DESKTOP VIRTUALISATION to transform manufacturing sector

DESKTOP VIRTUALISATION to transform manufacturing sector
Vishal Khare, Director – Corporate Sales (India Subcontinent),Citrix highlights the advantages of desktop virtualisation in manufacturing
Indian manufacturing sectorIndian manufacturing sector has been a backbone for Indian economy since ages. Manufacturing has lot of relevance for any country as it gives employment to millions of people and the option to remain self-sustaining in the competition with outside world. In India, manufacturing sector contributes to about 17 per cent of the GDP.
The pace of change has been blistering. Both the perception and the reality of manufacturing in India have shifted radically. In less than past 2 years, the opinions of most international observers about Indian manufacturing sector has gone up multiple notches.
This growth in form of reality and perception will entail significant challenges and changes. In order to meet these, Indian manufacturing sector must offer high-quality output and best prices to their customers. To achieve this, Indian manufacturing organisations need to increase and optimise R&D spends, increase the process efficiency, productivity and reach, market the products effectively, tackle competition through innovation and reach. Information technology and the emergence of a powerful global information infrastructure enable manufacturing industries to develop partnership across the value chain. Successful collaboration is achieved by sharing information at all phases of the business cycle, across the supply chain as well as national and international boundaries. To deliver such important needs, manufacturing organisations can rely on information technology to a large extent. Desktop virtualisation: an enabler for manufacturing sector In present scenario, manufacturing companies are possibly most advanced in adopting business technology but same can’t be exactly said about information technology. If aligned with best information technology, manufacturing companies stand to gain a lot and desktop virtualisation is one such mainstream technology which can act as an enabler to reach to their goals. Desktop virtualisation is set of technologies which optimise the delivery of desktops, applications and data to users. The operating system, applications and data are decoupled from the underlying PC hardware and moved to data centre where they can be centrally managed, secured and delivered. Instead of juggling with multiple static desktop images, IT can manage and update operating system (OS) and applications (apps) once from central location and deliver desktop and apps that are customised to meet the performance, security and mobility requirements of each user. This solution transforms windows desktops and applications into an on-demand service availability to any user, anywhere, on any device allowing to securely deliver individual windows, web and SaaS applications or full-fledged virtual desktop on any device like PC, Thin Client, Macs, tablets, smartphone or laptops.Adopting desktop virtualisation can give any manufacturing organisation an edge and help them achieve the above mentioned business objectives. Following are the few prominent areas where desktop virtualisation can add value:
Optimise R&D spendsR&D is one of the most important aspects of the business for any manufacturing organisation to remain competitive and ahead of the game. Typically R&D spend is around 7-8 per cent of the profits for any progressive manufacturing organisation. This sum is large and the results of the same are confidential and used to advance the organisations’ planning to come out with better products and compete well in the market. It is very important for manufacturing organisations to ensure that they use this money effectively, collaborate with various teams in a cost-effective, secure way, and deliver the results on time. Desktop virtualisation provides solution to all these problems in one window. With desktop virtualisation, organisations can create an environment where all the tools to do R&D can be provided in a cost-effective way from central location and help people be able to contribute in a secure way from whichever location they are based in and also cut down unnecessary time. This helps organisations save a lot of investments too.
Increased process efficiency or innovationThere are many processes in a manufacturing organisation which can be optimised by an effective use of information technology. Some of them are inventory management, internal supply chain, material planning, training, etc. These processes when optimised can save time, effort and money. Adoption of desktop virtualisation in the organisation for these processes also can be efficient. For example: rolling out inventory management application as part of desktop virtualisation platform enables this application to be available to be accessed from any device at any time on any kind of connection with complete security built-in. This flexibility enables a quick,  better decision making and save last minute rush and additional costs to manage the same.
