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What is Remote Working?

Remote working is one of the fastest growing trends in modern workplace. It is a way of working outside of the traditional or physical workplace, using digital technologies such as Virtualization (applications, desktop, network), virtual networks, Cloud and AI.

How is remote working beneficial?

With remote working, organizations can save more as the need for office space, desktop infrastructure and travel is reduced.
Remote working helps organizations to be prepared in the event of any disruption by enabling work from home option and keeping the business operations up and running.
Employees can work flexibly from anywhere and at anytime using any device, improving employee satisfaction and productivity.

Along with many benefits of remote working, organizations must consider providing seamless communication and collaboration, uninterrupted access to enterprise applications, and better data security.

As organizations struggle with business disruptions and workforce safety, remote working has become ‘the new normal’, ensuring business and economic continuity for current and future emergencies. A recent Gartner survey revealed that at-least 48% of employees will work remotely as compared to 30% before COVID-19.

Organizations are establishing permanent work from home policies that are sustainable, secure, and scalable to adapt to the long-term changing needs of businesses. The right digital workplace technology for work from home can reduce infrastructure and operational costs and reduce carbon footprint while providing a flexible working environment leading to higher productivity. Adopting virtual desktops can provide employees with secure access to data and applications while enabling them to communicate and collaborate from the convenience of their homes.

What is Desktop Virtualization in Cloud Computing?

Desktop Virtualization is a technology that empowers end-users with a virtual computing environment across devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phone, etc.) and locations thereby delivering a consistent user experience. It ensures a secure, highly available, cost effective desktop infrastructure wherein, end-user desktops are hosted on a centralized server, while ensuring maximum control and security over access and usage of desktops by end-users.

For enterprises, Desktop virtualization offers the following benefits that support their workplace transformation strategy:

  • Device and Location Independence :

    When we talk about future workplace, organizations must strive to provide absolute work flexibility to their workforce. This means work must be independent of location or device. Virtualization ensures availability of user desktops across several devices and geographically spread locations enabling seamless access to data and applications. This not only helps in improving employee productivity but makes it easier to implement BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) type policies.

  • Cost Optimization :

    Most transformation projects start with cost as a key metric to success. Desktop virtualization brings down the Capex investments associated with hardware refreshes. Virtualization solutions are not only cost effective on a TCO basis but can also provide opportunities to convert Capex into OpEx if required.

  • Robust Security :

    Most business or industry verticals are governed or regulated by stringent compliance and security protocols. Complying with all such regulations is essential for business viability, specifically for sectors like Banking & Financial Services and Healthcare. Virtualization provides a computing environment that is highly secure as all data and applications are hosted on the central server and can be monitored and managed centrally.

  • Low Energy Consumption :

    Since organizations are becoming more responsible and sensitive towards environment sustainability, the CXOs are also looking for alternative options for lowering power consumption. Virtualization brings down energy consumption by use of Thin Clients /Zero Clients which require a little processing power and has lower electric power and cooling requirements.

Digital Workplace is about empowering users with data and applications while ensuring zero business interruption across locations and devices. Organizations need to provide a highly flexible and agile environment to users, wherein they can rapidly access data and applications specific to their work, while the IT teams seamlessly manage the backend including frequent updates and patches without any disruption to end-users.

Some of the goals of a Digital Workplace are as follows:

  • Adopting digital technologies like Cloud Collaboration to improve employee engagement and collaboration
  • Enhancing security protocols and easy features like Multi-factor Authentication & Single Sign On
  • Using Content Management tools or applications to share and manage the content in the knowledge repository

This digital transformation of the workplace is now significantly accelerated by COVID-19. The almost-overnight demand for work from home and rapid change in business model by adoption of digital technologies has driven the need for collaboration tools like video conferencing and underscored the need for virtual desktops, cloud-based applications and other hallmarks of the new digital office.

We see

  • 64% organizations in India are expected to increase demand for cloud computing”
  • Cloud market is expected to grow to 295 billion by 2021 at 12.5% Compounded Annual Growth (CAGR)
  • It is estimated that the Global Digital Workplace Market size would reach $44.9 billion by 2026.

How to choose the best hosted virtual desktop provider?

There are multiple virtual desktop providers – the major players being Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix. You can consider the following factors or parameters while choosing a hosted desktop provider:

  • Availability: The provider must offer a near to 100% uptime and reliability of the systems.
  • Security: The data accessed by the provider must be secured and protected.
  • Industry Compliance: The workload supported by the provider must be compliant to industry standards like HIPAA, PCI. The provider must have deep domain experience in regulated environments.
  • Performance Requirements: Based on the usage, you must ensure that the provider is capable to meet your specific performance requirements. High end usage like graphics-intensive applications, such as computer-aided design, editing, will require a graphics processing unit (GPU) as part of their hosted desktop configuration to achieve the desired level of performance.

Organizations are increasingly adopting cloud infrastructure for remote work. The IT teams or the MSP need to monitor the cloud infrastructure environment, which includes the health status, availability, and the performance of the devices in addition to detecting and rectifying the issues. There are different desktop and application monitoring tools to monitor cloud-based infrastructure.

Anunta’s EuVantage® is a patented SaaS-based AIOps platform for End User Computing infrastructures that simplifies the management and delivery of virtualized desktops and applications, whether hosted on private or public cloud. Its unique differentiator is its analytics, the cross-domain visibility and correlation it generates and the overall end-user-centric approach, which results in up to 70% reduction in Mean-Time-To-Resolution (MTTR). EuVantage provides on-demand, end-user-centric view of the application delivery infrastructure, adaptive analytics and smart dashboards for actionable insights, and actionable reports enabling proactive management.

What is the difference between DaaS and a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)?

The following table describes the difference between DaaS and VDI:

VDI DaaS
Hosting Desktops and applications are hosted on the organization’s own servers and data centers. Desktops and applications are hosted on a cloud service (public or private).
Investment Invest huge amount on infrastructure (such as data centres, servers, physical spaces) and resources to manage the infrastructure. Avoid the huge upfront investment of infrastructure and resources and need to pay only for services consumed.
Deployment Deployment is complex and time-consuming. Flexible and faster deployment.
Geography Proximity to data centre is highly important to prevent end-user performance issues arising from high latency and low bandwidth. Supporting geographically distributed end-users is easier as data and applications are stored in cloud.
Upgrade & Maintenance 3-4 Years of Refresh Cycles Easily re-configurable
Scalability Adding new desktops is a tedious process. Scaling up can be done within minutes.

Remote working is no longer optional as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has pushed global organizations to quickly adopt the new ways of working. As the focus shifts from office cubicle to the comforts of home for work, employee productivity, seamless communication and collaboration, accessibility to enterprise applications, and data security emerge as the primary concerns for most organizations. Organizations will have to choose the right technology that is sustainable, secure, and scalable to adapt to the changing needs of businesses in the long-term. Here’s an infographic that shows the major trends in workplace technologies.

Cloud Adoption & DaaS Adoption | Workplace Transformation Trends

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