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Did you know that annually, businesses typically spend an average of $1,900 to own, run and upgrade each PC in the office?

I’m sure you would agree that’s a significant investment for all businesses, and none more so than SMEs. For instance, if there are 300 PCs across your business, you are looking at a half million dollar investment that could otherwise have been spent on enhancing the services you deliver.

What if I told you there was a more cost-effective option to owning and managing each PC and mobile device used across your organisation?

The answer seems more complicated than it actually is, and despite the name, ‘desktop virtualisation’ is actually a simple yet effective solution for Australian business.

Think of it like this, if a particular team on your floor runs 10 PCs, then rather than each unit operating in silo, it would make more sense for each PC to revolve around a central system. All employees can work from their individual workstations to access a centralised single and reliable operating system and set of applications only need to be updated in one place.

Switching to this system not only simplifies your office IT, but also presents great cost reduction benefits for business. For a business with 300 employees, operating each PC can cost upwards of $1,900 per unit. Alternatively, implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure which will allow each PC to connect to a central and secure datacenter, has an upfront cost of around $600 per PC, with minimal on-going costs.

Using virtual desktops also allows you to draw more value from your existing IT assets. Instead of purchasing new hardware each time a significant desktop software or application update is released, you could simply upgrade your virtual desktop environment, which can then be accessed via the same workstations you were using previously. This ensures you can rapidly take advantage of the latest software at a fraction of the cost.

What’s more, once you have set up a central system through desktop virtualisation, your employees will be able to access the central system whenever they need it, anywhere, anytime, and on any device. With more employees bringing their own smartphones, tablets and laptops to work, virtualisation makes it simple to remove the device management from IT, giving employees more flexibility around how they work. With desktop virtualisation, flexibility and security also come hand-in-hand, as allowing access to applications and data from a central host will mean sensitive materials are shared and contained in a secure environment. If a device is lost, it’s also possible for company information to be wiped clean to avoid sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.

Virtualising your desktop environment with a validated solution, which has been designed, lab-tested and fully documented has the advantage of being able to easily scale to meet the changing needs of your business. For instance, you can securely and rapidly conduct system upgrades or add applications across all PCs simultaneously by making small adjustments to the virtual environment. This means that if you have been contemplating an upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8, rather than enduring a lengthy process and the costly price tag associated with upgrading each workstation individually, virtualisation allows each PC to be upgraded in one go. Onboarding a new team, employee or contractor can also happen in minutes.

For many businesses today, desktop virtualisation is a critical component of their mobility strategy. It empowers the workforce to access their work PC environment regardless of the workstation they are using, meaning employees can work from anywhere as long as they are connected to the internet, allowing for flexible work styles and improved business resiliency – in the case that an employee is unable to get to the office. With businesses increasingly looking to equip the workforce with the tools they need to work on the move – and reap the potential productivity benefits – virtualisation is a great way to get these strategies rolling, while making cost savings.

Today, there should be no reason for businesses not to virtualise their IT environments. The cost equation has changed, and as a result has unlocked a whole host of benefits for organisations of all shapes and sizes to take advantage of, and we can’t wait to see how you make it work for you.

David Nicol, Director of Field Sales, Citrix.