Today’s office is much more mobile than before due to a combination of cloud technologies and new mobile devices like tablets and tablet/laptop hybrids. Being mobile allows you to work from anywhere, yet many offices are still tied to their desktop computers.
While cloud storage systems, like Dropbox or OneDrive, have made it easier to transfer documents from one computer to another, it’s not so easy if you have software that’s only provisioned on one device.
How would you like to have everything on your computer, including software and applications, available from any physical device, anytime?
While the concept of server virtualization has been around since the start of this century, the technology has only recently taken off as a cost-saving and productivity solution in offices around the world, transforming the way they work.
Unity IT has been a pioneer in this area, helping transform companies in the Fresno area through virtualization. Moving to a “virtual computing” system has a number of benefits, increased productivity being one of them.
So, what is “virtualization” and how can it benefit your business? Read on to learn more about this new trend that companies are taking advantage of.
What is Computer Virtualization?
Virtualization is the process of partitioning a server into several small, virtual servers. Each virtual server can run its own operating system (OS) and set of applications.
Allowing a server to run several different resources has been in use for a while on the server level, usually by companies that run data centers or large enterprise corporations with several of their own servers. Key advantages it provides at the server level include:
- Ability to use more applications and operating systems on one server
- Reduces IT staff time for administering servers
- Simplifies backup process
- Reduces need for number of physical servers
- Expands cloud computing capability
What’s interesting to small and medium-sized businesses is the server’s ability to run several instances of an OS and applications simultaneously and basically act as a desktop computer environment. So, one server could virtually host multiple “computers” that can be logged into from anywhere.
This means your office is no longer tied to the hardware sitting on your desks, but rather, you gain the flexibility to use your software, applications, personal settings, and OS from any physical device through an internet connection.
How Does Virtualization Benefit My Business?
While it may seem like a new concept to untether your staff from their desktops and have their computer become virtual, you may already use a similar cloud-based infrastructure.
If you’ve ever used Gmail or another online email account, you’ve experienced the ability to login to your email platform and view messages, contacts and settings from any device, and they’re all there just as you left them.
Computer virtualization is a similar concept, but on a larger scale. Rather than just email, your entire computer (everything except the hardware) is hosted virtually for access from anywhere.
Here are the key benefits this type of set up can have for your business.
Lower Costs, Free Up Capital
Companies that use virtual instances of their computers reduce their overhead in multiple ways. They have less physical hardware to buy, which also means lower power consumption from IT assets. Gartner estimates companies using virtualization can save up to 50% over those relying on physical resources.
Another area of savings is in office space. With the ability to share hardware assets between staff, who can simply login to their own virtual computer, less physical space (that you rent or buy) is needed.
Increase Productivity and Flexibility
Another trend that’s been transforming offices is remote workers that operate from home. A two-year study on telecommuting by Stanford showed a boost in productivity equivalent to a full day’s work from those working remotely. Employee attrition (sick days, leaving early, other time off work) was 50% lower with those working from home since they need less time off and don’t have a commute to deal with.
Using virtualization allows you to take advantage of remote workers, either part or full time, much more easily, and you control all your company’s virtual assets with this method.
Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery
Keeping your business going in the event of either a manmade or natural disaster is vital to the ongoing wellbeing of many small businesses. This has been a key driving force of cloud technology, which safely stores all your data remotely and makes it available on any device.
Computer virtualization allows your workforce to operate from anywhere as if they were sitting at their desks at work, in the event of a flood, fire, or other catastrophe that makes you unable to operate your business from your office location.
It’s Green and Sustainable
Here in California, we take being sustainable seriously and many businesses incorporate “going green” policies into their companies naturally. Virtualization fits right in with any corporate sustainability goals by:
- Reducing waste
- Allowing you to operate leaner with less hardware
- Reducing your office space footprint
- Lowering energy consumption needs
- Reducing carbon emissions connection to energy use and commuting
What Would It Take for Your Office to Go Virtual?
Unity IT can show you just how transformative and profitable virtualization can be for your business. Stop wondering and find out just how much you can benefit.
Sign up today for a complimentary consultation or call us with questions anytime at 559-297-1007.