It’s true that not every company should be using VDI. More to the point: Not every employee should be using VDI. Yet more companies and users are finding a lot to like about virtual desktop infrastructure. The key is matching VDI with the people who will benefit most from the technology.
With VDI, a desktop operating system is hosted within a virtual machine running on a centralized server. Companies that implement VDI can expect to see, among other things, reduced costs and improved system security. If you are trying to deploy VDI in an environment in which end users either can’t or don’t want to make use of the technology, you won’t reap any of the benefits.
Before evaluating VDI solutions, perform a needs and process assessment across your user base. Your goal is to determine which groups will benefit most and earliest from virtualization. As part of the assessment, a survey of end users should collect data uncovering:
- Which applications and services employees access including when and how they access them
- Which people are power users versus casual or less technical users
- The extent to which users work remotely and for what purposes
- The age and type of hardware people will use to access virtual desktops
Beyond a VDI-readiness assessment, which some VDI providers offer, consider conducting face-to-face discussions with a sampling of employees. Ask questions such as, how the individual uses devices and PCs for work and if they have any concerns about using a virtualized desktop.
Once you have collected all of this data, segment users into groups, based on their potential to benefit from VDI technology. Any deployment should start with the path of least resistance—the group (or groups) of users who are most ready to leverage the technology.
The common wisdom used to be that VDI worked best for people who typically work onsite and who perform low-impact and/or predictable tasks: think call center agents or help desk personnel. For power users, such as salespeople, graphics professionals, C-level execs, VDI was considered too slow and inflexible.
However, with the cloud and software-defined infrastructure such as converged architecture, VDI has evolved to the point that it can benefit most the very people who once were drawn to it least. Further, certain industries--including finance, healthcare and government--are increasingly moving to VDI for its security, streamlined management and cost-savings benefits.
Underwritten by HPE, NVIDIA and VMware.