Your company’s competitiveness all comes down to productivity. And one of the latest productivity battles is the choice between virtual desktops and web based applications. Virtual desktops are stored on a remote server, instead of on local hardware. Virtual desktops can use several operating systems, and tools such as Microsoft Virtual PC, Parallels Desktop for Mac, and VMware Workstation. Web based applications are applications that are based on the internet, where the user must download certain parts of the software to run the application. An example of a web based application is a mobile app that is downloaded to a smartphone, that must use the internet to function, such as Twitter or Basecamp.
Virtual desktops are highly versatile, and help businesses to reduce costs while increasing the efficiency of their IT infrastructure. Virtual desktops share resources—you can pool resources from several different servers to create virtual environments—so VDIs are more reliable than traditional desktops. There is also significant cost savings, because resources can be shared and allocated more efficiently, and users can access the same desktop, files, and applications from any device that they choose. Users can access the same device from their smartphone that they would on their desktop, making working on the go seamless.
Web Based Applications
Web based applications can be browser based, client based, or mobile based, but in each case, the user needs to download certain information from the web in order for the application to run properly. Web apps include well known social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as most Google services—Google Calendar, Google Maps, and Google Drive. Web apps can be run through virtually any browser, and they have exploded in popularity along with mobile devices.
What’s Better For Your Business?
Virtual desktops and web based applications can both be used successfully by a growing business. It depends on how much control you need. Virtual desktops allow you more ability to control what is going in and out of your systems, as well as the level of security and accessibility. Web based applications can change their rules about critical things such as data sharing without your knowledge or consent. While you can create a virtual desktop using your own servers and control all accessibility, you cannot control whether or not Google Apps will share your data with a third party. Virtual desktops are relatively cheap, but they are still more expensive in terms of money and time to install and maintain than web applications, where a company like Google will handle all technical issues. If you need more security and control, VDIs might be your best option, but if you favor low cost, simplicity, and ease of use over multiple devices, then you might favor web applications.