Graphics. Nicety or necessity?

Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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By Karl Nicholson
Practice Lead - End User Computing

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Recently we've seen a growing trend of organisations overlooking graphics with the rise of centralised client computing. Graphics are essential to a successful End User Compute/Digital Workspace environment, providing an excellent user experience which results in happy staff. Are organisations unwittingly compromising on something that has potentially detrimental effects on their staff? 

At Softcat we see user productivity hinging on three things:

  1. Access to applications
  2. Availability of the correct data
  3. Application of their settings to provide a familiar workspace

These three things must then be complemented by effective collaboration tools and a highly performant platform to work on. In addition, all organisations require broad security at every level as well as automation to enable efficiencies. These are our reference principals which we design and implement on.

All about the user

Centralised client computing, including virtual desktops and application publishing, are an efficient, secure solution for companies. Creating a pathway to achieve fantastic user productivity with the smooth delivery of apps, data and settings, this fully automated system provides efficiencies and promotes collaboration. This way of working also has the capability to enable fantastic user experience, but only if the right investment is made.

A vGPU (virtualised graphics processing unit) is the best way of providing excellent user experience on virtual desktops. Not only does it ensure that people can work with incredibly complex and graphically demanding applications, it ensures that the entire workspace runs smoothly. All of this adds up to a happy user.

Keeping up with new tech

Step back in time fifteen years. The most powerful IT that staff encountered was provided by their workplace. This is no longer the case. People now carry (multiple) devices which are incredibly easy to use and offer fabulous performance. Corporate IT has not recognised the appetite in staff for pushing forward user experience not just at home, but in the workplace as well. These expectations will only become higher as consumer IT develops at a frightening pace. Are organisations comfortable with delivering generally tolerable user experiences while the expectation of their workforce increases? 

Is it all about the money?

Centralised client computing isn't cheap. Whether buying compute up front or choosing a pay-as-you-go setup, centralised client computing can be a major investment. So organisations often look for cost saving initiatives and ways to streamline, without compromising user output. And it's in this situation that we find many organisations opting out of graphics, believing that it is an unnecessary expense and an easy cost saving measure. But this is where organisations focus on the bottom line means they forget just how important the user experience is.

What happens if the vGPU is ignored?

If organisations decide not to invest in vGPUs, there are several issues that users will face. Not only will the whole system run slower, putting pressure on the processor to deliver the graphics as well as applications, but the look and feel of the environment will be significantly compromised.

All modern websites are image based, with smooth graphics and animated menus. Without vGPU, these websites simply do not perform well. And gone are the days when watching videos of cats on YouTube within work hours was a sackable offence! Social media websites are integral to the smooth and developmental running of many organisations, without which, they start to drop behind the competition as well as reducing their presence in the marketplace. 

Organisations must invest when it comes to giving their staff access to an environment that performs to their expectation, or even above. Enhancing user experience leaves staff stimulated, happy and ultimately gives them a good work environment, making them more productive. This is why we believe that graphics is not an area to compromise on. End User Computing is about the user after all.

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Ready to create a fantastic user environment for your team? Get in touch either through your Softcat account manager or using the form below. 

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