Companies that rely on a number of different computers face a challenge. How do you give users the freedom to access all the tools the computer has to offer while also limiting their ability to change the way that computer, and the network it is linked to, operates. Too much control, and the computer becomes an expensive calculator. Too little, and you run the risk of getting a virus infection, disabling critical systems and throttling whole networks.
In the past, companies relied on terminal servers to create a standardized desktop environment in which employees had access to all the things they needed and none of the things they didn't. These were effective, but both employees and employers complained about how restrictive these environments were. Simple, inconsequential changes to reflect user preferences required time-consuming administrative approval. The balance between security and usability was off.
Managed desktop hosting has solved many of those issues. A managed desktop is a server-based desktop environment that is standardized, but also customizable. End users have much more flexibility to adapt their desktop environments to reflect their personal preferences and the needs of their job. Business owners and IT experts still have final administrative control, but they also have less of a maintenance burden because end users do not have to make constant requests for changes. Some of the other benefits of using a managed desktop include:
- The ability to instantly add new desktops to your network with zero downtime.
- Inexpensive deployment of new applications.
- PC Refresh cycles of five or more years instead of two or three.
- A familiar desktop environment for end users.
- Remote access from anywhere.
- The ability to immediately add computing power as needed.
What is so convenient about managed desktop hosting though is the way it shrinks your other IT needs. By creating a standardized environment that you have total control over in which all your desktop computing takes place, you can easily manage every aspect of your IT infrastructure. Installing updates is simple and immediate, and when every computer in your network receives them, you know that there are not any overlooked weaknesses or vulnerabilities. Data security is vastly more reliable when every machine is protected equally and users have limits on their ability to download software and change system preferences. Plus, when every user works in the same managed environment, it is easier to provide fast and effective support should there be problems.
With a managed desktop solution, important but tedious IT tasks are all handled from a remote helpdesk at your IT service provider. With a minimum amount of effort on your part, your desktop computers run at peak performance. To learn more about how managed services can benefit your company, read our white paper “The Small Business Guide to IT Outsourcing.”