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5 Reasons to Empower Your Remote Workers With a Hosted Desktop

Hosted Desktop – The Answer For Remote Working

Modern businesses are all about providing incentives, and remote working with a hosted desktop certainly fits in to that category. As faster internet speeds have transformed the workplace, it’s become much more normal for employees to work wherever they can get connected.

Our love of remote working is growing fast and by 2020, 50% of the UK workforce will be working remotely. That’s a staggering figure, and it’s certainly a sea change from the days when managers wanted to see ‘bums on seats’. Now, we’re a lot more inclusive.

Giving people the flexibility to work anywhere is a good way to encourage loyalty and reduce staff churn, which lowers the burden of recruitment on your business. But in order for employees to work effectively when they’re not in the office, they need all of the same tools that they’d have access to during a normal day’s work.

How can you achieve this without reducing productivity? Simple: you give everyone the same desktop environment, no matter where they are

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Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash

Hosted Desktops: the Remote Worker’s Best Friend

The hosted desktop has a number of benefits, but for remote workers, it really is a match made in heaven.

In fact, if your employees are going to achieve peak productivity, then it’s really the only sensible way to mirror their office environment without forcing them to come in every day.

Studies suggest that remote working can increase productivity by 16 per cent, but that’s only going to happen if it’s as ‘business as usual’ when you’re out of the office.

Here are five key benefits of hosted desktops for your remote workers.

1. Businesses have realised that Bring Your Own Device is a great way to achieve two key savings:

  • Less money spent on corporate IT procurement.
  • Less support resource needed to help people with devices they haven’t chosen themselves.

Both of these are great reasons to let people bring their own device to work.

But there’s one challenge: how do you make sure that the software people need is available on every platform?

Many applications do run on multiple operating systems. But some don’t. In fact, the more specialised and important the software is, the less likely it is to be cross-platform compatible.

A hosted desktop completely removes the hassle of trying to get everything working on every machine. Everyone is working on the same platform, so you don’t have to deal with a moving target.

With a hosted desktop, your corporate software is installed on the virtual desktop, and not on the user’s device. They get the same set of applications irrespective of the device or operating system they’re using.

Finally; you can easily deploy the same software to users on Macs and PCs. In fact, someone on an Android tablet could, in theory, use the desktop software on that too.

This is a no-brainer for any company that has its own bespoke software that only runs on Windows, or for any team that has no alternative but to use the one application that does the job. Why make it complicated?

2. Fewer Licenses, and Lower Costs

What do you do if your team have desktop and laptop computers? Simple: you get a license that covers both devices, and swallow the increased cost.

Or do you?

If you have a hosted desktop environment for each user, you may only need one license for the hosted desktop they use. That makes your licensing simpler and cheaper.

And this is important when it comes to any kind of virtualized environment, because volume licenses often can’t be used. So there is a potential for over- or under-purchasing to cover everyone adequately.

If you take Microsoft software as an example, you can normally access the same software on a hosted desktop from different devices without incurring extra costs. That makes life easier.

So this approach potentially also cuts down on the tools and resource you need for software asset management (SAM). Because you have fewer licenses to track, manage, and renew, and that frees up your support staff to do other pressing tasks.

Here’s the caveat: software licensing is a complicated issue. There are many different ways of licensing software, so you should talk to your vendor directly and find out what their solutions are.

But generally speaking, there are savings to be made when getting your remote workers set up with the software they need, and it can greatly simplify the process of staying compliant with your vendor’s licensing terms.

3. Files Always Open When They’re Supposed To

How many times have you received a document created in a different version of an application, and then struggled to open it?

Small technical hitches can build up to become big productivity killers, particularly when you have to start converting files and requesting new versions of documents. You can quickly end up in a real mess.

Sometimes, you can have problems with the same application on different operating systems, too. The Mac version of a program may not be completely in tune with the PC version.

With all of your remote workers on hosted desktops, this problem is resolved. You control the version of the software everyone is using. And when a new version comes out, you decide when to deploy it. So you don’t have the issue of people drifting out of sync, and you keep everyone working.

4. Your Business Maintains Control of its Data

Without a hosted desktop, remote workers could be tempted to create their own workarounds to stay connected. For example, they might decide to use their personal Dropbox account in order to share files from their desktop computer to their laptop.

For any business, this should set alarm bells ringing.

Your business’ data needs to be within your control at all times. For one thing, consumer-grade services simply don’t offer the security that businesses need to remain compliant with the law.

And with GDPR fast approaching, personal data breaches are a serious (and potentially expensive) risk. It only takes a couple of clicks to send a Dropbox folder to the wrong person. It only takes one stolen phone to expose your business data to unknown people.

It’s also a bad idea to lose control of your business’ intellectual property. That’s the stuff that’s paying the bills: your patents, your processes, and so on. And your clients almost certainly trust you to keep their intellectual property secure.

They may even ask you to use data storage in specific countries only, and you need to be able to verify that their files are not crossing boundaries without your knowledge.

In order to avoid the use of unapproved applications — which are sometimes called ‘shadow IT’, because you can’t track or control them — it’s far better to provide a hosted desktop as part of a full business ecosystem that you control.

5. Your Whole IT Infrastructure Can Get Cheaper

Once you have your remote workers on hosted desktops, it opens up all kinds of possibilities for slimming down, economising, and improving the efficiency of your infrastructure and office space.

Take your server room, for example. Moving to hosted desktops means that you probably don’t need to keep servicing and replacing all of the servers you’ve been running. That could free up staff to work on something else.

In fact, if your employees are working remotely most of the time, you may not need the office space that you needed five years ago. It could be repurposed to provide additional breakout space, a games room, or even a huddle room for video calls. That way, your in-house teams can easily chat to workers who are elsewhere in the world.

It’s a win-win. With everyone on hosted desktops, you could cut back on the cost of maintaining or replacing old equipment, and you could also release valuable floor space. All the while, you’ve given your employees the software they need, and the flexibility they value.

Choosing the Smart Solution for Remote Workers

Remote working can be positive for employees and for the business as a whole. But it needs to be correctly managed. Sending someone home with a laptop, onto their home network, and expecting them to work productively isn’t fair to them. The right tools need to be provided first.

Hosted desktops offer security, high availability, and easy cross-platform working. You can provide the same applications to a salesperson on an iPad that you provide to someone in the office on a PC. They are the best solution, and they’re also very affordable. Remote desktops are usually purchased via a monthly subscription, so the upfront costs are very manageable, and the migration of your data will be relatively painless when you choose the right UK provider.

Now’s the time to make the move and reap the rewards. To get more information about empowering remote workers with a hosted desktop, contact our friendly sales team now on 01332 727922, or click here to get a quote online.

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