Solutions to Empower Global Energy Workforce and Boost Operational Effectiveness

Ubiquitous and secure access to business applications is critical to the energy industry. Compatibility with existing infrastructures and enabling remote workers with strong access management and control has made virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) a trusted, reliable tool for many businesses.

However, as energy companies deploy applications to tens of thousands of employees across the globe, the legacy VDI solutions are no longer capable of providing the full value they once delivered. In fact, traditional VDI struggles to keep pace with the energy industry’s rapidly evolving needs. Scaling to support a diverse and global workforce are major challenges. Additionally, adapting to changing demands and maintaining outdated systems drains time, energy, and resources, exposing organizations to significant security risks.


So, how can organizations ensure continued productivity and business growth as they move away from their once integral legacy VDI solutions?

With the shift into hybrid and cloud infrastructures, it is only natural that we explore hybrid multi-cloud VDI solutions that empower the energy industry with an efficient, scalable, and cost-effective approach to support varied workloads, operations, and teams. We’ll dig into insights from Siemens Energy, a leading global energy provider, showing how the organization is solving a complex mix of on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud requirements, using modern VDI solutions.

Diverse Workforces Demand Global Architectures

The global cloud computing energy market is expected to reach $2.84 billion by 2032. This technology enables companies across industries to boost operational effectiveness, minimize downtime, and cater to the diverse needs of an increasingly dynamic workforce. However, as energy organizations adopt cloud infrastructures, they must make sure they’re implementing the technologies that align with their specific business needs.

As organizations opt for new technologies, VDI continues to be an important area for inspection. Flexibility is required as the business and workforce models adapt to a decentralized approach. In this context, the strategic implementation of modern cloud-native VDI solutions is critical to ensuring that businesses’ cloud adoption meets the specific needs of their organizations. Whether that is maintaining their on-premises infrastructure, transitioning to a remote strategy, or—as in many cases today—a combination of both with hybrid environments.  Positioning workloads across multiple clouds and multiple regions becomes increasingly critical to operational efficiency, security, and availability.

Brad Tompkins

Siemens Energy is a perfect example of the energy industry’s modern approach to VDI. The company needed a solution that could deploy and manage workloads across multiple clouds and on-premises, with a single management interface. The system also had to be reliable, as any amount of downtime costs businesses significant dollars and halting of critical operations.

Siemens Energy had to replicate the performance of locally deployed applications to all users across the globe.  It needed a solution that could meet the robust needs of processing-intensive graphics processing units (GPU) and computer-aided design (CAD) workloads across 90 countries. Siemens also faced the computing challenges of complex workloads that require a hybrid on-premises/cloud deployment, such as in China, where network latencies dictate locating virtual desktop applications closer to users.

The ability to process these workloads is critical to energy organizations, no matter where their people are based. Engineers and architects in this sector routinely use processing-intensive workloads to perform crucial operations including:

  • Engaging with simulation and modeling technologies to explore new energy sources and locations.
  • Using delicate, precise electronic tools like fiber optic HD cameras to probe for, and test, possible energy sources.
  • Running modeling apps to determine the most efficient ways to capture and transport energy once tapped.

Importance of Strategic Implementations

Currently, 83% of energy and utility companies either use cloud services or would like to integrate them within the next two years.

As energy companies and other critical infrastructure organizations adopt new technologies, choosing solutions that lack flexibility or adaptability to navigate their complex environments can lead to severe repercussions. These consequences include heightened vulnerability to cybersecurity threats, potentially resulting in substantial financial and reputational damage. Inadequate solutions may also contribute to prolonged and more frequent periods of downtime, disrupting critical operations and negatively impacting public welfare. Additional consequences include:

  • Inefficiencies in user performance, leading to an overall loss of productivity.
  • Very high up-front capital expenditures (CapEx) and ever-increasing operating expenses (OpEx).
  • Difficulty scaling, with over-provisioning a common practice.
  • Inconsistent reliability and lack of actionable, global oversight.
  • Slow productivity and lower availability.

Ultimately, the absence of a flexible and powerful solution like a cloud native VDI may result in reduced return on investment (ROI), driving up costs and diminishing profits for the business. Embracing solutions capable of addressing the demands of remote operations is imperative for maintaining security, continuity, and productivity.

A Modern Approach to Traditional Challenges

Through a modern VDI approach, the energy industry is meeting the evolving needs of today’s workforce, as well as adhering to the workload-intensive demands. These solutions are much more efficient and reliable, providing greater scalability and flexibility than traditional VDI systems.

As seen with Siemens Energy, modern VDI is revolutionizing on-premises, cloud, and hybrid computing—providing enhanced applications to a highly distributed workforce. Beyond availability, scalability, and lower costs overall, Siemens is also equipped with better security and end-user observability.  Workloads now span multiple clouds and regions which offers performance benefits including the GPU computing power needed for CAD.

With these capabilities, Siemens is achieving greater operational efficiency, strengthened business continuity, and increased ROI on their technology investments. This enables the company to scale the business and maintain its leadership in the market.

Future of Efficient Computing in the Energy Industry

When evaluating VDI solutions, prioritizing reliability is essential. Downtime translates to lost productivity and revenue, and in critical operations, it can have catastrophic business consequences. Robust VDI solutions minimize disruptions to help ensure seamless access, enabling businesses to operate efficiently and confidently.

Leading organizations like Siemens Energy are at the forefront of leveraging multi-cloud and on-premises VDI solutions in tandem, employing centralized management to facilitate flexible deployment of workloads tailored to the specific needs of the business and its employees. This approach ensures consistent performance, control, and security across various environments.

By embracing modern VDI technologies, businesses can effectively adapt to the dynamic demands of today’s digital landscape while equipping their workforce with reliable tools for seamless efficiency, free from concerns of downtime or disruptions. This empowers organizations to mitigate disruptions among users and environments—optimizing productivity and minimizing operational disturbances.

Siemens Energy illustrates the tangible benefits of this approach by implementing a universal global architecture for a wide variety of VDI use cases. This initiative has simplified virtual desktop management on a global scale, offering a compelling ROI. As a result, Siemens Energy is effectively aligning its investments with strategic objectives to facilitate enhanced business outcomes—enabling the enterprise to significantly scale its business.

Brad Tompkins is president and COO at Workspot, an Enterprise VDI platform built for the multi-cloud and hybrid era.

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