Cloud desktops - also known as virtual desktops, hosted desktops, or Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) - virtualize everything that loads when the user powers up a PC. It presents their whole computer, set up how they need it, on their preferred device.
Organizations usually purchase licenses for virtual desktops hosted by a vendor, and employees can log into their virtual desktop from a device of their choosing, making remote working a more viable option.
Although the principles of providing a desktop experience remotely are similar, there are differences between cloud desktops and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). VDI is served through on-premise servers, with the infrastructure and deployment managed by internal IT teams. VDI has much higher upfront costs as it requires an investment in the servers and storage needed, as well as ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs.
Business benefits of cloud desktop service
Like most cloud services, there is little or no on-premises infrastructure that a business has to invest in to get started with cloud desktops, and there's no costly hardware to maintain. The as-a-service model also means that costs are usually on a subscription model, making them predictable and easier to manage. Employees can be given secure access from anywhere on any device, but because the data and desktop are stored elsewhere, even if they lose their laptop, there's nothing to steal from it, so there's no security breach.
Cloud desktops make remote working much simpler, as setup just involves verification and login, without the need for additional hardware. A setup like this is particularly useful when there are interruptions to travel such as snow days or transport strikes, as workers can carry on as normal from home.
Collaboration and file sharing are another benefit to businesses. Cloud desktops are a step further than cloud file sharing applications, in that the entire interface is stored and delivered through the cloud rather than just files, but it brings the same collaboration benefits that many file-sharing services also deliver.
Having a centralized backup of files and data is another benefit of cloud desktops, making disaster recovery much faster through remote back-up. For business use, it's important to choose a service that is strong on security and collaboration, and is designed for intensive business use.
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