How to Get the Best ROI from Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

12/29/2014 • by Josh Topolski

There are a number of benefits associated with switching to a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). However, before you decide to take that plunge, it’s probably prudent to weigh the costs and the return on investment (ROI).

While VDI can increase productivity, decrease hardware costs and improve flexibility, it might not be the most cost-effective method. You have to consider the financial burden of purchasing new hardware or repurposing your current resources. That’s why determining your ROI prior to switching to a VDI is in your best interest. Here are some tips to help you make the transformation effectively.

Choose VDI Products with Low Infrastructure and Licensing Costs
Small businesses might find the cost of high end, big name VDI products quite daunting and unattainable. That’s why choosing lower cost licenses and infrastructures is the smartest way to jump into the virtual desktop arena.

The smaller-scaled products don’t have specified infrastructure requirements and they cost significantly less. In fact, one company even offers an all-inclusive set up. Purchasing something of this nature enables you to receive an all-in-one virtual desktop, while implementing a lower-cost, easy to install product.

Use Cloud Based Virtual Desktops
With cloud based virtual desktops, you save money because you don’t need to have your own VDI on the premises. You can then eliminate the added cost of staff training. In addition, since your virtual desktop is floating around in the cloud, you’ll save significantly on hardware and storage.

Thankfully, this option will still allow your end users to access your apps and browsers. Yet, you won’t have to be managing (or employing someone on site to manage) the endpoints. That responsibility will rest in the cloud (or at least the cloud owner’s lap) freeing you up to invest in new apps or better performing programs.

Utilize Virtual Workstations
In case you hadn’t noticed, storage costs can really eat into your bottom line and profit margin. That’s why many small business owners opt to use virtual workstations. Like the other suggestions these have their own benefits.

Virtual workstations provide you with offline support while not creating networking and server costs. They will allow your admins to access and manage the desktop and images from your own data center. Unfortunately, it’s important to note that virtual workstations aren’t always very secure from hackers.

To conclude, it’s important to really assess why you need a VDI and how to get the best ROI when you decide to traverse that path. Determine what users you have, and what types of apps and OS’s you’ll be using. That will help you ascertain whether you want to choose a cheaper VDI with low-cost licensure, a cloud based virtual desktop, or a virtual workstation.

Basically, just keep in mind that virtualizing your business will cost you. There will be storage, hardware and licensing expenditures to consider. Switching to VDI doesn’t always guarantee a huge ROI and thusly, it’s imperative that you take the time to calculate the whole of your investment before you go headlong into the virtual world.

If you’ve got a VDI switch-over story to share, please leave your comments below.

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