options and an instant quote.

Lucy Wright
Lucy Wright

Lucy is Core's Senior Copywriter and is responsible for creating content within the Marketing team. She began her copywriting career in B2C ecommerce before moving to the IT sector. A journalism graduate, Lucy has written for publications in Spain, China and the UK.

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