The hybrid and remote workforce are the new priorities in the business world. The pandemic put the office as we know it on an accelerated trajectory towards an anywhere working environment powered by cloud technology.

One of the companies positioning itself to take advantage of the transition by offering tools to support an effective remote team is Microsoft. It just released its new Windows 365 cloud PC which is marketed to help small businesses and enterprise organizations alike manage the hybrid workforce.

After COVID-19, the number of employees working remotely between 3-5 days per week rose from 24% to 53%.

Windows 365 allows you to stream your computer environment anywhere and on any device. Users get a consistent experience no matter where they’re working and don’t have to carry around a laptop in the process.

Virtual computers have been on the scene for several years now, but haven’t been widely adopted. But the recent explosion of at-home workers has changed things. Now the cloud has become vital and it makes sense to many companies to move their computing power and storage into the cloud as well.

So many, in fact, that at the time of this writing Microsoft has temporarily stopped giving Windows 365 trials because of high demand.

Microsoft Windows 365

Does a move to cloud PCs make sense for your company? We’ll go through the pros and cons next.

Disadvantages of Moving to Windows 365

We’ll start with some of the potential drawbacks of moving to a completely cloud-based PC environment.

All Employees Need a Solid Internet Connection

Cloud PCs need to be used online. If an employee has a slow internet connection it can negatively impact their experience, especially because they would be using that PC to access other apps and software.

The fact that many of today’s business processes rely on online data and applications, means that for some companies having computers in the cloud would not be much of a leap because employees already need to use the internet all day for their work.

You Need to Pay for PCs on an Ongoing Basis, But Still Need Physical Computers

When you move to Windows 365, you’ll be paying a monthly subscription fee for your computers rather than buying them outright. While the costs can be similar if you replace your work PCs every 3 years or so, you have to factor in additional hardware costs.

Cloud PCs need to be accessed from another device, which can be a computer, laptop, or tablet. You don’t have to spend as much on that computer since it’s for cloud PC access only, but employees still need to have another device to access Windows 365.

Advantages of Moving to Windows 365

If you’re one of the many companies that are now juggling remote and hybrid workers, then there are many advantages to bringing PCs into the cloud world.

Anywhere Access to Computers

Employees gain the flexibility of accessing their “main computer” from any location and using any device. Staff that works both at the office and home, no longer have to switch between two different devices and desktop environments.

A person can be working on a document and leave it open, go home and log back into their Windows 365 PC, and pick right back up where they left off. This is a gamechanger for hybrid teams.

Improved Remote Security

56% of remote employees use their personal devices when working from home. This is risky for companies because they can lose the ability of oversite for security and updates when it comes to employee-owned devices.

This also leaves the sticky situation of business data being stored on employee computers, with no access by others in the company.

Using Windows 365 gives you complete control of all your PCs because even if employees are accessing their virtual PC environment from home, it’s still housed in the cloud. This includes the computer’s storage, settings, email, and any other data.

Companies can deploy automated updates, uniform data loss prevention policies, and other safeguards. When an employee leaves the company, the business retains control of the Windows 365 PC.

Pricing for Windows 365

One of the big factors to consider is the price of the Windows 365 subscription versus your current hardware maintenance and replacement costs. You should also factor in the security improvement for hybrid teams and the fact that you can scale up or down at any time, which helps reduce overall technology costs.

Business & Enterprise Pricing for Windows 365:

  • Basic: $31/month (4 GB memory, 128 GB storage, 2 vCPU)
  • Standard: $41/month (8 GB memory, 128 GB storage, 2 vCPU)
  • Premium: $66/month (16 GB memory, 128 GB storage, 4 vCPU)

To give you an example of how this compares to the price of a physical PC, here are the prices for 1 user over 3 years:

  • Basic: $1,116
  • Standard: $1,476
  • Premium: $2,376

Get Expert Help Optimizing Your Cloud Strategy!

ECN IT Solutions can help your Tucson area business look at Windows 365 and other cloud solutions and make a data-driven decision on the benefits.

We’re here and ready to talk cloud infrastructure with you! Reach out at 520-335-7553 or through our website.