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Should you use VDI in your organization? Pros, cons, and key considerations

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Are you considering using VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) in your organization? VDI is impacting the way that many businesses work – particularly with more and more employees based remotely.

But is it right for your organization? Here are the pros, cons, and some key factors to consider.

Key advantages of using VDI in your organization

Using VDI servers means that users can access their virtualized desktop for any machine. This means that VDI offers:

1. Easy access and compatibility with employees’ devices

VDI only sends basic input and output data, so it lets employees use software that wouldn’t run on their operating system. For instance, employees could use VDI to access Windows software from a Mac, or even from a Raspberry Pi or Chromebook.

This can save your organization a lot of money, as you won’t need to purchase compatible laptops for remote employees – they can use their existing devices, whether those are company-provided or personal.

2. Improved security

All sensitive customer and company data is stored on the VDI server, so company data isn’t sent through the network connection (only basic input and output data). This helps improve security – though keep in mind that the security of your employees’ devices still matters, as a cybercriminal could still potentially access the VDI through a compromised device.

3. Better performance and reduced costs

VDI servers often mean that employees will see faster performance. The VDI runs applications, rather than the user’s device, so even an older laptop or device can still work well. This can extend the life of company-provided computers, and (depending on your company policies) means you can potentially reduce costs by allowing employees to use their personal devices.

Disadvantages of using VDI in your organization

Of course, VDI isn’t the perfect solution for every organization. There are a couple of potential drawbacks that you should keep in mind:

1. VDI requires dedicated IT staff

If you’re running a small organization, you might prefer to turn to a DaaS (Data as a Service) option or a cloud based VDI rather than setting up a physical VDI server. Otherwise, you’ll need a dedicated IT team member to maintain the server, install applications, and so on.

2. High upfront cost

Investing in VDI hardware is likely to be expensive, and it can also be costly to virtualize applications. If your employees use custom, specialized applications, you may find you need to hire a consultant to organize moving them over or it may be that you need to switch to different applications altogether.

Key considerations about VDI

When you’re thinking about switching to a VDI system, it’s important to consider:

1. How will the VDI fit into your long-term plans?

If you’re expecting your company to grow considerably over the next few years, for instance, you may want to set up your VDI infrastructure so that it can handle lots of new users.

2. How will you mitigate short-term disruption?

Introducing VDI will inevitably be a little disruptive initially. You might have some outages while technical problems are discovered and fixed, or you may find that employees need more training on using VDI than you expected. Ahead of time, work out how you’ll manage the disruption – this could be something as simple as waiting until after a major client project to switch to VDI.

3. Is your IT department on board?

Switching to VDI will likely mean that your IT team will undergo significant changes. Some staff members may find that their role has changed considerably, and you may even have redundancies or need to restructure the whole department. It’s important that the department is on board and is convinced of the benefits of VDI for your organization.

VDI is a great option for many companies, allowing simplified administration and more flexibility and collaboration for remote workers. So long as you keep the key considerations above in mind, the advantages of VDI are likely to be worth it for you.

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