The following report is based on 2021 Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Microsoft and Intel: The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop. Download the full study report, here.

Azure Virtual Desktop is a cloud-based virtual desktop solution offered free of licensing costs to businesses running Microsoft 365. It allows employees to access company desktops, files and applications securely through the cloud, without requiring customers to invest in an on-premises estate. It supports the latest computer offerings from Azure such as the second-generation Intel Xeon processors for improved latency and larger, high-speed local storage for multi-session deployments. 

Azure Virtual Desktop

In a Forrester Total Economic Impact Report Commissioned by Microsoft and Intel, we gain insight into some of the true impact of Azure Virtual Desktop and its benefits. Check out some of our key findings, below.  

Key Findings  

  • Increased productivity of 22 person-hours per Azure Virtual Desktop end user from improved connectivity, onboarding, and security response. Because of the improvements to connectivity and security response achieved by migrating from RDS to Azure Virtual Desktop, customers improved the productivity of Azure Virtual Desktop end users by 22 person-hours per user annually. At a deployment with 1,200 monthly active users, companies would add back 26,512 person-hours of productivity annually. Of this additional productivity, security response occurred 96% faster with Azure Virtual Desktop, adding in 23 productive work hours per effected employee per incident.

Azure Virtual Desktop


  • Reduced cost of VDI licensing and related IT infrastructure by 34%. By migrating from VDI running on-premises to cloud-based Azure Virtual Desktop, customers reduced their prior VDI licensing and IT infrastructure costs by up to 34% annually. Customers eliminated RDS-associated costs, including licensing, on-premises servers and maintenance fees, and network and power costs. Additionally, customers could stop buying employer-owned PCs for 25% of Azure Virtual Desktop end users who instead used their own personal devices.

  • Cost savings of 59% on IT deployment and maintenance expenses. The ease of working over a cloud-based VDI solution compared to on premises solutions reduced IT workloads by a total of 59% annually. Savings resulted in reductions from: 
  1. Application and software deployment and maintenance and support (28% reduction). 
  2. Help desk management reduced (28% reduction).
  3. Security access and patch management (78% reduction). 
  4. OS deployment and maintenance (78% reduction). 


Unquantified benefits- Benefits that are not quantified for this study include: 

  1. Improved user experience. Azure Virtual Desktop matches more closely the local desktop experience than RDS. Because of this, customers reported improved user experience among Azure Virtual Desktop end users compared to their RDS environments. 


  1. Improved scalability and organizational resiliency. Customers attributed to Azure Virtual Desktop the added benefit of scalability, which in turn improved their productivity and response to crisis situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers reported being more prepared for the shift to a work-from-home environment as well as the ability to scale and continue to provision services despite unexpected disruptions. 


Learn More about Azure Virtual Desktop  

To learn more about Azure Virtual Desktop, click here 

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