Call it what you will: a hosted desktop solution, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or just "that-thing-that-sounds-like-something-from-the-Matrix", separating a desktop environment from the physical device used to access it is becoming a vital prerequisite of any business going mobile.
Hosted desktop solutions are set in the cloud and allow employees to access their desktop, thus running company applications and data from any device or system securely. Utilising such a solution effectively means that a business can quickly overcome issues with mobile working, disaster recovery, cost control and rapid scaling.
"Our hosted desktop solution allows SMEs to have a universal experience," explains Richard Reggel, head of cloud services at WeWorkEverywhere. "They can work from their computer and it will be exactly the same experience as when they work on their laptop, iPad, iMac or smartphone, whether they're in the office, at home or on the beach in Los Angeles."
Sitting down with Reggel, he says that WeWorkEverywhere is built on Microsoft's Azure platform, meaning that the hosted desktop boasts as much performance as a laptop packing 8GB of RAM. So what does that mean?
"Every company has its own line of business applications," he explains. "They might have some specialist recruitment package or accountancy software, and because it's on Azure you can build out whatever servers you want. So you could build a SQL server, or some application and it would just link to your hosted desktop. So anything that you would traditionally do in your office on a PC with a server room, we can easily transfer to the device. Or if you want a hybrid environment where you just have your hosted desktop and a server room we can link the two up simply as well."
It's precisely this flexibility that makes the hosted desktop the Bonnie to BYOD's Clyde. As companies seek ways to implement BYOD, hosted desktops provide accessible environments for industries whose employees are regularly based at clients' sites or work outside the office. Using just a Wi-Fi connection, they can quickly access their work desktop and company applications through the secure cloud.
"With a hosted desktop, the experience is universal regardless as to what client you use to access it," says Reggel. "We see it all the time where companies are all Blackberries, put the Board want to use Apple devices, and the IT guys are pigeon holed as bad guys when they say no, but with hosted desktops the whole security piece is removed because actually all the data and all the information sit very securely on servers out on the Azure platform which is infinitely scalable and replicated between two locations."
The technology has come a long way, and as cloud technology and remote working become increasingly prominent, being able to manage this new trend will become increasingly important. In a hyperconnected mobile world, the need to work from anywhere using any device is critical, putting hosted desktop solutions at the top of the priority list for many SMEs in 2014. For more, check out the other benefits of a virtualised desktop here.