During lockdown, most office-based businesses have moved workers to some kind of home or remote working situation. As we move closer to lockdown easing to the point where we can return to the office, some organisations are asking – do we need to? Gartner recently did a survey (March 2020) of over 300 CFO’s and Finance leaders that showed 74% intended to move some employees to remote working permanently. Here at TechQuarters, we’ve had a partial remote workforce for a few years now and made the decision when lockdown hit to become a full remote organisation.
With the right setup and adjustments, going from office-based working to full home working can not only save a business costs through less office space spend but also through time in productivity and efficiency, increase collaboration and even reduced IT spend on infrastructure and support. In this blog we’ll look at you can reduce your IT costs by moving to remote working, without compromising quality.
The most important thing you’re going to need when moving to remote working, is a good base. This may mean making some enhancements to existing infrastructure to be enable working from home better. This can be anything from investing in ergonomic chairs for users to a Windows Virtual Desktop setup with Microsoft 365. Think of it this way, you used to all work in 1 office with 1 or 2 internet lines in. But now it’s like 20 offices across 20 broadband’s (for a 20-user company). You would think this would definitely mean more headaches, but if you set yourself up with a solid infrastructure, like the Windows Virtual Desktop environment we mentioned, you can get a standardised setup across all users that can be centrally managed despite everyone being disparate. Windows Virtual Desktop hosts a user’s Windows 10 desktop and Microsoft 355 apps in Azure, rather than on their machines – so they can login form any device, as long as they have internet. Investing in an environment hosted in Azure means a guaranteed uptime of 99.99% from Microsoft, as well as your IP and data being hosted on one of the most secure platforms in the world today. The productivity and compliance gains form this alone are worth thinking about.
One example of how customers utilise Windows Virtual Desktop to create a productive home workforce without breaking the bank is by kitting out users with lower grade machines and Windows Virtual Desktop . All the processing power is handled by Azure rather than the device and every user gets a hosted Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 license through Windows Virtual Desktop that they can access from the laptop. This means users get the satisfyingly familiar experience of using Windows 10 like they would in the office, but the organisation doesn’t need to fork out on loads of high-end devices to handle the processing. This can also all be setup extremely quickly compared to other hosted desktop solutions, taking only a few working days.
The result of Windows Virtual Desktop is the company benefits from reduced hardware fees – both on PC’s and servers as everything is now in the cloud, a reliable infrastructure which means more productivity and collaboration by workers as well as reduced support fees. This is one of the other cost saving benefits of having a hosted infrastructure and remote workers. As everything is now centrally management and, in the cloud, you can get a support service that does not include call outs, and you just pay for them as an when you need them. Without and office and server room to maintain, you won’t need onsite visits nearly as much – so much we feel, that we’ve removed them from our remote IT Support service. You can of course pay for one off visit if someone needs one, but they will be so infrequent your overall IT support bill will be reduced.
This service works very well for smaller companies (SMB’s), but what are bigger companies with IT teams’ options? Well, with a Windows Virtual Desktop setup you might want some bounce out support to our Azure experts and Cloud Architects, with your IT team managing the day to day support form their own laptops on that central dashboard. Your overall IT bill will still be reduced as you’re paying for your Azure hosted Windows Virtual Desktop infrastructure monthly, so there aren’t any big hardware costs. Also working with a specialist partner like TechQuarters, we can set scripts, so your Azure consumption is reduced when no one is on your infrastructure, and also setup auto-scaling in Windows Virtual Desktop so you only pay for what users are using. So even larger businesses can utilise a Windows Virtual Desktop and bounce out support setup to reduce their costs alongside other remote working benefits.
So, as you can, hopefully, see from this blog – moving to remote working with the right setup can save you money in more ways that just getting rid of office space expense. Reduced monthly IT spend on a more home working friendly support service, the efficiency gains of having a reliable infrastructure and the Microsoft 365 apps and getting rid of massive hardware bills every few months or years can all add to the benefits of moving to remote working. If you’d like some more information on how you could make these changes within your business, please do get in touch at the contact details below.