Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a cloud-based service where the back end of virtual desktops are hosted and provided by a cloud service provider.
DaaS has multi-tenancy architecture. That means multiple desktops can be supported by a cloud service provider. Data storage, backup, application upgrades, and security are also typically provided by the cloud service provider. Personal data is copied from the virtual desktop during the log-on and log-off process.
Most services have some form of automated and regular backup independent of log-in and log-off. Access to the desktop relies on the cloud-based network and an Internet connection. Some services allow for a limited amount of operation when an Internet connection is unavailable.
Why Desktop as a Service is important
Desktop as a Service is a great alternative for small and medium-sized businesses looking to provide their employees with the advantages of a virtual desktop-style infrastructure without the prohibitive costs of an in-house Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
Desktop as a Service is important to SMBs for a number of increasing reasons, including the following major points:
- Increase productivity. The virtual desktops offered through DaaS allow employees to sit down on any desktop or laptop device (and in some cases, even mobile devices) and logon to their desktop. Your people are more likely to work offsite when they don’t have to wait to get back into the office to take care of something urgent.
- Reduce company device costs. Personal computers don’t actually work as hard as they do with traditional applications because the device does less work. The machines you have will last longer–a real fact!
- Reduce IT infrastructure costs. Buying licenses and installing applications are things of the past. You can save on the upfront costs of software with DaaS. Moreover, you can break down the cost of your software and IT infrastructure requirements because good cloud services providers have subscription plans that are paid monthly.
- Pay for only what you use. Paying only for what you use means if your employee numbers go down, you can reduce your cloud costs rapidly. Furthermore, if you have rapid expansion, even for a short campaign, you can minimise costs by paying only for the services you use for that period of time.
- Centralise your company data. While the personal computer was a very good invention, it essentially resulted in the decentralisation of data. Each machine and data was separate. Even with a company server, data can become duplicated. Files and documents are revised and not copied to each other. Centralised data allows for greater administrative control, not to mention the flexibility of expanding your business without expanding your business costs.
- Improve security of your data. Essentially, when employees are working through DaaS, all copies of the files are still stored centrally. Sharing files instead of emailing documents is the new norm. This allows you to keep your files securely inside your system. Furthermore, automated and independent backup and disaster recovery should be a part of your DaaS service.
- Reduce the costs of your software management and internal IT costs. Good DaaS provided by quality cloud services providers come with great technical support. For example, you save time when all applications are updated compared with the traditional method of going from machine to machine. You may even be able to reduce or remove your IT department.
- Reduce costs with employees working offsite. Many SMBs can save on many costs by allowing employees to work offsite, recruit new employees nationally and internationally – especially during an expansion. New employees can even use their own devices because any device and operating system is compatible with DaaS.
- Reduce problems of non-compliance. Backing up daily work and copying over to a company server is unnecessary with DaaS. A great provider does all of this automatically and more.
Challenges of Desktop as a Service
- Overcoming the fear of security and cloud computing services. Many people from your employees right through to higher management still have concerns with cloud computing because you are putting all your data in the hands of a cloud provider. In actual fact, cloud computing provides for better data security as long as you choose a reputable provider.
- Retraining and re-educating staff to use modified applications. While DaaS-delivered desktops and applications are very similar to traditional desktops, there are some differences. Overcoming the resistance to change in your workplace will require a positively engaged training and education program to encourage faster adoption by your employees. This is the biggest reason to create the policy and training plan.
- Having enough Internet bandwidth and a backup Internet source. Because cloud computing services need the Internet to function, having substantial Internet bandwidth is an absolute must. Anyone who has worked remotely also knows the importance of a backup Internet source. This should also be considered inside your operations, including those who work remotely.
Four keys to successfully implementing Desktop as a Service
A successful DaaS strategy implementation involves proper business analysis and determining the right DaaS solution for your business. Here are the three keys to successfully implementing DaaS:
- Carry out a business analysis and assess desktop application requirements for employees. You may find there are better and faster options than what you are using now.
- Determine the correct software solution to implement DaaS.
- Create a DaaS policy, education and training for your business and employees.
- Ensure you have substantial and more-than-sufficient Internet speed, as well as a backup Internet source.
Carry out a business analysis and assess requirements
As a business decision maker, it is important to know what applications are required for your business. This could also require some research and study of DaaS services. You need to know what it does do. You might be pleasantly surprised at the range of improved application options available. This will require comparing your analysis to what packaged products are available.
Determine the correct software solution to implement DaaS
A number of packaged SMB DaaS cloud-based solutions can be bought off the shelf. They offer very different levels of product and technical support. You may need to discuss a more compatible software package that has better options and full support with the better cloud services providers.
Create a DaaS policy as well as a training and education program for your business and employees
DaaS policies can be best developed after a software solution has been determined. Training and education should be minimal, yet help to overcome any resistance to change (which can actually be stiffer than you think because people are used to doing things their own way). Create that buzz and excitement so your people are happy to make the change. Highlight the many advantages in your training and education.
Ensure you have a backup Internet source enough Internet bandwidth
The best way to know how much Internet speed you need will be to talk to the DaaS provider. Your requirements could change based on the amount of services and applications you are using. Just like you may have backup power for your office, having a second Internet connection and wireless backup options is a very good way to deal with any emergencies.
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