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Driving Collaboration with Cloud Desktops During the New Normal

Real-time collaboration with Cloud Desktops across disparate teams is a significant issue.

Given current events, most organizations have found themselves forced to quickly shift to remote work and find new ways to work effectively together. While working from home has had some positive business impacts, with many companies reporting an increase in employee productivity, the long-term implications for businesses are still unknown.

Reduced commutes and quieter environments can create more hours for people to work, but business leaders must begin thinking about how to foster the ongoing collaboration that will drive the future of their business.

The current work-from-home mandates enacted in many states are unprecedented, but even once restrictions are lifted, many executives plan to continue support for remote work in many areas of their business. The implications are far-reaching.

With fewer people in the office, company floorplans can be reimagined with fewer desks and more space for collaboration. Commercial real estate will likely feel the impact as organizations consider downsizing their office space to save on costs. But before these changes can happen, companies must find the right combination of tools and culture to truly embrace remote collaboration and ensure ongoing employee productivity – wherever they work.

Because the pandemic required such a rapid response, many IT organizations logically tried to leverage their existing technologies, like VPNs or on-premises VDI, to provide access to additional users. But these technologies were designed to address specific workloads and they don’t scale effectively – resulting in poor performance for end-users. Increasing investment to expand these technologies doesn’t make sense in the long term, when it’s likely some percentage of the workforce will return to the office. IT leaders are also re-evaluating remote work in the context of longer term IP security concerns and data management challenges.

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The pandemic highlights the need for a new approach

Real-time collaboration with Cloud Desktops across disparate teams is a significant issue.

Whether employees and contractors work from home, the firm’s headquarters location, a branch office or a project site, the reality is that people are more mobile. They need to be able to work anywhere and collaborate effectively with project teams. The old-school way of replicating multi-terabytes of data across multiple branch offices for geographically dispersed teams is prohibitively expensive and unsustainable.

However, there are some key best practices that organizations can implement to create a common data environment that will enable new levels of collaboration, productivity and agility.

The transformational potential of cloud desktops

Cloud desktops enable users to access their desktop, files and business apps in the cloud, from a variety of devices. Cloud desktops drive the kind of transformation that creates new possibilities for growth. They give companies greater agility to respond to new opportunities while providing exceptional performance – sometimes better than a physical desktop.

Cloud desktops make supporting remote work easy, whether people use them as their “everyday” desktop or cloud desktops are activated in minutes and used during a business disruption. They also improve collaboration within enterprises and across joint venture project teams, improving time-to-market, product quality and customer outcomes.

All this adds up to a powerful transformation that creates the potential for new opportunities, competitive advantage and business growth.

A great aspect of cloud desktops is that implementing them now is more than just a short-term strategy to get you through the current pandemic. Some DIY approaches to remote desktops can be less reliable, and the performance can be dissatisfying for users, so it’s wise to choose carefully and take a long-term view. The most important thing for IT teams to learn as you navigate your way through this current crisis is that cloud desktops represent a new and better way to manage your “everyday” desktops and workstations.

And as an added bonus, they improve your overall business continuity and disaster recovery execution, today and for whatever lies ahead. Organizations can create pools of “standby” cloud desktops that are always kept up to date but are not activated until the IT team deems it necessary.

Prepare for the Future

The current health crisis offers many lessons. One is that for organizations in which business can be conducted via computer, working from home is not only possible but can be more productive. Another lesson is that in order to maintain the same or greater productivity, organizations must support and expand collaborative capabilities.

Legacy VDI and other older technologies cannot offer the performance and ease needed to create an always-available virtual desktop experience that enables collaboration and greater efficiency without greater IT complexity or lavish expense.

Cloud desktops provide agility and high performance – and if configured correctly, stronger security, too. All of these factors create an advantage that lets you keep working while your competitors scramble to find a work-around in emergency situations. Don’t look at cloud desktops as a short-term solution, and don’t wait until the next crisis to implement them.

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