Office in the Cloud or Hosted Desktop?

Information technology is moving faster than ever before.

With so many choices, it can be hard to know what the right solution is for your business – especially when it comes to how you access applications and software.

Decisions should be based on multiple factors, and each business should adopt a unique approach in order to ensure they optimise their resources and improve business efficiencies without affecting service levels or breaking the bank.

Many customers are wondering if they require a full hosted or virtual desktop solution, or whether they should just move their existing Office 365 applications to the cloud. Each solution offers different features and benefits, so, to make the right choice, businesses currently assessing their requirements need to understand how they differ.

should I choose hosted desktop or office in the cloud


Hosted and Virtual Desktop

Hosted desktop or DaaS is an IT solution which enables businesses to host company computers in the cloud. With hosted desktop, your desktops will not be connected to in-house servers, meaning that your hosted desktop provider will be responsible for resource provisioning, load balancing and network management.

Because your desktops will be hosted in the cloud – i.e., stored in a third-party datacentre – your staff will be able to access their desktop, data and applications anywhere, anytime. Moreover, a good hosted desktop solution will allow streaming to almost any device.

Virtual desktop offers very similar features to hosted desktop. The major difference is the way the solution is set up. Instead of hosting desktops in a third-party datacentre, your in-house IT team will be responsible for your desktops in your own datacentre. This gives a business an IT solution that can be controlled centrally – making it easier to manage provisioning, updating, patching and software distribution.

As with hosted desktop, your staff will be able to access their work desktop remotely, meaning they can work from anywhere.

Benefits of Hosted and Virtual Desktop

  • Customisation via a uniformed approach to users, including other applications.
  • Better delivery through more varied devices.
  • Should your business run through a server-client network, there will now be no need to purchase servers – which is normally done through capital expenditure.
  • Lower running costs since there is no floor space, electricity and cooling required for these servers.
  • Lower personnel requirements since your service provider will manage all hardware and software. This will ensure your solution offers the very best anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-malware for ongoing protection, security and business continuity.
  • Increased security due to regular backups and disaster recovery options.
  • Ease of use since the service is fully managed – freeing up time to focus on more important business needs.


Cloud-Based Office 365

Cloud-based Office 365 is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of moving all your existing IT processes to the cloud, you opt only to make Office 365 cloud-based. This solution is ideal for businesses looking to take their first step into the world of cloud computing, or for those that simply don’t have a requirement for a more general cloud solution.  In other words, if you are a small business with very few users, you will have very basic technology and support needs, and an Office 365 subscription will likely be suitable.

Benefits of Cloud-Based Office 365

  • Increased mobility due to employees being able to access their desktop from any machine that has web access without installing a client.
  • Upfront costs are eliminated for your Office 365 subscription.
  • The Office 365 application and related services are kept up to date.
  • Per user per month pricing, which can quickly scale up or down in line with your needs.


There is also the possibility to choose a hybrid solution. This will combine cloud-based Office 365 with other critical applications that you wish to host in the cloud. A hybrid solution will still provide cost savings, while giving IT the control they need to set policies and user rights. Because a hybrid solution is always tailored to a business’s particular requirements, should you choose this approach, our experts will be able to guide you through the process – and ensure you end up with a solution that perfectly suits your business.

Elite Group is the leading unified communications and technology provider. We supply businesses with industry-leading hosted desktop services supported by our expert engineers and support team. We are also a Microsoft Gold Partnerwhich enables us to deliver advances in cloud computing.