Historically, your PC had an operating system to make it work and any programs that you used were installed on top of that. This meant that everything you needed was there in front of you, whirring away on your local hard drive.
For larger companies, however, this model was a problem. It could mean hundreds of machines, all with slightly different setups, which represented a nightmare when updates were needed, even if they were distributed centrally from a server. It also made it difficult to keep track of your software licences and to know whether you had any spares available for use. This is why large companies often have large IT departments and spend a lot of money making sure these systems and updated and secure.
For small businesses, which tend to be more flexible and adaptable there’s now a better way. Remote desktop hosting allows all of your PCs, tablets and other devices to connect via the cloud to a session-based desktop. This can be used to access all of the files and programs you need, without putting strain on your local hard drive, memory or CPU. It makes life easier for system administrators too, because updates and new programs can be managed from a central control panel and rolled out instantly to all users.
Why use remote desktops?
Using hosted remote desktops offers a number of advantages for your business. First of all, there’s the fact that you can access it on any device form anywhere you have an internet connection. This makes it an ideal solution for mobile workers or people who work from home. It can increase overall productivity too, allowing people to work when they might otherwise not be able to.
It’s also much easier to make changes and adapt as your organisation evolves. “If your business is growing rapidly or you’re expecting to branch into a new sector or market where security or collaboration is paramount, then the best platform today isn’t necessarily the best platform for tomorrow. Your IT management and long term business strategy will therefore also factor into your decision,” says Dave Blackhurst from IT service provider, EvolvIT.
Hosted desktops make it easier to scale your operation as you take on more staff or your customer base expands. Because the technology is based in the cloud, there’s no need to worry about upgrading servers or adding storage. All you need is commodity hardware and an internet connection to access your systems.
There are benefits in reliability too as you are protected against server failures and your information is always backed up in the cloud. Of course, you need to be sure your information is secure, but remote desktop providers typically offer strong encryption and secure means of accessing your systems using multi-factor authentication.
Businesses are increasingly worried about their impact on the environment and hosted remote desktops can be of help here too. You can make a significant saving on your energy usage and your carbon emissions by not running servers in house and switching to the cloud instead.
In addition to the technology and productivity advantages we’ve looked at, the use of hosted remote desktops can have a positive impact on your bottom line.
The cost of managing and supporting each fixed desktop system can be as high as $5,867 USD per year according to 2018 Gartner research, but a switch to hosted remote desktops can cut the figure in half. If a typical system has a five-year lifespan then this represents a significant saving.
There are benefits to your cashflow as well; you won’t have the capital expenditure to replace in-house servers when they need upgrading. You’ll just a pay a monthly fee for the remote service. This is usually priced on the number of users so it’s easy to keep track of and control your spending. You will no longer have to worry about costly unused licences sitting on the shelf either. There’s also the issue of reliability; you can be sure that your systems will be available when you need them so you won’t lose out to unscheduled downtime.
Remote desktop working can also make your workforce more productive. Not just by allowing them to work from anywhere as we’ve discussed, but also by making collaboration easier. In ensuring that they are working on the latest and most up to date versions of documents, you can be certain that people are being more efficient and making fewer mistakes.
All of these things contribute to liberating your business so that you and your staff are free to work in the way that you want, when you want with fewer support concerns.