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Why Financial Institutions Should Implement Hosted Desktops

28 August 2019      
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As technology evolves and software improves, financial institutions are expected to embrace the disruption technology brings.

As more industries move their day-to-day workflow to cloud software, hosted desktops, and Software as a Service (SaaS), it’s clear the accelerating rate of technological change is not only innovating the financial services ecosystem but is disrupting obsolete policies, acquisitions, and methods.

It’s clear that banks have made strides in their digital offerings with more and more UK banks adopting a ‘FinTech’ narrative. But, there are still many institutions that haven’t caught up.

Financial organisations need to embrace this change to stay ahead of the competition. One way to accept this change, enhance efficiency, and become more agile is through the implementation of a hosted desktop solution.

What is a hosted virtual desktop?

Gartner defines a hosted virtual desktop as a full, thick-client user environment, which is run as a virtual machine (VM) on a server and accessed remotely.

In simple terms, a hosted virtual desktop is a user interface that replicates the functionality of a standard desktop machine.

Rather than having a physical machine, a software-based version of the desktop is stored in the cloud. 

Users can access their virtual desktop by logging in to it via a device of their choosing. Once logged in, they can access everything you'd expect from a standard desktop environment.

As such, multiple people can share an operating system that runs several desktops. So, there's an obvious cost-saving attached to hosted desktops too.

What do virtual desktops allow you to do?

A virtual desktop allows users to access their "computer" from any device.

Originally designed for remote access to your office machine, virtual desktops also benefit businesses by providing extra security and cloud storage.

As there is no physical machine to store your data and files, the risk of information loss is significantly reduced. All files and data are stored in highly secure data centres - often split across several locations for redundancy.

The reduction in physical machines allows flexibility for businesses to roll out virtual desktops when new users join.

There is no longer the need to request, buy, or set up new machines.

Over time, you'll also benefit from reduced administration thanks to the reduction in equipment that needs ongoing maintenance.

Now we know what a hosted desktop is, lets's look at the benefits financial institutions gain when they appoint Nasstar to help with their deployment.

1 - Hosted desktops improve flexibility and scalability

Virtualisation and utilisation of the cloud give businesses in the financial sector (like banks and credit card providers) the capability to scale their processing capacities.

This means you can stay in line with global customer demands and dynamic market developments.

For example, digital challenger banks are rapidly taking up a large share of the market as they offer personalised, transparent customer-centric banking.

In order to keep up with customer demands, these banks need to scale accordingly.

The right hosted desktop solution will offer these banks a full office working environment as a service.

The modules and operations within this desktop can be streamlined, updated, and adapted to suit the needs of each individual department within the business, thus increasing profitability through maximising the value from your investment.

2 - Hosted desktops ensure data in financial institutions is safer

It’s no secret that financial institutions store and process a gold-mine of sensitive customer data on a daily basis.

From contact information to addresses and banking details, this wealth of information makes any business within the financial sector an appealing target to cyber criminals.

This is where a hosted desktop solution comes in. They don’t store or process any sensitive data - it is stored off-site on the hosting company’s servers where it is safe and secured.

Should an employee lose a laptop or leave a device somewhere, there’s no need to worry about data loss. The hosted desktop isn't associated with any set device.

A reliable hosted desktop provider is much safer than storing data in-house. Providers undertake daily backups of the data it stores and will have cooling systems, fire systems, and backup generators in the event of a disaster.

Alongside this, there will be 24-hour monitoring and security.

3 - Hosted desktops can reduce IT costs in financial institutions

One great benefit of implementing a hosted desktop solution is that it can save you a considerable amount of money.

For starters, you save on the cost of running your own servers and internal support teams. Instead of firefighting on-premises equipment, your IT team can spend more time optimising your workflows and making your business more productive.

Alongside this, new applications and resources aren’t always compatible with ageing processors and computers. So they slow down efficiency and take longer to run.

In comparison, hosted desktops are designed to utilise the hardware your business currently uses. This means you’ll be making the most of your existing estate.

Furthermore, all users gain access to the desktop via a secure gateway that uses minimal bandwidth.

4 - Work from any device and at any location

Remote working is becoming the standard for many industries.

In fact, 56% of global companies surveyed by Entrepreneur stated that they offered fully remote working or hybrid working.

Since the coronavirus pandemic at the start of 2020, this number has only increased.

Hosted desktops give you the ability to work wherever you are, on any secure device - as long as there is an internet connection! Hosted desktops are also compatible with any device - if you have an employee who travels a lot, they can update files and stay up-to-date from their own phone or tablet.

We work with you to get the most from your systems and applications, with our dedicated Professional Services team on hand to support you each step of the way.

If your financial institution is thinking about a hosted desktop solution, contact us today to discuss your requirements.