Remote work has become the new normal for business transformation. Recent research by Gallup shows that nearly two-thirds of workers in the U.S. who have been working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic would like to continue to do so.
For IT teams, this means supporting a larger and more diverse remote workforce and empowering them to be secure, productive and collaborative, according to a study fielded in August 2020 by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). The research shows that remote work spurred by COVID is having a huge effect on IT budgets and priorities.
For many organizations that had already invested in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), the ability to scale and secure remote workers during the pandemic has been seamless and simple. Deloitte characterizes VDI as “a powerful solution for the work-from-anywhere future.”
VDI and HCI have been invaluable in helping organizations address the key challenges cited by IT leaders during the pandemic. These are:
- Security: With VDI, organizations keep critical applications and data in the data center. This eliminates the risk of having intellectual property or personally identifiable information sitting on devices in homes, where there is greater risk they could be tampered with or where user negligence or ignorance can cause breaches.
- Productivity: Because their virtual desktops can be delivered to a wide range of devices, end users are more productive and can easily access the resources they need, when they need them. IT is more productive because it can manage devices centrally, which makes it easier to deal with version control, patches, updates, cybersecurity policy, lifecycle management and help desk issues that can be easily addressed remotely. VDI also makes it much easier, faster and safer to onboard and offboard users, a critical benefit in accelerating remote work environments.
- Collaboration: One of the most important advances in VDI over the past few years has been the ability to deliver a great user experience to virtually every type of user. With advanced graphics capabilities and modern collaboration tools, VDI enables remote work among DevOps and engineering teams, computer-aided design, as well as enhanced video and remote learning. With the right solution, there are no limitations in VDI use cases.
For IT decision-makers, it is important to recognize the importance of HCI as a building block for many VDI deployments. Companies with HCI as the foundation have been able to scale their remote workforces extremely quickly and securely.
In addition, many companies that are turning to VDI in response to the pandemic are using HCI as a fast, safe and cost-efficient path. With HCI, organizations can accelerate deployments using integrated software-defined solutions that are designed specifically for VDI use cases.
‘Digital Game Changers’ in Remote Work
Universidad Americana: Even before COVID-19 hit, Universidad Americana, based in Paraguay, had established a strong reputation across Latin America as a leader in virtual education. The university already had 40% of students studying remotely, with a goal to increase that to at least 60%. COVID accelerated those plans, and the university had the technology in place to move quickly, thanks to a foundation built on the HPE Synergy Platform and HPE 3PAR storage.
The platform has enabled the university to meet the needs of all types of users by rapidly delivering virtual servers and desktops to students on and off campus. The technology enables the university to support a range of use cases, including applications such as Microsoft Visual Studio and AutoCAD. Key benefits include:
- Reduces the time it takes to build virtual labs from two weeks to six hours.
- Simplifies IT administration, freeing more time for innovation and accelerating responsiveness to the needs of the university.
- Ensures reliable high performance for virtual education.
- Delivers a five-year return on investment.
Migros Ticaret: One of Turkey’s largest supermarket chains, Migros Ticaret serves approximately 160 million customers with more than 2,200 stores, 28 warehouses and more than 45,000 employees. Migros Ticaret has been providing essential services during the pandemic, with the requirement to meet consumer needs, continue to provide exceptional service and support retail operations 24/7.
At the same time, Migros Ticaret had to deal with the reality of remote work. Fortunately, the organization had already invested in HP SimpliVity for desktop virtualization. When the pandemic hit, Migros Ticaret was able to spin up 700 additional desktops in 12 minutes. At the same time, the organization achieved these benefits:
- Reduced operational costs by about 50% and energy usage by 70%, while lowering operational risk.
- Accelerated backup times from days to less than an hour for the entire virtual environment.
- Allowed the company to focus on scaling the business by adding value beyond IT systems operations.
Taking the Next Step
Remote work is one of the new imperatives for IT. COVID-19 has been a catalyst and the transformation of the workforce has become a game changer. In this environment, organizations with VDI empowered by HCI have been able to achieve great success in rapidly scaling their remote workforces, with a focus on security, productivity and collaboration.
For more information on how your organization can meet the needs of the new remote workforce, please visit HPE.