Move Your Office to the Cloud with Cloud Desktops

  • 4
    min read
  • Desktopready
  • December 9, 2020

Even as many components of business IT infrastructure — such as file servers, identity management services and email — have moved to cloud-based environments over the past decade, there has been one major exception: Office software. For many teams, office applications like word processors, spreadsheet software and calendar tools continue to run on local PCs or servers that are difficult to access from remote locations.

It’s time to change that. Here’s why and how.

WHY OFFICE SOFTWARE IS STUCK ON-PREMISES

Vendors have long offered technology to move office software into the cloud, via Web-based office platforms like G Suite and Microsoft 365.

However, for businesses that have invested heavily in on-premises office software, moving to these types of solutions often poses a steep challenge, for several reasons:

  • License investment: If you’ve spent thousands of dollars purchasing Microsoft Office licenses for your local PCs, you may not want to abandon that investment by switching to G Suite or Microsoft 365 instead, where you will need to pay new subscription fees.
  • Cost: Putting aside the issue of prior investment in licensing, Web-based office software usually requires subscription fees that, in the long run, may exceed the total cost of ownership of on-premises alternatives.
  • Learning curve: Your employees are probably experts in using on-premises applications like Microsoft Word. Moving them to Web-based alternatives will require teaching them new applications and new paradigms for storing and accessing data. You may not have time to teach all of your workers these new skills without disrupting business operations. Your IT team, too, may not be as well-equipped to support a new type of office platform.
  • Security: When you use Web-based office platforms, it becomes harder to isolate sensitive data or choose to keep it offline. Files that your employees create in a Web-based office environment are typically stored on shared virtual drives that, depending on how you configure security settings, may allow users to access each others’ documents, or even expose data to anyone on the Internet.

For all of these reasons, the migration to Web-based office suites has been slower than you might expect, given how rapidly businesses have embraced other types of cloud-based solutions.

MOVE YOUR OFFICE TO THE CLOUD — WHILE KEEPING YOUR OFFICE SOFTWARE

Fortunately, there’s a way to move your business’s office software to the cloud without having to migrate to new, Web-based platforms like G Suite or Microsoft 365.

If you migrate your employees to cloud desktops hosted by a platform like DesktopReady, they can continue to use the same office software that they are accustomed to running on-premises, even as their desktop environments move to the cloud.

That’s because DesktopReady makes it possible to host desktop environments in secure, high-performing virtual machines that can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection, while still retaining the look and feel of a physical PC desktop environment.

To put this another way: With DesktopReady, your employees can continue to use the traditional versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook or whichever other office software they rely on, while still running those applications in the cloud. There is no need for them to learn new software platforms, or for you to buy new software licenses. You simply move what your employees are already running into cloud-based virtual machines that, from the user’s perspective, are very similar to traditional PCs — the only major difference being that cloud desktops allow employees to access their office applications and data from virtually anywhere.

You don’t have to compromise on security, either, when you use this type of solution. Cloud desktops allow each employee to retain a dedicated file system for storing documents within his or her own virtual machine. Unlike Web-based office productivity suites, files are not shared in locations that are accessible to multiple users by default. Nor do your employees need to learn to navigate storage platforms like Google Drive; they can keep using the same traditional Windows file systems that they already know.

In short, cloud desktops give you the best of both worlds: The ability to move your business’s office to a cloud-based environment where your data and applications can be accessed from anywhere, while still retaining the office software, workflows and security that you have been using for years. You get all the advantages of the cloud, without the drawbacks of Web-based office suites.

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  • License investment: If you’ve spent thousands of dollars purchasing Microsoft Office licenses for your local PCs, you may not want to abandon that investment by switching to G Suite or Microsoft 365 instead, where you will need to pay new subscription fees.
  • Cost: Putting aside the issue of prior investment in licensing, Web-based office software usually requires subscription fees that, in the long run, may exceed the total cost of ownership of on-premises alternatives.
  • Learning curve: Your employees are probably experts in using on-premises applications like Microsoft Word. Moving them to Web-based alternatives will require teaching them new applications and new paradigms for storing and accessing data. You may not have time to teach all of your workers these new skills without disrupting business operations. Your IT team, too, may not be as well-equipped to support a new type of office platform.
  • Security: When you use Web-based office platforms, it becomes harder to isolate sensitive data or choose to keep it offline. Files that your employees create in a Web-based office environment are typically stored on shared virtual drives that, depending on how you configure security settings, may allow users to access each others’ documents, or even expose data to anyone on the Internet.
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