Virtual Desktops and the Office of the Future: What Type of Remote Access Do You Need?
Office work ain’t what it used to be – and with evolving technology, it isn’t what it’s going to be, either.
While some office workers (no doubt, all men) might long for a return to the days depicted in Mad Men, when every executive, no matter how junior, had a well-stocked bar and a good looking secretary (or at least that’s the fantasy), others look forward to a future where it’s ever easier to focus on the “thinking” parts of the job, and not the mechanics of how to get the job done.
A recent article in Forbes talks about “Five Trends Making Waves in the Office.” The five trends are cloud computing, improved IT user experiences, the “internet of things”, reduced bureaucracy (as routine tasks are taken over by apps), and virtual desktop environments.
As stated in the article,
VDI or virtual desktop infrastructure started a blaze that is shifting how we work in all industries. Have you ever brought work home from the office only to realize you can’t do it because you need something from your work computer? With VDI, employees can see their work desktop from practically anywhere enabling them to work from anywhere at any time. We are an increasingly mobile society and VDI enables work to be too.
Indeed, supporting workforce mobility, as well as improving the management and speed of desktop deployment, are among the most common uses for desktop virtualization. Compared with other ways of getting work done remotely, a virtual computing model can provide remote access that is both more economical and more secure.
It’s important to note, however, that not all virtual desktop / remote access solutions are the same. There’s a wide variety of solutions that offer different levels of complexity, ease of use, security, and cost. So how do you choose which type of remote access solution to implement?
Choosing a Virtual Desktop Solution
Here’s a guide to things you should look for when selecting a VDI or remote access platform for your organization:
- Feature Set. What features do you need? A basic solution (such as Microsoft’s RDP) might not offer everything you need, while a full featured VDI solution may be overkill, adding hardware requirements, complexity, and cost for features and functionality that add little or no value to your organization.
- Security. What security features does the solution offer (e.g., a Secure Gateway or VPN integration for securing the connection, support for two-factor authentication (2FA), access monitoring capabilities). Another concern is that some types of remote access solutions require users to install a client on their local device. These clients can become an exploitable vulnerability that allows hackers into your system. Thus, a “clientless” access solution is preferable from a security standpoint.
- Ease of use. Does IT have to assist users in installing, configuring or patching anything on the local device? How long does it take for end users to access their remote resources, and what happens if the connection is lost? How close does that type of remote access system come to mimicking working at the office?
- Ease of installation. How much time and effort will it take your IT department to get the system up and running? Some solutions can be installed in hours; others can take days.
- Scalability. Will the solution be able to grow as your organization grows? How much will you need to invest in new hardware when adding new users?
- Operational data. What type of operational data does the system provide? Can you get business intelligence that will help you better manage IT resources?
- Ease of management. How easy/difficult will it be for your IT department to handle routine user and resource management tasks?
No single solution from any vendor is perfect for every situation, so be sure to shop around. When upgrading your workplace to include virtual desktops for employees, we invite you to take a look at Ericom Connect. It provides all the features needed by the vast majority of organizations, while offering the security and ease of use of clientless, browser-based access. It’s easy to use, easy (and fast) to deploy, easy to manage, and hyper-scalable.