Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) was released as Windows Virtual Desktop in 2019 and has continued to grow, both in its feature set and its user base. A key factor to the increased growth of AVD use is due to COVID-19, however, with a return to the office in sight, AVD continues to grow as a comprehensive solution for hybrid workers. Due to the benefits and features of AVD, it suits a variety of business cases and can help support many industries.
What is AVD?
AVD is a virtual desktop interface (VDI) solution that is deployed through Azure and allows users to access Windows 10 and all the necessary applications, from anywhere, on any device. AVD has many benefits to businesses and users, including increased flexibility, especially for hybrid workers, reduced costs, increased security, centralised management and increased scalability. These benefits align to many key industries’ specific needs, below are some examples.
One of the key aspects of the healthcare industry that differentiates it from other industries, is the amount of sensitive data and confidential files that are stored. With AVD it is possible to set rules and permissions that allow only certain users to view information. Another reason why AVD is well-suited to the healthcare industry is that within a VDI, no data is stored on the device, but rather on the Azure cloud. Azure has some of the most secure data storage and can include multifactor authentication, and in-depth threat and vulnerability management to ensure all patient data remains in the right hands.
For many education establishments, especially schools, it is difficult to procure enough machines for each student, and it is a costly endeavour to update the hardware when it becomes obsolete. Some schools offer BYOD programmes, but this can be a major security risk with unsecured devices connecting to a network. With AVD, schools are able to procure lower cost hardware with less computing power, as the processing power comes from the VDI. Similarly, with a BYOD programme, using AVD gives all end users the same experience, regardless of device, and each device has the same increased security measures of a school-issued machine.
The financial services industry is an industry that is security conscious, and for good reason, as a data breach or cyberattack within this industry can cost millions for a business and erode the trust of consumers for years to come. Using a VDI solution keeps all information secure and makes it easier to deploy a PCI-DSS compliant desktop to workers, regardless of the device, or even if they are temporary contractors. Through AVD it is also possible to limit what users can do on a virtual machine to ensure that they are not transferring data or accessing systems they are not allowed to.
The legal sector is a common target for cybercriminals due to the amount of money and sensitive data that legal firms process. Through the use of AVD the chance of a ransomware attack or data breach is significantly less likely as there is multi-layered security. With a VDI solution it also allows employees in the legal field to work from anywhere and keep up to date with constantly changing work demands.
The manufacturing industry differs from the previously mentioned industries as there are a high volume of employees, but they rarely all need to use a device at the same time. This means that manufacturing companies can have fewer devices with AVD, allowing employees to log in when they need to do work, increasing productivity whilst decreasing hardware costs.
Regardless of the industry, deployment of Azure Virtual Desktop can bring a plethora of benefits to many businesses. Whether it is for the security, flexibility, scalability or cost savings, a VDI solution like AVD can fundamentally change the way your business considers their IT infrastructure. If you want to find out more, get in touch today.