VDI Technology in Law Offices: Why Hosted Cloud Desktops Are Taking Over
Today, many businesses, including law offices, are looking toward virtual desktop solutions to provide easier management, lower hardware cost, and higher mobility and flexibility for users. There are several ways to implement virtual desktops, with many confusing terms tossed around as possible solutions. Hosted Desktops (Desktop-as-a-Service) and VDI Technology in Law Offices are two of the leading solutions available. You must understand the key features and differences between these virtualization technologies when considering virtual desktop solutions for your law firm.
Why Law Offices Need Virtual Desktops
As a lawyer, you will often find it necessary to spend long hours outside your office, working from a client’s office, at home, or a courthouse. Regardless of your location, you still need to quickly and securely access all your documents and sensitive files. Virtual desktops provide a solution.
With a virtualized desktop, you get access to a virtual PC screen that looks and feels exactly like your office workstation, no matter where you access it. Your user profile information and files reside in a central location, eliminating the need to maintain your files and documents on a PC.
Some of the main benefits of having a desktop virtualization solution for your law office include:
- Availability Anywhere: Virtual desktop unshackles you from a desk and lets you work from anywhere, on any device, and at any time.
- Spend Less Time Fixing Your Technology: As a busy legal professional, you want to spend more time working productively, not waste time fixing IT issues.
- Share Files: A virtual desktop makes it simple to share documents, forms, files, and signatures from a central server with your team and clients.
- Keep Your Clients Informed: Always keep clients in the loop when you securely share accurate or time-sensitive information with them.
- Complete Disaster Recovery: A virtual desktop provides a comprehensive disaster recovery solution because all its components reside in a data center and backed up by traditional redundancy maintenance systems.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Features and Weaknesses
For law offices with a VDI setup, the servers are on-premises. Lawyers who have security concerns could feel more comfortable if they know they have complete control over their virtualization software, hardware, and data. This control is particularly vital in the case of data which should be stored or transmitted according to government regulation.
Despite this advantage, managing VDI technology on-site is highly specialized and labor-intensive, placing a strain on the small IT teams commonly found in typical law offices. Suppose you implement VDI at your law office. In that case, your IT department will have to take responsibility for each virtual desktop’s security, permissions, applications, and collaboration capabilities, possibly affecting the system’s performance.
Understand that a VDI implementation requires a considerable investment in server hardware. You will also need to spend more money on your network infrastructure and storage. This situation means that the total cost of the implementation could be higher than the price of buying a new PC for every user on a standard local network.
Additionally, using a VDI could be cumbersome for your team, with users having to manage dual desktops and taskbars – online and local.
VDI technology in law offices has limited accessibility because it is not fully adaptable to mobile devices. For instance, there could be image distortion on mobile devices that could ruin the virtual desktop display. VDI does not readily adapt to evolving technology environments, further complicating remote access.
How a Hosted Desktop Solves the Shortcomings of VDI
The vital advantage offered by a hosted desktop (DaaS) is the ability to access anywhere at any time. As long as you or a team member has a reliable internet connection, you can access your virtual desktop. What’s more, a DaaS implementation is generally more accessible to tablets and mobile devices than a VDI. Easy remote access boosts the productivity of lawyers and legal teams who need to work outside the office.
DaaS helps your law office to reduce its maintenance costs and easily monitor security because the entire system has only a single processing center that requires maintenance or upgrading. The reduction in infrastructure responsibilities results in massive cost savings.
The cost savings you enjoy do not stop at the price of hardware; a DaaS implementation means that your firm does not need to purchase multiple software licenses to cover various user devices. You also enjoy greater budget control and better spending since a hosted desktop solution consists of bundles services charged at a flat monthly subscription fee.
DaaS, unlike a VDI, has inbuilt end-user functions, empowering your team to manage user accounts, control applications, add desktop gadgets, create directories, and run administrative tools. If you have a rapidly growing law office, DaaS gives you the ability to rapidly set up a new workstation due to the minimal setup required and the fact that no new hardware is needed.
Many professionals who work in law office IT departments consider a hosted desktop as much simpler to manage and oversee compared to a VDI, as the bulk of the oversight responsibilities are in the hands of an IT service company. Because data is stored offsite, DaaS strengthens your disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities.
Get a Virtualization Solution That Fits Your Law Office’s Needs
If you need a low-cost, low-maintenance, and highly scalable virtual desktop delivery model, you should consider cloud-based hosted desktops (DaaS) over VDI Technology in law offices. If you do not possess the IT know-how or knowledge in technical regulations and software licensing, you should consider having a managed ITS services company handle the desktop virtualization for you.
Network Security Associates provides a portfolio of secure, flexible and cost-effective cloud computing services for law offices and other businesses. We offer a wide range of hosted desktop solutions. Want to learn more about how VDI solutions can benefit your law firm? Call NSA immediately.
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