Hosted Virtual Desktop: How it Can Work and the Scariest Issues

Hosted Virtual Desktop: How it Can Work and the Scariest Issues

What is a hosted virtual desktop?

A hosted desktop is a computer desktop located on a server or computer in a remote or cloud location that you can that you work at like it's your own. You can sit down in front of any computer, log onto your hosted desktop, and have the same work environment anywhere from multiple devices.

This works really well in situations where clients have multiple locations and they need to provide a consistent experience across those locations. It’s also good for companies with clients or employees that move between locations.

We work with a very large dermatology practice, for example, where practitioners, nurses, and technicians move from one office to the other. They need to be able to walk up to a computer, log in, and have the exact same experience in the Riverside office as they do in Corona or Redlands, for instance.

Hosted Virtual Desktops in Response to Covid-19

With Covid-19, we've had several requests and conversations with clients about hosted desktops.

One client in particular had about 85 users in a brick-and-mortar building for many years. Covid forced them to send their employees home. We used some technologies to allow those employees to connect to their computers that were in the building so that they could work remotely.

It worked so well that the client came to us a couple of months later and said, "Hey, this is working really well. We don't think we need this building anymore. We're gonna let the lease go. Can you move us to the cloud and hosted desktop?" And the answer was yes.

We were able to move that entire company to the Microsoft Azure cloud with a hosted desktop. Now their employees work from home. They all work in a consistent environment. The data is secure. We don't have to worry about various different applications and data being stored on individual people's computers. It's all stored in one central location.

In that particular case, it enabled that company to cut costs dramatically and shift the way they do business to better serve their customers.

When Covid happened, everybody had to pick up their desktops and move them out of the office. It was like yarn, all these balls of yarns in different colors going all sorts of different directions. And data security was a big concern.

As an IT company, you want to ensure that the business is safe. During COVID, all of these devices are leaving the building and you don't have that control.

Managing Data Across Hosted Virtual Desktops

Having a hosted virtual desktop also puts the CEO's mind at ease. In the scenario above, we managed the data and kept it secure, because it's still in one location. All those balls of yarn aren’t going to people's houses.

When we executed the hosted desktop seamlessly, it generated peace of mind for everyone. And that allowed the owners to say, "Wow, this is great. We're don't have to do this anymore." So much weight was off of their shoulders because we were an effective team for them.

Planning For a Seamless Transition

The planning is what made that successful. In-depth planning that included looking at their business process and all of the applications they were running.

Many things had to be considered to see if they could work with hosted desktops. Not every application will work in a hosted desktop. Legacy applications they've been using for years, for example, may not have the technology to support that environment.

In this particular case, we made some adaptations, but we planned and tested everything before we launched, which is really what made the transition successful.

Switching Between Hosted Virtual Desktops

We've worked with other clients, however, who ask for a hosted desktop and are already on a hosted desktop.

We had one situation where the client didn’t like a hosted desktop’s performance. There were various aspects of that hosted desktop environment that limited the way they could do things and the software that they could use.

They asked us to move them to a newer hosted desktop and fix the problems they were encountering. But when we looked at the environment they were in, it didn't make sense for that client. Almost everything was in the cloud already, and there was really no particular reason to keep them in that hosted desktop other than that's the way they were used to doing it and they were reluctant to change.

As it turned out, and we honored their request, even though it was against our recommendation. We put them into that environment, and encountered the challenges that we knew we would encounter, and tried our best to make it work. And we ended up moving them to our original recommendation, which was out of the hosted desktop. The lesson is that good candidates for hosted desktops depend on workflows and the environment the business needs.

A Virtual CIO Can Bridge the Gap

In other words, not every story is a success story. But many situations work out because people take advantage of our virtual CIO experience.

When clients listen to us and they take our expert advice, we have the ability to plan for them. We can tailor the environment to ensure that it works for their business.

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In the situation above, it seemed like the previous provider pushed them into a box that didn't fit. They felt limited, and they felt frustrated. Without that vCIO experience, they had to look at everything on their own. And in this case, they were really adverse to change.

It ended up being a success story in the end. We got them there, and now they’re getting comfortable having a vCIO provide knowledge rather than forcing them to fit in a box that isn’t right for them.

If you have any more questions about how hosted virtual desktop works or how it may work for your business, please contact us.