Constantly evolving technology often leaves businesses of all sizes battling to remain ahead. Keeping desktop PC users up to date with software and patches can be a mammoth task, particularly in the larger businesses, and that’s not even taking into account the time needed to set up and provision any new users.

“More and more businesses are turning to desktop virtualisation as a means to keep their employees well equipped while keeping costs down,” says Richard Vester, director of Cloud Services at EOH. “This is particularly good for the bottom line in tough economic times.”

He says desktop virtualisation offers a myriad benefits, including considerably lowered maintenance costs. “The advent and proliferation of the cloud has allowed organisations to shrug off the traditional, machine-based computing model, and employ virtual desktops instead.”

Vester cites several benefits that desktop virtualisation brings.

“Firstly, there is flexibility, because adopting desktop virtualisation lets businesses provision only a few types of desktops to their employees, meaning that desktops don’t need to be provisioned for each and every individual. This saves huge amounts of time, and adding new staff takes a matter of minutes. Moreover, the IT admin can manage the desktops though a single interface, as a whole.”

In addition, he says desktop virtualisation assists with mobility and BYOD.

“Many businesses permit their staff to work remotely and from their personal devices. Provisioning these devices is time consuming, tricky and expensive, and allowing users to do this themselves opens up a whole new can of security worms. By using desktop virtualisation, employees are allowed to access all the applications they need, by allowing hardware-based GPU sharing through a secure connection irrespective of the device being used, and regardless of the network.”

Over and above this, desktop virtualisation boosts security, he adds. “Employees are known to engage in risky behaviour, such as downloading funny videos, opening suspect attachments, or clicking on links in unsolicited emails. Through desktop virtualisation, the tech manager can set specific permissions, preventing documents that contain malicious software from entering the network.”

Speaking of maintenance, Vester says desktop virtualisation removes the vast majority of the headaches associated with traditional desktop maintenance.

“A virtualised environment is far easier to maintain. At the close of business, when the user logs off his or her machine, the desktop can be reset which erases any customisations or downloaded software the user may have added. In this way, there is nothing to clean up, and the computer suffers no slow-downs or lags. Any problems, and a quick reboot will restore the desktop.”

Finally, he says desktop virtualisation brings numerous cost benefits, mainly due to massive savings on hardware and software. “Licensing requirements are far less, lowering the costs of applications too. There are also reductions in staffing costs, as fewer people are needed to manage and maintain a virtualised desktop environment.”

By using virtual machines, companies can save a fortune, lower complexity, improve security and flexibility. “It’s a no-brainer in my book,” concludes Vester.