The cost of technology is getting lower all the time. Today, you can score a smart TV for a few hundred dollars that was thousands only a few years ago. Tablets, computers, and the like can all be acquired for fractions of their previous price points.

When it comes to technology spending, scoring a great deal on hardware is always satisfying. But more and more people are tuning in to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) as it might just be the smartest way you could spend your budget in 2017.

Why VDI?

Virtualizing company servers is standard practice in today’s business IT world.  In server virtualization, software is used to divide the physical server into multiple virtual environments so one machine can run multiple operating systems, reducing hardware, maintenance, energy costs, and in the end, allowing for more efficient use of capital and data center operations. That same approach combined with very efficient management solutions delivers the same compelling outcomes to the Desktop.

The sheer flexibility offered by VDI makes for happier, more productive employees and puts a smile on your CFO’s face, too, because there’s no need to buy a new PC every time a new person joins the company.  In some cases, PCs that would otherwise be obsolete (and adding to costs, as they’d need to be replaced) can be repurposed as VDI clients. So not only can you avoid the cost of purchasing new PCs, but you can stretch the usable life of your existing assets. Costs = slashed.

There’s also a substantial security benefit to VDI. Think about the risks of mobile devices and laptops. With a traditional computing setup, sensitive information can potentially be breached if those devices are lost or stolen, because some applications and data are stored locally on the device. With VDI, a thief may think they’ve found a pot of gold, only to discover that there’s no data to be had – none of it is stored on the device, but on a remote server.

Additionally, when it comes to IT management, VDI is a tremendous time-saver. By maintaining desktops for individual users or groups of users centrally, deploying updates to all users takes far less time than updating individual machines, and individual users’ settings are maintained. Likewise, rolling back to a previous stable version if there are issues with updates is also a more seamless process.

VDI is Perfect for Healthcare Clinicians

Nowhere is the impact of VDI more evident than in healthcare.  Desktop virtualization has become essential for today’s demanding electronic health records (EHR) systems where the geographic distribution of clinical operations and new client devices like iPads and other mobile devices are bringing an end to the need for traditional PCs.  Doctors and nurses are constantly on the move and VDI allows them to access the same information, the same way, whether they’re in their office, the ER, or even catching up on paperwork at home over the weekend. 

Even in cases where traditional PCs are utilized, VDI enables providers to login to their personal “desktops” using any PC in any office or examination room, access patient records, conduct necessary research, and document progress notes, all while maintaining privacy and eliminating the ambiguity sometimes associated with other systems.

New integrated capabilities like dictation and unified communications have eroded many of the initial gains offered by simple application streaming.  Whether it’s doctors in a hospital or executives in a more traditional work setting, they all demand a highly personalized experience that supports all of their unique requirements.  VDI makes it personal.

And then there’s compliance.  Business software systems are increasingly interlinked and must be kept current.  Software updates must be applied promptly to stay compliant and files must remain protected.  Virtual desktops hosted on data center servers provide greater control, availability, and manageability than distributed PCs while also ensuring there is no data saved on individual tablets or other devices that can be compromised or stolen.

So, when you’re weighing your budget demands and looking for cost-cutting measures that bolster, rather than hinder, productivity, it might be time to look at how VDI can help to cut costs across your organization. From reducing IT management overhead to cutting hardware costs and improving productivity, VDI could be the key to a healthier bottom line.