How to Use Azure Virtual Desktop to Improve Flexible Working

The pandemic gave ordinary people a peek into the intricacies of IT and how remote working works. Well, sort of.

For the first time, users saw IT departments under pressure to implement remote working solutions that most had never heard of or used before. Friends bragging about their systems and others complaining about theirs! Questions we never thought we’d ask were being batted around daily.

Why can’t I take my computer home? What is Azure Virtual Desktop? Why are we using Zoom instead of Teams?

So, now we’re out of the chaos, these solutions are sticking around. Along with Zoom and Teams, Azure Virtual Desktop was one of the most successful solutions for pandemic-era flexible working.

Let’s look at why that is and how it can benefit users and businesses in the long term.

What is Azure Virtual Desktop?

Combining the resources of Microsoft’s Office 365 platform with the cost benefits of the Azure platform, the Azure Virtual Desktop provides an adjustable remote desktop without any of the infrastructure needs of an on-premise solution.

Virtual machines can simplify IT asset management with users not requiring their own assigned company assets. The department can implement a BYOD policy with only virtual assets tracked where necessary. (If they want to, it’s not to everyone’s taste!)

Use Cases

So we know what it is now, how can it help improve flexible working?

Use it to publish applications to only a few of your users, restricting access and making it impossible to access data they don’t need to see. Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) can be easily implemented, ensuring your data doesn’t reach the prying eyes of those that don’t need to see it.

Separate your employees based on region, applying customized controls based on their head office. Legislation in places like the European Union is very different than working with North America or MEA.

Flex the compute power up or down based on a departmental need. A CAD department needs much more computing power than an HR department, so you can allocate the resources based on their requirements, flexing up and down where necessary.

Are you testing a new piece of software? Sandbox it in your virtual environment and see how it runs with your working applications without affecting live data. The virtual desktops can be spun up for testing environments and closed down or deleted shortly afterward.

Like Being At Work, Anywhere

Since the pandemic provided most companies with an accelerated journey to flexible working, working from anywhere has never been easier.

Changing a PC could be a nightmare with a physical machine. Still, with a virtual desktop, your profile follows a user wherever they login in, taking their files, programs and desktop with them, simplifying the process of working remotely for both user and the IT department.

Virtual desktops can remove the pain of assigning machines as hot-desk or not-desk. The virtual machine means no useless machines taking up precious desk space in your office as you adapt to flexible and hybrid working.

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