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The Benefits of Hosted Desktops for Banks, Part 2

This is the second part of the article, “The Benefits of Hosted Desktops for Banks.”

As a bank, you would primarily use hosted desktops to replace locally-installed Windows desktop OSes as the primary electronic workspace for your employees. Your employees would use the hosted desktops to access all of their applications, including core banking software, Microsoft Office, email clients, and web browsers; access shared folders; and store and organize all of their files.

The benefits of hosted desktops over locally-installed Windows desktop OSes include:

Increased data security

With locally-installed desktop OSes, users are more likely to store data on their less secure local hard drives than on a more secure shared storage drive, install unapproved applications, visit unapproved websites and web services, and prevent updates from downloading and installing and virus scans from running.

With hosted desktops, however, you can prevent your users from storing data on their local devices, ensuring that they remain on the hosting provider’s highly-secure servers at all times, and from installing unapproved applications. They also have built-in content filtering that can be used to prevent users from visiting inappropriate websites. In addition, antivirus scanning and patch management are handled by the hosting company.

Increased IT reliability

Hosted desktops tend to be more reliable (i.e., have less downtime) than locally-installed desktop OSes because hosting companies are usually able to implement more extensive downtime prevention measures than most banks’ IT departments.

The downtime prevention measures of Iron Orbit, for example, include 24/7/365 monitoring and maintenance, offsite data backups, redundant IT infrastructure, Internet, and electrical power, environmental controls (redundant HVAC, raised flooring, hot and cold aisles, and smoke detectors and fire suppression systems), and uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and diesel generators.

In addition, it tends to be easier to fix problems with hosted desktops than it is those with locally-installed desktop OSes. Hosted desktops are easy for technicians and administrators to access remotely, and can be rebooted remotely.

If a hosted desktop can’t be fixed for some reason (perhaps the user accidentally deleted critical system files or downloaded rootkit malware), the desktop can be quickly and for no cost deleted and replaced with a new one, and the desktop’s user’s data restored from backups.

In contrast, if a locally-installed OS can’t be fixed remotely, the technician may have to travel to the user’s location to perform the fix (which can be costly and time consuming if your bank has multiple branches and/or a lot of PCs), or it may require the replacement or repair of hardware.

Less IT management responsibilities

Many IT hosting companies will handle the management and support of your hosted desktops for you. Iron Orbit, for example, includes 24/7/365 monitoring, managed IT security, patch management, managed data backups, and 24/7/365 technical support with all of our hosted desktops.

With hosted desktops, your only responsibilities will be to purchase and maintain your own end-user devices and to ensure that all of your users have access to the Internet.

Hosted desktops can make maintaining end-user devices easier, too. This is due to the aforementioned fact that hosted desktops are fully processed and stored on the hosting company’s servers, so the quality, age, and condition of users’ devices don’t really matter—they’re just as fast and responsive when accessed from low-cost, low-maintenance thin clients and old PCs as they are from high-end workstations.

In addition, hosted desktops remaining on the hosting company’s servers at all times also means that you can allow your employees to use their personal devices (e.g., laptops and tablets that they purchased themselves) at work without decreasing the security of your data—and maintaining your employees’ personal devices wouldn’t be your responsibility.

Lower costs

Hosted desktops don’t require the purchase of any expensive onsite IT hardware, such as servers or storage arrays. They also typically don’t require the hiring of any additional IT personnel, since they’re usually fully managed and supported by the hosting company.

As mentioned above, they can be accessed from low-cost, low-maintenance end-user devices (which last much longer than the usual 3-5 years of a standalone PC) and/or from employees’ personal devices.

To sign up for hosted desktops today, contact your preferred hosting company. If you want to sign up for hosted desktops from Iron Orbit, we’re always available at sales@ironorbit.com or 1-888-753-5060.