Many SMBs have found the switch to desktop virtualization highly beneficial, but this does not mean that the technology is appropriate in every business circumstance. Each SMB must evaluate how well this type of end-user computing will meet its own particular needs. Such an evaluation should include several key considerations.
Desktop virtualization represents a large change for employees. At first glance, this may not be evident since a virtualized desktop can provide an employee with a ‘clone’ of the work environment he or she is used to. However, because of the efficiencies involved in setting up a standard environment for all workers, employees may well lose the ability to personalize aspects of their desktop.
This may make it difficult to secure employee buy-in for the new approach to workflow. Each SMB must evaluate how likely resistance is and what impact it may have on the organization. It should be noted, however, that not all employee reluctance would emanate from issues such as a worker wanting a slide show of family photos to be his or her desktop background. Matters that are much more serious may be at the root of employee reluctance, such as the fact that some workers may actually use programs not sanctioned by the company in order to increase their efficiency and accuracy. Workers losing the ability to install programs may be a ‘win’ for IT support personnel, but employees, of course, are bound to perceive it as a loss, and some may take that loss very personally.
In a time of shrinking budgets for IT operations, SMBs want to get the most value possible for every dollar. When it comes to desktop virtualization, managers may have to take a somewhat long view of cost versus returns. Over time, companies that implement will see their expenditures for maintenance and support fall. In the near term, however, VDI carries a significant set of up-front costs. For some SMBs, these up-front costs may actually exceed the amounts budgeted for IT within a specific time frame.
Moving to desktop virtualization, therefore, can require SMBs to find funding sources outside the typical ones devoted to IT maintenance. Entire budgets may need to be re-allocated to make a project feasible.
A way to reduce up-front costs is to opt for outsourced IT to handle your desktop virtualization project. Because IT companies often charge for this service on a subscription basis, this can provide a much more affordable cost structure for SMBs.