Inevitech’s innovative virtual desktop platform Inevidesk is set to transform working practices for architectural studios and their employees. Architecture Today’s technical editor John Ramshaw explores how it works.


Revit drawing produced on an Inevidesk virtual desktop courtesy of Hopkins Architects

Virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs) were once the preserve of only the largest and/or most prestigious commercial practices due mainly to their prohibitive cost and complexity. But recent advances in technology, combined with dramatic changes in working practices bought about by the pandemic, have meant that they are now more affordable and attractive to a wider range of architectural offices. One company at the forefront of this technological revolution is Inevitech, whose market-leading Inevidesk software has already been adopted by the likes of Hopkins Architects, Flanagan Lawrence, and Weston Williamson.

So, what is Inevidesk, how does it work, and what are the benefits? Architecture Today’s technical editor John Ramshaw reports.

Introducing the virtual desktop
Inevitech is a relative newcomer to what is an established, if not widely adopted, sector of the IT market. What sets it apart, is that its VDI can provide the same levels of performance as its competitors, but at a fraction of the price (around 30 per cent). Designed to replace the physical workstation, Inevidesk’s virtual desktop forms the core component of the platform. Virtual desks or ‘vdesks’ are provided in ‘pods’, which are integrated within a practice’s existing onsite infrastructure or hosted in the cloud. The vdesks can be accessed anywhere that has an internet connection via the Inevidesk application, which is typically run on lightweight and relatively inexpensive hardware, such as laptops.

Agility and security
“Historically, large black boxes located under workstations necessitated static office arrangements, whereby each employee had a fixed space,” explains Tim Whiteley, co-founder and director of Inevitech. “The Inevidesk virtual desktop eliminates this set up, allowing practices to be more flexible and creative with their floor space as employees work in and out of the office during the week. The idea is that companies can introduce vdesks incrementally, gradually replacing hardware as it falls out of warranty, so that over time they can discard their entire server infrastructure and move to the cloud. This makes it considerably easier and less expensive to move offices, upscale or downsize – in short become more flexible and agile.”

Another key benefit of the Inevidesk platform is that it ensures end-to-end security. “During the pandemic many employees have been working remotely using their own PCs to dial into office networks,” says Whiteley. “This represents a significant security risk. Inevidesk mitigates this problem, allowing staff to securely log into their virtual desktop whether they are at home, in a meeting, or in the office.” Other advantages of the platform include increased productivity and flexibility, reduced overheads in terms of office space and operational savings, as well as improved environmental performance relating to reductions in commuting, office accommodation and hardware


Inevidesk’s cloud-hosted option

Making the move to VDI
Introduced less than two years ago, the Inevidesk platform was undergoing beta testing when the pandemic struck. “We quickly realised that there was going to be a huge demand for our product when this happened,” explains Whiteley. “We had originally envisaged four or five years of slow build, as we gradually persuaded people to work in more flexible ways. The pandemic effectively made this argument for us, so we’ve doubled-down on both development and roll out and are now having an increasing number of really positive conversations with organisations interested in our service and approach.”

Among the early adopters was Hopkins Architects, who began trialling the platform back in 2019. When the first lockdown was announced last year, the practice immediately asked for three pods, as it felt this would be the best way to support its team through the Covid crisis. Since then, it has gradually added more pods to keep pace with demand. Thomas Corrie, associated director and BIM leader at Hopkins Architects, takes up the story, “The performance of Inevidesk during our early trial was outstanding, with no real discernible difference from using our traditional workstations, plus integration of the pods was very straightforward. This positive experience ensured that we were in a confident position to accelerate our adoption of the system in March 2020 when the pandemic forced us all into remote working.


“The Inevidesk team worked closely with us to deploy the service more widely and the process was really quite painless. Guidance was clear and the team are highly responsive and expert, ensuring we felt in safe hands throughout. In this way we have been able to move around half of our staff onto the system very smoothly, which has both improved our capabilities in terms of responding to the challenges of lockdown, but also helped us to identify our post-pandemic strategy and the wider benefits of using virtual desktop technology. For example, we have been able to incorporate team members based in the Middle East into teams located in London without the need to sync data or maintain duplicate systems.

“One of the key improvements has been in IT administration. We can now deploy new machines in minutes rather than hours and better ensure standardisation of software. In respect of both time and security, these are big and easy wins. With all this mind we have been able to explore a fully virtualised and hosted infrastructure. This will both free up valuable real estate currently taken up by our server room and provide us with much greater resiliency in terms of our IT.”

Overall, it would seem that VDIs, such as Inevidesk, are potential game-changers in terms of how architectural practices organise their offices and working practices. Most significantly of all perhaps, is that the technology provides operational flexibility and continuity – valuable commodities in an increasingly uncertain world.

Contact Details
For more information email or visit the Inevidesk website.