In today’s digital age, IT is a critical resource for all businesses. Small businesses in particular face numerous hurdles when it comes to managing their IT securely and cost effectively. These include limited budgets, lack of IT expertise, cyber risk, and flexibility.
With the help of Cognition Cloud and our Desktop As A Service (DaaS) Solutions, these challenges can all effectively be overcome. We not only reduce IT costs for small businesses, but we also make IT more sustainable, more secure, and more flexible. We manage it for you so you don’t need any in house expertise.
Windows is the Problem…and the Solution.
Microsoft Windows is the most widely adopted operating system in business environments.
It has been dominant in the business world for decades. As a result, most people are familiar with it and that makes it easier for businesses to train employees and troubleshoot issues.
Microsoft’s suite of Office applications, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, have long been the standard productivity suite for businesses worldwide. Again, familiarity with these means that limited or no training is needed for people to hit the ground running.
However, there are significant downsides to running Windows. These include:
Windows has historically been prone to security vulnerabilities and is heavily targeted by malware. Its popularity and wide user base make it an attractive target for cybercriminals.
Although Microsoft regularly releases security updates and patches to address these vulnerabilities, keeping on top of this is time consuming and disruptive to users.
Windows is resource-intensive. The operating system includes a number of services and programs that run in the background, which all use CPU, RAM and storage. This is why running Windows on lower-spec machines leads to slower performance and reduced efficiency. Even high spec machines will run slower over time, ultimately resulting in them being replaced.
Regular updates and feature additions in newer versions of Windows can also require more system resources, potentially impacting performance on older devices.
Malware is ubiquitous on Windows computers. Even if it is relatively benign, malware causes computers to run slow. To protect a Windows machine from infection, companies need to run anti-virus and other software programmes. These can throttle a computer’s performance causing frustration for users and impacting on productivity. Protection also comes at a cost. Businesses will need to buy licences for this software, and someone will need to monitor and manage it.
Windows operating system licences can be costly, particularly for businesses that require multiple licences across their organisation. Small businesses with limited budgets may find it challenging to allocate funds for Windows licences, especially when they also need to invest in hardware and other software applications.
As Windows evolves and new versions are released, compatibility issues can arise, particularly with older software applications or hardware devices.
Upgrading to a new version of Windows may require businesses to invest in updated software or hardware that is compatible with the latest operating system.
In recent years, Microsoft has moved towards a more aggressive approach to automatic updates. While regular updates are crucial for security and stability, automatic updates can be disruptive if they occur at inopportune times. This can be a challenge for businesses that require strict control over their update process to ensure compatibility with specific software or hardware configurations.
Removing Windows Solves These Problems
It might sound too good to be true but every single problem listed above would be eliminated through the use of a simple, read-only alternative to Windows.
This new operating system is the perfect solution for accessing Windows in the cloud using services such as Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), or Windows 365. This means you can still use your favourite Microsoft Office applications and continue to enjoy the full Windows desktop experience without needing to have Windows installed on your computers.
Here are just a handful of practical ways that Virtual Desktops can help small businesses control costs, manage time, and efficiently scale
Save Money on Computers
In order to stay current and combat performance issues most businesses replace their computers every three to four years. This means a business with 10 employees will spend around £2,500 a year on new computer equipment.
With Cognition Cloud’s AVD solution you can keep your computers for twice that time, if not longer. Keeping computers for longer and sourcing replacement computers as a service can reduce computer equipment costs by more than 50% annually, allowing the business to invest in other areas.
Save Money on Electricity
Without the demands that a native Windows Operating System puts on a computer’s resources, it will use around 40% less electricity. Practically speaking, this means a business running 10 computers can expect to reduce their annual electricity costs by around £300. This has proven particularly attractive to those who work from home or have hybrid working arrangements.
Save Money by Not Paying for What you Don’t Need
In many small businesses, people rely exclusively on applications on the Internet as opposed to ones that need to be installed on a local computer. For these people, there is no need to pay for a Windows licence, antivirus or endpoint protection software. Even if this is included in what you have already, you will still be paying for it one way or another.
Whether you have seasonal variability in your workforce or throughout aspects of your business, you shouldn’t have to pay full price for equipment and software that you may only need for a month or so every year. Virtual Desktops make it easy for businesses to scale their digital infrastructure up or down easily, without fixed capital costs.
Managing a native version of Windows and keeping it secure can be very time consuming. Whether you are managing this internally, or outsourcing it to an IT service provider, time is money. Replacing Windows with a DaaS Solution makes life simple and at Cognition Cloud, we will even manage it for you. What’s more, because we don’t need to worry about Windows on your machines, our costs are lower than your typical IT management and support company.
Mitigate Security Risks
Considering its widespread use, it should come as no surprise to learn that 95% of ransomware and malware attacks target Windows operating systems. Because of this, simply removing it from your computers instantly improves your security posture. The DaaS operating system we would replace it with is read-only, which means that no data can be stored on the machine. This also reduces your security risk and helps with GDPR compliance.
To further improve your security, Cognition Cloud can help you to achieve Cyber Essentials certification. Cyber Essentials is a UK Government backed scheme to help you to protect your organisation against a whole range of the most common cyber-attacks. Certification will also assure your customers that you are taking positive actions to secure your IT against cyber-attack.
The process of manufacturing a computer and all its constituent components uses a staggering 190,000 litres of water. A new computer will also have around 300kg CO2e embedded in it.
The single most effective thing you can do to make your IT more sustainable is to use your computers for longer. Replacing Windows with a lightweight alternative will enable you to use them for twice as long.
Whatever your views on climate change and the environment, you can be sure that this is something that many of your employees, customers and investors will care passionately about. Demonstrating the impact of using your computers for longer is a great story to engender employee and customer loyalty.
Cut to the Chase – What’s it Cost?
Cognition Cloud can remove Windows from your computers and provide a fully managed service from as little as £1 a day.
Sounds too good to be true? Why not arrange a limited free trial to see if it will work for you? Or give us a call to find out more.