Technology is the backbone of your business. You depend on being able to share and communicate with coworkers and clients instantly, so it makes sense that a significant portion of your budget would be allocated for I.T. support costs. However, recent advances in how companies collaborate could dramatically reduce your expenditures while boosting productivity. Virtual desktops are an example of one such money-saving technological solution that won’t cut into your coffee and donut budget.
Here is an overview of what you need to know about virtual desktops:
What Are Virtual Desktops?
The term “virtual desktop” refers to the use of software to expand the display capability of a desktop screen. According to Popular Science, this solution is a simple way to get around the problem of running too many applications to view at once on a single screen. Switchable virtual desktops allow users to move between virtual copies of their desktop view-port, thus enabling them to view multiple “screens” on the same device. Although they are mostly used on personal computers, virtual desktop applications are also available through VR technology like Oculus, if you’re feeling futuristic.
How Are They Used?
You can use virtual desktop technology to avoid having to toggle between various open web browser tabs, open documents or software applications if you are monitoring two or more projects at once. For example, you can easily watch your social media feed and web analytics simultaneously to see how a particular post is performing in real time.
Many users also maintain a “work” desktop and a “personal” desktop to avoid distractions, allowing them to maintain focus on the job and switch out of work mode more easily at the end of the day. You can also devote a single desktop to each active project you are currently working on, eliminating interruptions and making it easier to give each one your undivided attention.
How Do Virtual Desktops Save Money?
One of the most evident ways you can save money by using a virtual desktop is by getting rid of the need for additional monitors. If your company is already in the process of moving toward cloud servers and other virtual storage and sharing capabilities, then making use of virtual desktops allows you to eliminate even more of that clunky, expensive hardware.
Virtual desktops also make it much easier for employees to work from remote locations, saving you overhead costs and reducing the expense and time of commuting for your employees. They also make it simple for individuals to set up digital workspaces that make the most sense for their unique needs.
(Photo via Foter.com)
How Do You Set up a Virtual Desktop?
Windows and macOS both come with ready-to-use virtual desktop capabilities. Microsoft refers to the option as “multiple desktops,” but the functionality is the same as any other virtual desktop application. You can access these backup screens by navigating to Task View, which allows you to manage all open desktops, in addition to other applications. Go to the Task View button in the taskbar next to the search box. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Windows+Tab. Once you are in Task View, choose New Desktop in order to make a new screen. You can also enter another keyboard shortcut, Windows+Ctrl+D. Microsoft allows you to make multiple new desktops, so don’t be afraid to let your newfound productivity run wild.
To close a particular desktop once you have finished using it, return to the Task View screen and find the desktop’s thumbnail, then click the X that shows up above it. Any applications that are still running after you close a desktop screen will simply move one desktop to the left.
Apple refers to the same feature as “multiple spaces,” and you can set it up just as easily on your Mac with a few simple steps. To manage these desktop spaces, go to Mission Control. There are several ways to reach it. You can use the keyboard shortcuts F3 or Ctrl+Up and swipe up on the trackpad (depending on your trackpad settings), or open it from Launchpad or the Applications window of Finder. If you would like to use virtual desktops fairly often, it is a good idea to add Mission Control to the Dock. You can do this by opening Finder, navigating to the Applications window, and dragging the icon to the Dock. Each new desktop you create will be displayed as a thumbnail image along the top of the screen. Once you have found Mission Control, you can make as many as 16 virtual desktops by clicking the large + button located in the upper right corner.
Return to Mission Control and select the X button next to the thumbnail to close a screen you have finished working on. Closing a virtual desktop will shift all of its open programs one space to the left, just like in Windows.
What About Virtual Desktop Infrastructure for Businesses?
Although it is remarkably easy to enable virtual desktops on a single device, the technology has many exciting applications for an organization. This is where virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) comes in. According to Citrix, VDI refers to the process of running an individual desktop inside a virtual device residing on a server in the datacenter. This allows for fully personalized desktops for each user with all the additional security and accessibility of centralized management, making it an attractive option for businesses.
This technology allows authorized users to access their desktops at any time, making instant collaboration possible, while also maintaining the integrity of your sensitive data. VDI is well suited to complex projects that require the participants to literally be on the same page. If your company regularly employs remote contractors, or your team members are situated in different locations, a managed service provider can help you find the virtual desktop infrastructure that makes sense for your business.
To learn more about how to use Information Technology to streamline your business operations and reduce costs, contact the professionals at JMARK today at [email protected]. You can also call 844-44-JMARK, or use the Contact Us page on this website.