Which model is your shop? In truth, a good desktop management system can mean the difference between being an IT shop which is proactive rather than reactive. Proactive is always less expensive than reactive in terms of time and money and stress.
The basic functions of a desktop management system are: inventory, remote control, patching, and application distribution. Some systems also include the ability to push out system images and/pr power systems up/down.
Having an accurate inventory of your desktop/laptop systems is important because you can't manage what you don't understand.
It's not easy to find good IT help desk staff. Making your help desk staff run around from machine to machine wears them out and increases your IT staffing requirements. If they can take remote control of a PC to assist an end user with a specific issue, both parties will be able to stay on-task. The end user can get on-screen help immediately, and the help desk staffmember can get to the next trouble ticket more quickly. It's a win-win situation.
Patching is the bane of every IT manager's existence. When you have 5 or 10 machines, patching manually isn't an issue. Starting around 20-25 machines, there's a lot of running around on a constant basis to keep machines reasonably currently patched. Above that, you'll probably need to dedicate someone's job to just running around touching systems constantly. It's a never-ending battle.
Application Distribution isn't that different a challenge from patching...except every application installs differently, whereas with most patches, it's a matter of clicking "next next next" until the job is done.
Imaging systems has gone in and out of style for a while. Setting up imaging takes a lot of up-front work, but if you have an organization which refreshes machine images regularly or has a high turnover rate, that work pays off very quickly in saved time and money down the road.
Powering systems up/down automatically is a highly useful ability in educational circles. Entire computer labs or classrooms full of computers can be powered up or down with a single command. (The classroom/lab environment is also where machine imaging is a thoughtful and money-saving investment.)
I tell my mid-sized and large clients that I don't have a specific preference on which desktop management system they use, as long as they choose one which meets their specific needs. This could be SCCM, ZENworks, LANdesk, KACE, or any number of other systems. Ideally, the system will be able to link to Active Directory to make your life easier. (All of the systems I've named here have that ability.)
Running a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) environment? You're not exempt from desktop management. While inventory isn't an issue, distributing applications is. Look into third-party application layer management systems such as Unidesk, which reduce the amount of time and effort needed to build and rebuild "golden master" VDI images by breaking down the functional components into layers.