Five Ways to Embrace User Experience While Keeping Costs in Line

The approach to implementing a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) strategy is undergoing a transformation. Organizations are taking a holistic approach to virtual workspace solutions by managing end user expectations, cost efficiencies and positioning IT as a business partner – not just a point solution provider.

Running an entire desktop environment virtually has a number of benefits, including a more productive workforce, improved application and data security, simplified software license management and a stable, consistent environment for end users. For those reasons, IT organizations are unveiling virtual workspace initiatives with high hopes.

With high ROI numbers, cost savings is enough to justify an investment. But what about the end user? A virtual workspace strategy must be aligned with the needs of the business and culture of the workforce. This idea is explored in the July 2015 report, “Five Ways To Ensure That Your Digital Workspace Initiative Doesn’t Fail” by David K. Johnson, a principal analyst for Forrester. In this report, Johnson explains why cost savings and user experience must be given equal consideration from the get-go.

Make the job easier

When considering the cloud-based storage and solutions used by employees outside of work – along with the anywhere, anytime on any device access to data that the cloud provides – it’s clear that users want the same flexibility in their workplace. Those employee expectations should not be overlooked in your VDI roll-out; prioritizing cost savings over the user experience can spell disaster.

Think of it this way. The day a VDI implementation launches, employees won’t have company cost savings or ROI on their minds. Rather, they will log on to their systems and expect to get to work. They won’t have time for lost files or missing applications. They will be frustrated if navigating a new system that’s cumbersome, non-intuitive or unfamiliar. The VDI will succeed if employees experience a new system that works better than the old one, offers better mobility, delivers the freedom to try new applications and, according to Forrester, “allows them to accomplish things they couldn’t before.”

Putting this idea into practice at Dell, we base VDI deployments on a keen understanding of end users. We provision technology based on their role and function, the level of responsibility, approved applications, security access, and SLA requirements. We’ve learned that by shifting focus from the device to the end-user (based on their personas), we can deliver a better end-user experience, increased productivity and reduced costs.

Five key considerations

The report also addresses five questions to help you balance user experience and cost in your virtual workspace strategy.

  1. Should we support personalization? What’s the best way?
  2. Should we move to all-flash storage for our VDI initiative?
  3. When and why do cloud desktops make sense?
  4. How can we visualize and troubleshoot VDI performance problems from end to end?
  5. Can we use Chromebooks with VDI to offer a better experience?

The Forrester report explains why understanding the user experience leads to investing in a better infrastructure and tools, including flash-based storage, better user environment management tools, and end-to-end performance monitoring and management, specifically for VDI environments. It also discusses the right ways to invest in user experience for VDI from the beginning and why a good digital workspace experience prevents you from the costs and headaches of finding solutions only after problems arise.

Want to learn more about this topic? Read this insight-packed Forrester digital workspace report now!

To truly realize the benefits of any VDI initiative, IT leaders must put the end user at the center of the strategy. Now, more than ever, finding a balance of business needs, user experience and cost efficiencies will be key to driving workforce transformation.

Forrester Research has recognized Dell as a leader in North American Workplace Services. Learn more about how organizations are looking to Dell Virtual Workspace Services to increase productivity and enable end-user choice in a cost-effective and secure way. Be future-ready with Dell Cloud Services.

About the Author: Anand Sankaran