There are parellels to buying an in-house server vs a hosted desktop solution. My family are considering moving house and have two clear options.
1) Buy a house, make improvements and put on an extension
2) Rent a property that has all of the work completed to a high standard
Buying a house – i.e) buying an in-house server
The beauty of buying or building our own house, we can make it your own. We choose the flooring, we design the layout of the garden, make a decision on how large the extension will be and manage the whole process even down to what handles we’ll put on the kitchen cabinets.
Unfortunately there are a number of draw-backs to this:
• Expensive – making changes to a house is more expensive than building a new one
• To get economies of scale it’s better to buy in bulk, you don’t get good discounts on single items
• You need to plan for eventualities i.e) number of children, in-laws coming to live, where you work
Once the house is built or the extension has been added, there are then a number of fixed costs whether they’re time or money, such as:
• Council Tax
• Electrics, plumbing
Renting an apartment – i.e) running a virtual hosted desktop
When a builder undertakes building a number of properties, they are all built to the same standard and generally the same dimensions. This means you can choose how much space you require from the outset that is relevant for the families position at that time. So the decisions you need to make from the beginning are simpler than choosing to renovate a house, or build one from scratch.
The draw backs to this approach include:
• You have to be happy with the builders decisions
• You don’t own the property at the end
• You might not have the right door handles on the kitchen cupboards
So what are the advantages of renting a top end apartment?
The apartments will have a high quality infrastructure, this could include:
• Solar panels for reduced energy spend
• High speed internet
• Energy efficient, green homes
Now let me translate this to your virtual hosted desktop solution.
When building an in-house server solution you need to predict a number of parts of the accountancy firm that might change over the next 3 – 5 years. This can be very difficult as it’s difficult to predict the future. There are a number of questions that need to be asked:
• Is your accountancy firm likely to grow or contract?
• Will you continue using the same accountancy software?
• Will you move office?
• Will your IT manager/IT support company still be working with your accountancy firm?
• Will you need to offer flexible working?
• Do you need a full SQL licence or cut down version?
• Do you need MS Exchange?
• How many licences for MS Office do you need?
• What version of Windows should I choose?
• What disaster recovery plans do I need in place?
• What Firewall and Anti-Virus software should I choose?
• IT maintenance – who will take care of our shiny new kit?
With our virtual hosted desktop solution, these decisions are made for you – and you’re getting the most up to date solution available:
• Latest version of Windows supplied on the hosted desktop
• Latest versions of MS Office supplied on the hosted desktop
• Latest and most robust Windows Server technology (Windows Server 2008 R2) managing your virtual hosted desktops
• Fire wall as standard
• Data replication
So based on this information, the decision on whether to run your system in-house or outsource the solution on to a virtual hosted desktop becomes clearer. Although there are additional questions that need to be asked.
Want to know more about our hosted desktop for accountants?
Follow the link to organise a free trial of our virtual hosted desktop or feel free to call us on 0800 440 2282.