Microsoft just launched a new fully cloud-based PC called Windows 365. It’s designed to bring the versatility of a cloud environment to the personal computer desktop.
Computers are one of the last pieces of business technology to still be rooted in an offline world. If you want to get to your files, folders, settings, and applications that are stored on a PC hard drive, you must have access to that same physical device.
What Windows 365 does is put all your business PCs in the cloud, much like the cloud software tools you might use. Just like you can access something like Gmail or Salesforce from any device and any location, the same is true for a cloud PC. This improves business continuity and security.
Everything that would be stored on a hard drive is now stored on a cloud server. So, all the user has to do is log in from a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet and they can have access to their distinct PC environment.
The concept of cloud PCs isn’t new, but it isn’t something that has taken off in a big way. But there wasn’t a pandemic-fueled hybrid workforce to drive adoption until now.
51% of surveyed employers support a hybrid working arrangement.
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are looking at a different work model than they were used to. Rather than having all employees working in an office be the standard, they’re gravitating to remote and hybrid models for cost-savings, employee retention, and preparedness for the next big crisis event.
Could Windows 365 be a good option for your business? We’ll go through some of the advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated with the platform to help you decide.
Advantages of Cloud PCs
There are many benefits to working with cloud computing environments that can improve several areas of your business processes.
Computers Are Available Anywhere Without Physically Being There
The big challenge that hybrid workers face is how to handle their work PC. Do they use two different computers at home and work? Do they carry a laptop between the two locations? Do they use their company-issued device at work and their personal computer at home?
All of the above options have drawbacks. The perfect scenario is being able to use the same computer wherever a person is working and not have to physically move that device between locations.
Windows 365 from Microsoft
This is a big advantage of Windows 365. Someone can log into their work computer from any device and access all of their settings apps, files, etc., making work fluid and simple.
Endpoint Security Gets Easier
Many remote employees are using personal devices when working from home. This opens the door to multiple security and compliance issues.
Nearly 75% of surveyed organizations are concerned about the security risks associated with work-from-home employees. The biggest concerns are data leakage through endpoints (27%) and loss of visibility of user activity (25%).
Windows 365 gives companies the same control over remote employee PCs as they have when those computers are located in their office. This includes things like automated updates and the ability to remotely deploy security policies and new applications.
Offboarding remote employees becomes simple because you maintain access to the computer and don’t have to drive to their house to get any files, etc. that may have been stored on a personal hard drive. Since the PC is in the cloud, the company maintains complete control and ownership.
Cost Savings from Scalability & Hardware Savings
If you choose to get a computer with 4GB of memory for your employees, only to find out later that most are having problems with freezing applications, you’re not stuck with your choice.
You can scale the storage, memory, and other components of a cloud PC up and down as you need to, so you’re only paying for what you need at any time.
Because all the performance is coming from the cloud, you don’t need to purchase expensive physical computers. You can purchase lower-cost devices, which are simply used to access the cloud PC environment.
Disadvantages of Cloud PCs
There are a few drawbacks when considering going to a completely cloud computer environment.
Employees Have to Be Online
Physical computers can be used offline, but a cloud PC can only be accessed if you have an internet connection. This could be a significant limitation if you have employees that work offline during part of the day.
You Pay Monthly for the PC
When you move to Windows 365, you’re moving to a similar monthly or annual subscription model as SaaS applications.
So instead of just purchasing a computer and then not having that cost again for another 3-5 years, you need to continue to pay a subscription fee.
Windows 365 for Business ranges from $31-$66 per user, per month.
Learn More About Windows 365 & Its Benefits
Rocky Knoll Technologies can give your Charlotte area business a full overview of what working with Windows 365 would look like for your company.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 704.594.7292 or reach us online.