Remote working is gaining tremendous demand due to Covid-19 crisis. Businesses are becoming more flexible than ever by allowing their staff to work remotely using their own devices i.e. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
For this, businesses are leveraging hosted desktop [aka cloud desktop, desktop as a service (DaaS), virtual hosted desktop or cloud based desktop] so that they can allow their staff to access required business and productivity apps, files & folders, contacts, emails etc. over the cloud.
As per “The State of Technology at UK SMEs” report by IT services provider OGL Computer reveals that
With 57% of respondents planning to drive business efficiencies and profitability through increasing adoption of cloud computing, coming second only to more use of collaboration software:
- Increasing the use of applications such as Microsoft Office 365, Teams, SharePoint etc: 59%
- Increasing the adoption of cloud computing: 57%
- Investing in effective backup and disaster recovery solutions to ensure business continuity: 55%
It also mentions the Top five technologies that are currently being used by SMEs. Cloud / Hosted Platforms ranks 4th with 66%
- Cyber security: 79%
- Data and analytics: 78%
- Digital transformation: 74%
- Cloud / hosted platforms: 66%
- Internet of Things: 59%
What is a Hosted Desktop?
So the question is: What does a Hosted Desktop mean? In simple words, it’s nothing but a desktop hosted in the cloud. Basically, it’s a managed internet based solution that allows you to host all your business apps with data on the cloud in a secured way and access them remotely from any device, anytime, anywhere.
It allows flexible working and consolidates all of the tools an organisation uses in one place offering consistency, reliability and access to all applications, even legacy ones in the same location.
It is also known as Virtual Hosted Desktop or Cloud Based Desktop or Desktop as a Service (DaaS).
How does Hosted Desktop work?
The way a Cloud Desktop or Desktop as a Service (DaaS) works is similar to any standard computer desktop. However, rather than installing all the web shortcuts and applications you need on your local device, they are installed on the desktop in the cloud. This removes the need to work from a specific device, allowing you to work from any location and on any device that has a large enough screen.
Hosted Desktops also remove the requirement for the local device to be managed by your IT department or Managed Service Provider, although if you choose to manage the local device as well that is also possible. Just remember that as all your applications are in the cloud there is very little remaining to manage on your local device, reducing local IT costs. This way of working also works well when the device being used for access does not belong to the organisation using the Hosted Desktop service called BYOD or bring your own device.
Some more interesting facts to know:
- As per IWG research study 2019, in the past ten years, 83 percent of US businesses have introduced a flexible workspace policy, or are planning to adopt one.
- In Staples Workplace Survey 2019 report, 80% of remote workers experience less job stress
In FlexJobs’ annual survey, it was found that 65% of respondents are more productive in their home office than at a traditional workplace.
What are the benefits of a Hosted Desktop?
- Remote working
Businesses can now allow their employees to work remotely from home or from any location. This provides more flexibility, increases productivity, job satisfaction and employee morale.
- Reduced IT Infrastructure & maintenance costs
With hosted desktop solutions, you don’t need to purchase expensive servers, significantly reduced maintenance costs, save money on salaries, server room space and electricity bills.
- No more hassle
No pain of handling IT infrastructure maintenance and troubleshooting, software upgrades, antivirus management, security patches, all this is included.
- Reliable data backups
Get automatic backups – which are tested at regular intervals to ensure that they work.
- Better security
Everything is stored in highly secure data centres with encrypted remote access.
- Easy to scale
Gives you flexibility to scale your requirements as you grow and pay as per user or usage.
Is a Hosted Desktop secure?
Yes, it is. All reliable hosted desktop service providers will not only provide better security features, but also higher reliability and availability – to ensure that all your data is safe and made available when you need them.
How much does a Hosted Desktop or Desktop as a Service (DaaS) cost?
Well, pricing of DaaS or Cloud Desktop depends upon several factors like how big your organisation & current setup, what all applications you use, what no. of users you have, all amount of data you store, what kind of support services you sign-up for etc. Prices might vary from service provider to service provider. But, in general it’s typically charged per user per month.
When is the best time to move to a Hosted Desktop Solution?
The answer is now. Whether you are a startup or a SME – looking to expand, wish to focus more on business over IT infrastructure and want to reduce overall IT investment costs should opt for a hosted desktop solutions.
Hosted desktop providers will offer full assistance to safely migrate from traditional setup to hosted environment in a secured way.
How to choose the Right Hosted Desktop Provider?
Every business is different and so are their requirements. Best way to pick the right Desktop as a Service provider for your business is to ask the right questions during the evaluation phase.
Below is the list of 10 questions that you should ask to hosted desktop providers:
- Tell us more about your hosted desktop services and solutions and how you help our business?
- What kind of skills and experience does your team have? Do you have domain knowledge for which industries?
- Please explain the entire process of migrating to a hosted desktop environment.
- How do you charge for hosted desktop service? What’s all included?
- What migration costs are involved?
- What kind of support services do you offer?
- How much time do you need for hosted desktop migration?
- What types of business applications, software, services etc that you host and provide support for?
- What about scalability? How easy is it to scale up and down?
- Please share details about data security, data backups & disaster recovery services with the process on how you handle it?