If you hadn’t heard of cloud desktops before the pandemic, you probably have by now. Cloud desktop services are among the fastest-growing niches within cloud computing, and analysts believe that more and more workers will rely on cloud desktops to do their jobs going forward.
But what will the actual adoption process look like as more organizations embrace cloud desktops? Will it take months or years for most businesses to get cloud desktops fully up and rolling, as it does with many other types of cloud services?
The answer may surprise you. In many ways, the cloud desktop adoption lifecycle is simpler and more flexible than the adoption lifecycle for conventional cloud services. Businesses can move their employees to cloud desktops in days or weeks, not months or years. Just as important, they can scale cloud desktop infrastructure back down almost instantaneously if their needs change.
If your business wants to take advantage of cloud desktops, but you are worried about a slow and complicated adoption process, read on. As this article explains, cloud desktop adoption is much simpler than you may think.
What is the cloud adoption lifecycle?
The cloud adoption lifecycle is a concept that describes the phases organizations go through as they migrate to most types of cloud-based technologies. Those phases include:
- Evaluation of cloud services.
- Implementation of a small-scale proof-of-concept.
- The planning of a broader cloud strategy.
- Implementation of the broader strategy.
- Ongoing expansion of cloud environments, including possibly the extension to include other cloud platforms.
- Cloud maturity, which happens when the organization has fully achieved the benefits it sought from the cloud.
Fig. 1: A representation of the phases in a cloud adoption lifecycle.
Every organization’s cloud adoption path is different, of course, so you should think of the cloud adoption lifecycle as a basic outline of the steps that companies typically take rather than a strict script. Still, it’s a useful concept for thinking through the ways that companies actually go about taking advantage of the cloud once they have set their minds to it.
The adoption lifecycle for cloud desktops
Traditionally, the cloud adoption lifecycle centered around simple cloud computing services, like storage and virtual machines. Companies moving to those technologies generally follow a cloud adoption lifecycle similar to the one described above.
When it comes to cloud desktops, however, the adoption lifecycle can look very different, in two keyways:
- Speed: Because companies can launch fully managed and professionally supported cloud desktops in a matter of hours, they can complete the adoption lifecycle in days, not months.
- Flexibility: One of the powerful advantages of cloud desktops is that businesses only need to use them (and, by extension, pay for them) when they need them. They can scale up or down, vertically, or horizontally, with ease. This is not so much the case with other types of cloud services, where it’s hard to move VMs back on-prem, for instance.
Both of these features mean that companies can quickly adopt cloud desktops when they need to scale their desktop infrastructure quickly — as many did during the Covid-19 crisis, for example — without the long planning and proof-of-concept phases that form part of the conventional cloud adoption lifecycle.
Crisis and cloud desktop adoption
Indeed, part of the reason cloud desktops are currently experiencing explosive growth is that their easy adoption cycle makes them an ideal solution for companies struggling to maintain continuity in difficult times.
The Covid pandemic is one obvious example of a situation in which rapid cloud desktop adoption enabled companies to cope with the situation by extending their desktop infrastructure very quickly to support a remote workforce. Not only did cloud desktops allow businesses to keep their employees productive when they could no longer work on-site, but cloud desktop services also ensured the security of business data and applications. Rather than asking employees to work from personal devices that are difficult to secure, businesses were able to turn to cloud desktop platforms that are centrally monitored and managed to ensure security.
Beyond Covid, cloud desktops are also a safeguard against more mundane disruptions, such as data center failure that could be caused by monsoons or other extreme weather events. When desktops run in a public cloud like Azure, they can be hosted in data centers located anywhere in the world. If one region — like northwest India, for example — is impacted by severe weather, cloud desktops can be moved almost instantaneously to a different data center that exists in a separate cloud region to protect business continuity.
Businesses may choose to gain even greater levels of continuity by taking a multi cloud approach to cloud desktops. A company could choose to leverage cloud desktops from both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure or any public cloud platform, for instance, in order to maintain desktop availability in the event that one of those providers experiences a disruption.
Rapid adoption with minimal investment
Adding to the agility of cloud desktop adoption is the fact that cloud desktop services like Anunta’s Cloud Desktops are priced using a pay-as-you-go model. This means companies pay only for the desktops they need, when they need them. There is no fixed term or upfront investment required.
Thus, for businesses that want the option of scaling their desktop infrastructure up rapidly, when necessary, but don’t want to tie up enormous capital to guarantee that scalability, cloud desktops offer a compelling solution.
Conclusion: Why cloud desktops are here to stay
It’s easy to see how the easy and flexible adoption process described above makes cloud desktops an obvious choice for businesses seeking to navigate the ongoing uncertainty that they face at present.
By making it possible to scale desktop infrastructure up with the flip of a virtual switch, while at the same time avoiding major capital investments or long-term contracts, cloud desktop solutions such as Anunta’s Cloud Desktops offer a fresh take on the meaning of cloud adoption.