Windows 365 Cloud PC is one of many highly intelligent tools Microsoft has rolled out in the recent past. Windows 365 comes in both Windows 10 and Windows 11, and is yet another tool for modern work in a climate that continues toward hybrid and remote work. It does so by allowing Windows 365 enterprise users access to content regardless of location with consistent security and settings across devices.
The result is a tool that may shift the nature of device management, designed for hybrid work.
Wondering how to use Windows 365 cloud PCs in your strategy? Windows 365 is powerful, making it hard to determine the best place for Cloud PC in your business. To help, we’ve tallied up some of the most effective use cases we’ve seen for Cloud PCs so far.
1. Temporary Workers and Interns
The price of hardware has dramatically increased due to the chip shortages of recent years. Due to this spike, many companies are having a tough time justifying the excessive spend on new machines – especially when it comes to temps or interns who will likely only be working with your company for a brief duration. This situation is a perfect example of where the Cloud PC can come in as a hero.
Instead of purchasing a physical device, Windows 365 makes it possible to purchase a Cloud PC for a designated amount of time, and then turn it off when it is done serving its purpose. The virtual desktop cost is negligible compared to the expense of purchasing new machines for staff that are only with you on a temporary basis.
Instead of buying new hardware, your interns or temps can use their personal machine to connect to the Cloud PC for safe and effective access to necessary company assets. This makes a cost-effective solution for temporary workers.
2. Overseas / Offshore Employees
It’s becoming more common for enterprises and small & medium-sized businesses alike to hire overseas employees. The barrier in geography has become less relevant as companies everywhere embrace modern work technologies that make collaborating as an international team easier.
An international workforce can bring many benefits to the table (e.g., diversity in company culture and longer hours of operation). However, it is not without drawbacks. The unfortunate reality is that there are many parts of the world where it is difficult to obtain a computer without a pirated operating system. In many of these areas, it’s unrealistic to assume a machine is safe regardless of where it was purchased. Naturally, this puts your sensitive data at risk and makes device management near impossible for employees in these areas.
In situations where device compliance is unattainable, Microsoft 365 is a godsend. By leveraging Cloud PCs, the need to manually ship overseas employees a new device is eliminated. By setting offshore employees up with Cloud PCs the company gets the security it needs while employees can work productively.
3. Independent Contractors
Those who work with your organization on a contractual basis often need access to apps and files in your environment, but it may not be realistic to purchase them a company computer of their own. Worse, their own equipment may be managed by their company – preventing you from creating the security controls you desire.
Windows 365 bridges this gap by letting contractors into your environment in a safe and as-needed capacity. Some roles that we’ve seen benefit from leveraging Cloud PCs include physicians, consultants, and fractional executives. These individuals often work for several groups, but their device is managed by their employer. Using Microsoft Intune, Cloud PC allows contractors to securely access necessary information for efficient client work.
4. Mergers and Acquisitions
Anyone who has been through an M&A phase knows that the operational shifts can be massive. Often, employees will need to continue working on legacy machines while simultaneously requiring access to the new company’s environment. This is where Cloud PCs can come in handy. Employees can navigate the environments of both companies while the operational kinks are being ironed out – all the while using their physical computer to connect to the old network and their virtual Cloud PC to access the new (or vice versa).
5. Shared Workstations
73% of workers say they want flexible remote work options. That’s not surprising considering the general shift to modern work since the beginning of the pandemic. Many employees are electing to partially or fully work from home.
This often raises the question of whether it is worth devoting space to a single employee. A solution many businesses are finding viable is the concept of a shared workstation. This is another instance where leveraging the power of Microsoft 365 cloud PCs is advantageous.
To combat an overspend in funds, businesses can purchase one physical PC for each workstation that is accessible to many employees. From there, individuals can log into their cloud PC and work effectively while accessing content in the same interface they are used to – regardless of their location in the workplace.
6. Using Smartphones as Computers
This is a very exciting use case in the near future and a great addition to the Windows experience. The reality is, that it is becoming more and more feasible to replace your laptop or PC with a smartphone. Features that allow you to connect a keyboard and mouse to your phone via Bluetooth while simultaneously exporting your screen to a monitor through the USB or lightning port are becoming standard.
Equipped with those tools, in theory, your phone could function as your work PC with Microsoft 365 by simply signing in through the Edge browser to your Windows 11 Cloud PC. The potential for companies to begin eliminating physical PCs in favor of personal smartphones is near.
In the not-too-distant future, the user experience may be placing the phone on a wireless ‘docking’ station, opening up a Cloud PC, and getting to work.
Contact us to learn more about Microsoft 365!