Deliver Next-Gen Application Experience With Virtual Workspace

  • December 08, 2022
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Traditional Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been addressing various use cases for over a decade. However, it struggles to deliver on the fundamentals— such as scalability, optimization, equitable technology experience, business continuity, disaster recovery, resiliency, and other features needed in today's hybrid work environment. Virtual workspace or cloud VDI solves these challenges by offering a richer virtual desktop experience to a distributed workforce.

Consider these five Key tenets when planning a virtual workspace strategy

  1. Faster application response: If the data center is located far away from the employees, they might face performance lag as specific requests require the data to travel longer distances. On-premise VDI users may get a faster application response only if they have a data center nearby. Cloud-based virtual workspace accelerates application response by automatically connecting users to their nearest hyperscalers across the globe.

  2. Improved performance for knowledge-intensive personas: Virtual workspace allows geographically dispersed high-compute user personas like Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) seamlessly work on large centrally located files. They can enjoy faster performance than on-premise VDI from anywhere and reduce the need for transferring large files daily. You can leverage your pre-existing investments in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to deliver an improved application experience to your end users with a virtual workspace.

  3. Simplified compliance management: For specific industries, the applications and infrastructure need to maintain compliance with industry and regulatory requirements such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Federal Risk Authorization and Management Program (FedRAMP), and more. Complying with these regulations in an on-premise VDI setup is challenging as it is an organization's responsibility. Whereas, in the case of virtual workspace services, the compliance aspect is taken care of by hyperscalers/hosted cloud providers. Based on the desired security level for sensitive data, you can choose the appropriate VDI strategy.

  4. Adaptive security and centralized control: On-premise VDI requires organizations to manage Virtual Private Network (VPN), Secure Socket Layer (SSL), and reverse proxy to safeguard their infrastructure. Virtual workspace eliminates those complexities as hyperscalers manage the underlying infrastructure while allowing you centralized control for configuration, deployment, update, and management. Modern zero-trust solutions can be easily integrated with cloud-hosted VDI to add another layer of security. Analytics-powered conditional access policies can help you make real-time security decisions based on device and user state.

  5. Sustainability: Becoming carbon neutral is a key priority for every organization. In on-premise VDI, data centers include metals, and the workload runs on non-renewable sources of energy. Virtual workspace can help you get rid of metal from data centers and run the workload on hyperscalers powered by renewable energy.

The virtual workspace also addresses other use cases like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and enables the organization to shift from CapEx to the OpEx model.

Embark on your virtual workspace journey

  • Analysis of users: Start by analyzing your users by answering the following key questions:
    • Who are your key personas, and what are their application usage patterns?
    • What is their device usage pattern (desktop vs. mobile)?
    • Where are your employees and data located? How will they influence your solution strategy?
    • Which personas need graphical processing units? (e.g., core engineering and graphic design roles)
  • Choice of the platform: While choosing a virtual workspace platform, consider the data sovereignty of your regions, the geographical footprint of a cloud VDI provider, the support structure of hyperscalers, commercials (licensing), lock-in period, and service level agreements.

  • Adoption approach: Begin with a Proof of Concept. Pilot cloud VDI on a smaller user group and adopt a hybrid approach before making a full-scale cloud migration. In this process, testing each platform is critical. NTT DATA offers PoC on a new-age virtual workspace solution, i.e., Windows 365.

  • Governance Board: Consider forming a robust governance board that gathers periodic user feedback from advocate groups, governs change management, drives user policies, and reviews use cases regularly to adapt the solution to users' needs. An experienced IT solutions partner can help you implement a solution and govern it with you jointly.

Case in point

Virtual workspace helped a large healthcare organization resolve performance and availability issues in its traditional VDI environment and expand its services. Such a hybrid, agile, and flexible VDI solution would not have been possible with dedicated hardware. They remained compliant with industry-specific regulations by safeguarding Personal Health Information (PHI) in their data center. The VDI users had no impact during an organization-wide virus outbreak. Their provisioning of new user groups got expedited from months to days. End-user analytics enabled fact-based continuous improvement.

Virtual workspace is progressively overcoming the complexities described earlier. There are solutions like Windows 365 that can deliver a next-gen desktop experience.

In the next decade, we expect to see all the enterprise productivity and applications running in a platform-independent SaaS model without any desktop environment across the industries.

To experience the simplification of virtual workspace with Windows 365 and understand how you can maximize its ROI, conduct a 2-week Proof of Concept of Windows 365 with NTT DATA.

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Sandeep Kumar
Sandeep is the Digital Workplace Strategic Advisor, focused on driving productivity in hybrid work and lowering the TCO by integrating and automating the digital workplace ecosystem. He helps organizations make data-driven decisions, delivering operational insights by harnessing the data using a cloud analytics engine powered by AI and ML.

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