Virtual Desktops: The Future of Business?

We’ve all heard plenty about the growing popularity of Cloud computing, but in many workplaces, employees are still connecting to servers via a traditional desktop or laptop PC. Mobile device use allows employees to connect directly to the Cloud, but there are still many employees chained to a desk all day. Think of the many receptionists, call center operators, customer service technicians, and similar workers for whom a tablet doesn’t make sense. For those employees, the future is likely in the virtual desktop.

The Basic Concept

The concept makes more sense than the current mode of operation in many businesses. Instead of purchasing a $600-$1,000 PC and associated software for each PC, businesses run everything off one central server, assigning each worker a designated piece of space. It’s an internal Cloud that centralizes everything. Instead of moving from PC to PC to install, update, and troubleshoot software, IT professionals can control operations from one central place, potentially even offsite. Security is also a benefit to virtual desktops, since workplaces no longer have to worry about desktop malware.

So what’s stopping all of this innovation? Believe it or not, expense. The software that powers all of this technology, VMWare, is notoriously expensive, prohibiting most enterprises from deploying it. The good news is, VMWare seems to realize this limitation, having announced recently that they’re working to streamline costs in order to make the technology available to the masses.

Cloud-Based Virtualization

Cloud service providers are also catching on to the potential of virtualization. These much larger companies are able to deploy the software directly to users, without an on-site server required. Virtualizing desktops can allow them to work side-by-side with the same mobile devices a business’s traveling employees are using to access those same servers. As Cloud providers race to be the first to offer these solutions to businesses of all sizes, those companies that aren’t yet Cloud-based will continue to gradually migrate operations to the Cloud. This migration will prepare them for the day virtualization becomes a part of their business model.