Microsoft just released a product that may change the way that companies handle their staff computers. In early August, it released Windows 365, which is a cloud PC designed to make remote and hybrid working more efficient.
Since the pandemic changed the way that the traditional office runs, companies and employees have been looking for the new “normal” and seeking IT consulting help to get there. Most offices won’t go back to the way they exactly were pre-pandemic. There are going to be many more hybrid working environments.
In a remote work survey taken in May of 2021, 48% of employees said they’d like to work remotely full time and 44% said they like to have a hybrid of home and office. Employers are largely on board with the hybrid model, with 51% of them showing support.
This is the future that Microsoft is envisioning and why it has chosen now to bring out Windows 365.
This isn’t the first virtual computer to be introduced, but the timing may be just right to make cloud PCs finally take off and be adopted on a large scale.
Windows 365 Cloud PC by Microsoft
The fact that Microsoft has already had to temporarily suspend Windows 365 trials due to being over capacity, is a sign that the time has finally arrived for the cloud PC.
Is Windows 365 Right for Our Business?
Just because a newer technology comes out doesn’t mean you should immediately rush to adopt it. It takes careful consideration of your business processes, current challenges, and whether the technology is going to save you money or improve your operations in some way.
Here are some of the main comparisons between Windows 365 and traditional computers.
Using Your Computer From Anywhere
An employee that works from both home and office has a challenge when it comes to their computer. If they prefer working on a desktop, then they’re most likely having to use two different desktop computers, depending on where they work.
This can cause productivity issues, problems with not having the files needed, and basically isn’t a great working model.
The other option is to use a laptop computer and tote it around between work and home.
Windows 365 has the big advantage of anywhere access to your computer no matter where you work, and without having to lug a heavy PC around.
Employees can use any desktop computer, laptop, or even a tablet to log in to their computer and have the same consistent desktop environment, files, folders, apps, and all.
Anywhere access is great, but what about working offline? This can only be done if you’re using traditional computers to house your files and software. It’s not possible to work offline when using a cloud PC.
However, if most of your processes are already cloud-based, then this may not be a disadvantage, as employees may already need to have internet access to do their work.
Remote & Hybrid Team Security
Keeping remote teams as secure as those working from the office has been a big challenge for companies during the pandemic. Ransomware is running rampant and phishing attacks are specifically targeting remote employees to get their login credentials or get them to visit malicious websites.
20% of organizations have reported experiencing a data breach during the pandemic due to a remote employee.
When employees are working remotely either on their own device or a company-owned PC, it’s hard to ensure that those devices are being updated properly and are secured with things like antivirus, DNS filtering, and device firewalls.
This is an area where Windows 365 is quite attractive. Because the actual computer that employees are using for their work, storing files, etc. is in the cloud, companies can do backend security and management.
Businesses can deploy automated security updates and uniform endpoint security policies easily. All systems can be monitored remotely for any signs of potential threats.
And if you have a remote employee quit unexpectedly, all you have to do is change the login password to their virtual PC. You retain all files and control.
A big consideration to whether you stick with traditional computers or move to Windows 365 cloud PCs is the cost.
Depending upon the model you choose and the power you need, individual business desktops can cost anywhere from $1200 to $3500 or more. You do need to decide upfront what specs you want because once you buy it, it’s yours. It’s a big cost outlay upfront, but then you won’t have that cost again for several years.
Windows 365 pricing is a subscription model. So, you have to factor in that you’re taking on an ongoing cost rather than a 1-time purchase. Although the upfront cost is much less than an outright purchase, you can scale up or down to increase performance or remove PCs you no longer need.
Pricing for Windows 365 comes at three levels: $31, $41, or $66 per month, per user. The difference is in the processing power and RAM that you choose.
If you take the mid-range plan over 3 years, it’s a cost of $1,476, roughly the same as a cheaper business PC. Over 4 years, it would be $1,968.
If you replace your PCs approximately every 4 years, the move to cloud PCs and improved agility and security could be a big benefit and make sense for your bottom line.
Get Help Optimizing Your Cloud Infrastructure
Texas I.T. Pros can help your Denton or Wise County business review what Windows 365 (or other cloud tools) have to offer and help you optimize a cost-efficient cloud infrastructure.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.