Many folks declared 2020 the year of the cloud desktop, due in no small part to the onset of the pandemic and the pressure it placed on businesses to implement more flexible IT systems.
But even with 2020 having come and gone, there remains plenty of reason to believe that cloud desktops will remain critical for the foreseeable future. The pandemic may finally (hopefully) be ending, but the benefits offered by cloud desktops will remain very relevant in a post-Covid world.
With that reality in mind, here’s a look at four reasons why cloud desktops continue to be a valuable solution in 2021.
1. Ongoing remote work
The slowing down of the pandemic means that more workers have the option to return to their offices. But many won’t, at least not on a full-time basis. Remote work is here to stay, according to most analysts.
Indeed, a survey by the National Association for Business Economics found that only 11 percent of businesses expect all of their employees to return to pre-pandemic work arrangements in the near future.
For businesses, then, providing desktop environments that can be accessed from anywhere and at any time — as cloud desktops can — remains a priority in 2021 and beyond. The pre-pandemic world, in which most employees spent all of their working hours at their on-site workstations, is not coming back.
2. Increasing compliance challenges
The regulatory compliance landscape is growing more and more challenging by the year. As new compliance laws come online — such as Brazil’s LGPD, which took effect in late 2020, and California’s CPRA, which goes live in 2023 — businesses face new requirements surrounding data security and privacy.
At the same time, enforcement of existing regulations is intensifying. GDPR fines increased by 40 percent in 2020, for example, a trend that is likely to continue for some time.
For businesses, increased regulatory challenges mean that protecting private data is becoming more and more important. Cloud desktops help to meet these challenges by eliminating risks associated with physical device insecurity. They also make it easier to centralize data in the cloud, where it can be secured in a more consistent and standardized way than if it were spread across sprawling on-premises workstations. And they provide greater control over data sovereignty: With cloud desktops, you can store data in one region while making accessible to employees in another, a feat that can’t be achieved using traditional desktops and local storage.
3. Growing IT costs
The overall costs of IT resources continue to rise. Gartner forecasts a 6.2 percent increase in IT spending in 2021, which comes on top of the investments businesses made in 2020 to respond to the pandemic.
As IT spending continues to spiral, businesses must work harder to ensure they can control costs and maximize return on investment. Cloud desktops, which can be deployed with no capital expenditures and can be turned off when they are no longer needed, offer critical cost advantages in this respect. They also provide organizations with desktop environments that can be used indefinitely, with no maintenance costs. In contrast, physical workstations typically last only a bit longer than five years, and they require constant maintenance.
For businesses seeking to keep IT costs in check, then, and to ensure that they reap a full return on their IT investments, cloud desktops offer a clear advantage.
4. Everything else is in the cloud
More than four-fifths of organizations already host the majority of their workloads in the cloud. That’s a trend that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
For businesses that host virtually everything else in the cloud, it only makes sense to move desktop environments to the cloud as well. Doing so ensures that desktops don’t undercut the organization’s ability to take full advantage of the agility that the cloud enables.
In other words, when your desktop infrastructure is as scalable, flexible and cost-effective as the rest of your cloud-based workloads, your business can live fully in the age of the cloud, without traditional workstations dragging you down.
Conclusion: Cloud desktops are here to stay
Even as we look forward to a post-pandemic world, the trends that made cloud desktops an obvious answer to the challenges businesses faced last year are not going away. The need to enable anytime, anywhere work, meet tight compliance and security requirements, optimize IT spending and take full advantage of the cloud all mean that cloud desktops remain a powerful solution for 2021 and beyond.