Nonprofit IT Headaches Alleviated with Secure Virtual Desktops
Anyone who’s ever been responsible for IT at a charity or other nonprofit organization has felt the pain of managing technology under severe constraints of money, time and human resources. This blog outlines the operational efficiency and security benefits of using secure virtual desktops in a nonprofit organization.
As a nonprofit organization grows, so does its technology footprint. Anyone who’s ever been responsible for IT support at a charity or nonprofit has felt the pain of trying to manage security, connectivity and all sorts of general IT problems across the board. Add to that well-meaning users who spend their valuable time either helping each other with issues or inadvertently making the situation worse through their efforts.
In nonprofits, especially those with multiple locations, this sometimes means stretching the IT team to its breaking point and dealing with urgent issues that could compromise confidential information. And, of course, all of this needs to be done on a limited budget. Ultimately, this can prevent your nonprofit from achieving its mission.
Relief from IT Pain
Headaches don’t have to be the norm for nonprofit IT departments. Secure virtual desktops can help to alleviate the burden of managing individual computers and mobile devices. Cloud-based virtual desktops enable you to centralize management of all operating systems, productivity applications and software that was previously on physical devices. What this means for nonprofits in particular is that they can focus on what’s most important to them, whether it’s helping people with food and housing, or raising money for cancer research.
How it Works
With secure virtual desktops, users log in to their own workspaces via a browser from a supported device. They still have the Windows® workstation experience, but they’re accessing centrally stored secure applications and data. Users can work from anywhere, as long as they have a connection to the Internet. This comes in especially handy for remote and mobile volunteers or employees, particularly those that may be in the field meeting with clients or donors.
For the IT team, this means they don’t have to spend valuable hours managing infrastructure and installing updates to every single machine. When software additions or updates are needed, they manage it centrally in the cloud.
Everyone is on a role-specific desktop profile for their position in the organization, making it easier to deploy computing power to new employees, control access to donor or other personal or sensitive information and troubleshoot technical issues. When a new employee or volunteer comes on board, it’s as easy as duplicating an existing profile for that user type. This eliminates the hours or days it could take to set up software and profiles on a new physical desktop, tablet or laptop. With hosted desktops it can take as little as 15 minutes to create a new account and an image of the desktop for a particular employee type, and it can be done from anywhere. No one has to travel to a new location to get the user up and running on a computer.
Security Out of the Box
Since there is personal data and confidential information to worry about, the security that comes with hosted desktops is a major benefit. Data is stored at a secure, centralized data center, not on the user’s desktop or laptop. Users are less tempted to download documents to thumb drives or unsecure consumer-grade cloud services because it’s so easy to access the virtual desktops from anywhere.
The best part, though, is that it turns what used to be a large upfront capital expense into a manageable monthly operating expense. During periods when there aren’t a lot of employees or volunteers who need desktops, you only pay for the desktops you actually use.