ProductivityFor a successful manufacturing organisation, efficiency and productivity play an important role in ensuring that they remain competitive in ever-increasing competitive environment. In order to achieve this, manufacturing organisation must provide secure, ubiquitous access of desktops and apps to users. This is increasingly becoming challenging for organisations as there is availability of various systems and devices with OS images, hardware configurations and the network connections. In some cases, users are even expected to work while they are in remote location or while in transit. As nowadays, most of the processes are automated where informational technology plays an important role, using desktop virtualisation can help manufacturing organisations achieve productivity, effectively. Desktop virtualisation will enable a secure yet flexible style of working where users will get empowered to use any kind of devices, through available network at any location. This provides the same experience to the users as they are used to get while they operate in their respective offices. This not only helps improve in office productivity but also the productivity of users outside office, including remote branches. As there is complete security and flexibility built-in, users can continue operating uninterrupted in man-made or natural disaster situations.
Security and compliance To increase the business opportunities, manufacturing organisations are expected to increase their reach and be available near to their prospective customer base. In order to achieve this, manufacturing organisations are facing increasing threats or pressure on information security and data protection at remote locations. By adopting desktop virtualisation, organisations can manage their critical applications, desktops, information, and data. Desktop virtualisation provides a secure-by-design approach that enables IT a simply secured, protect-intellectual property, ensuring data privacy and meeting compliance needs without compromising growth and business productivity. The security operations also become much easier as patch management and antivirus updates are done within the data centre.
Reach In order to be close to the prospective customer base and tackle competition, manufacturing organisations needs to increase their reach through direct or indirect presence. Sometimes business demands are rapid and global and that makes it difficult for IT set-ups to respond to business needs with the same speed. In this process, organisations need to allow users to have an access to various applications and data. In a normal situation, it is difficult to get the required set-up, access, control, etc. established for remote and especially for third-party users.  Adopting desktop can help significantly here as all the data, applications and desktops are deployed and relayed from central locations, and it’s very easy for the users at remote or third-party locations to use any kind of device or connection. Using this approach, organisations can cut down the time, effort and costs required to establish the reach.
Workshifting  or globalisationTo continue producing best products, manufacturing organisations need to adopt new technology and hire the best talents. Sometimes, these are available far from the base and difficult to get all concentrated. Desktop virtualisation allows the manufacturing organisations facility and flexibility to have the access to the best technology, hire best people and make them part of their organisations irrespective of the locations without compromising any  deliverables. This helps organisations become global in true sense and allow shifting the work to best, optimal place. Data, apps and desktop continue to get delivered from the central location without lapse on security and compliance.
Cost optimisation Desktop virtualisation provides a clear case of return on investments due to improved business agility, tighter security, and anytime anywhere secure access of data, apps and desktops. Desktop virtualisation also offers cost-effective acquisition, deployment and management models for the manufacturing organisation. The available technology can fit according to the situations and the cost can be optimised accordingly. Another important factor which can cut the cost is the use of Thin Client in place of traditional PCs. Thin Client has gone through a lot of innovations and is now available at very low price. Also,  the running costs are hardly anything. These devices consume 90 per cent less power and have significantly lower or negligible maintenance overheads as compared to traditional PCs. Desktop virtualisation throws up other options like ‘bring your own device (BYOD)” which is gaining popularity, especially amongst the new employees and adopting this gives a clear cost advantage to any manufacturing organisation. This helps organisations move away from age-old practice of buying and providing devices to employees. Organisations can simply allow all or section of employees to bring their own devices. Using desktop virtualisation, they can allow a secure access of corporate desktop, apps, and data on such devices.
Final views Manufacturing organisations are becoming increasingly important for the economy. They have started adopting the best technology and hiring the best brains. Business has become more challenging and all the support systems including IT become as agile as possible. Desktop virtualisation gives that unique advantage to the organisations which not only supports all the IT initiatives but also helps organisations maintain competitive advantage by improving productivity  and security, offering better reach to remote and third-party employees, uninterrupted access of information for better customer service and on-demand computing at any location.
Thus, adoption of desktop virtualisation can aid a lot of new-age initiatives and bring process innovations in the manufacturing organisations.

Desktop virtualisation allows the facility and flexibility to manufacturing organisations to have the access to the best technology and hire best people and make them part of their organisations irrespective of the locations which they are based out of without compromising on any of the deliverables.

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