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How Azure Virtual Desktop can help you beat supply shortages

Posted by Owen Hanley on Dec 17, 2021 12:00:00 AM
How Azure Virtual Desktop can help you beat supply shortages - Business IT Sheffield

Please noteThis post was written by Highlander prior to their rebrand to FluidOne Business IT - Sheffield.

Keeping your workforce productive is never far from the top of the agenda for business leaders, and getting the most from your device estate is central to achieving this.

In an ideal world your users would always enjoy access to the latest devices and OS platforms, consistently unlocking new features and capabilities that keep them productive.

The reality, however, is that many of your users will be working with older devices at any given time. Afterall, device refresh is an expense undertaking so even the most proactive organisation will need to sweat assets for longer than they’d like. Even if you use a Device as a Service offering, you will likely be committed to using your devices for a minimum of 3 years.

Lately, device refresh has become even more challenging given the widespread stock issues continuing to impact the IT industry. At this year’s Canalys conference several of the world’s leading manufacturers all highlighted their ongoing stock issues, which are expected to extend into 2022.

This also occurs against a backdrop of restricted IT budgets, with many organisations having to reassess strategies and cut costs accordingly having made significant investments in collaboration tools and other technology to support adjusted working practices.

With all of these factors at play the focus for many businesses is shifting from how they can update their device estate to how they can get more from their existing devices without compromising the end user experience.

Lifting the pressure on legacy devices with Azure Virtual Desktop

Sweating legacy hardware delays expense, but adds risk as additional security and performance concerns begin to arise.

One way to circumvent these challenges is to remove the reliance on hardware performance all together with the deployment of a virtualised desktop infrastructure such as Azure Virtual Desktop.

Using a virtual desktop you can ensure that your users enjoy the latest OS and apps with minimal endpoint administration. It presents a number of benefits for both end users and IT teams:

1) Consistent end user experience

A major blocker for end user productivity is inconsistent device performance, but this can be alleviated with Azure Virtual Desktop.

Deployed from a centralised environment in the cloud, virtual desktops give every user access to a virtual PC powered by latest OS version, as well as easy access to all of the apps and data they need to perform their role.

Crucially, this shifts much of the compute power from the user device itself removing the reliance on localised hardware to run apps and tools. This delivers a more consistent user experience even when accessed via legacy devices which would not be able to meet the same performance standards, or potentially not even run those apps at all.

2) Shore up device security

Another common challenge with legacy devices is the increased security risks they present. Older tech, especially those running on legacy or unsupported operating systems can be more vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and subsequently more likely to fall victim to a breach.

Azure Virtual Desktop is inherently secure and removes any concerns over vulnerabilities associated with individual devices. As virtual desktops are deployed centrally, any breach that occurs at device level does not impact the virtualised environment and subsequently any of the applications or data this contains.

3) Reduce the IT admin burden

Managing applications across legacy devices can become a time-consuming process for already stretched IT teams, especially when some devices are not able to support the same OS and applications as others. Take the launch of Windows 11 as an example, where specific hardware requirements mean that many devices are not able to upgrade to the latest version of the OS.

With Azure Virtual Desktop every single one of your virtualised PCs can be managed from within the Azure portal, and every user can enjoy the same level of desktop experience using the same OS and applications regardless of their devices. Additionally, Azure Virtual desktop is delivered on a client OS as opposed to a server OS meaning multiple users can be hosted on a single VM reducing capacity requirements and cost while continuing to ensure consistent performance.

Is it time to review your device strategy?

If you’re business is one of the many undergoing a review of its device strategy then our team is here to help. We’ll work with you to assess the needs of every user and design and deploy an Azure Virtual Desktop environment that keeps your users working at their best and helps you delay device refresh and sweat your assets for longer without compromising user experience, security, or productivity.

To get started with Azure Virtual desktop, simply speak with a member of the team.

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