updated - August 5, 2021 Thursday EDT
Desktop as a service is something that provides access to virtual apps and desktops from the cloud to any location and device. It's virtualization of desktops utilized by managed service providers and businesses.
With that in mind, the following are eight things to know about DaaS and its implications for modern businesses and organizations.
DaaS has similarities to a virtual desktop infrastructure. This means that your desktop and applications are running in a virtual environment and not directly on a PC. However, one big difference with a virtual desktop infrastructure is that the IT department still maintains on-premises machines.
While DaaS has been around for about 10 years, a lot of IT professionals believe 2020 was a pivotal year for this option because of the pandemic. Relying on DaaS made remote work a lot easier.
With DaaS, the end-user's desktop environment becomes a cloud-hosted service.
A worker can log into their workstation from wherever they have an internet connection, and that usually means accessibility through a web browser.
Even though the pandemic might have forced their hand, a lot of organizations see significant benefits from the implementation of DaaS.
Companies can, in a moment, scale up or down the number of workstations they're using. That means each workstation moves from being a significant capital expense to having a low operating expense, introducing budgeting flexibility.
An organization that begins more robustly relying on DaaS may also reduce costs to have a full-time, full-scale IT department.
DaaS can be an integral part of a modern disaster recovery plan. There's remote access available to your workforce for desktops and apps, so regardless of what the unforeseen event is, they can continue working.
This promotes employee safety without sacrificing productivity.
The fact that there are differences between DaaS and VDI was touched on above, despite their similarities.
In many ways, DaaS is more beneficial than VDI for a lot of organizations.
For example, with a DaaS solution, it's easier to administer than VDI. Your workers just have to open up their browser, eliminating your need to provide them with access to a virtualization expert.
You can deploy new desktops as needed without the purchase of more hardware, and you're paying just for what you need instead of making big investments upfront.
DaaS can reduce security risks for an organization. In the wake of the many high-profile ransomware attacks and other cybersecurity events in the past few months, this is likely a compelling reason to think about DaaS.
DaaS reduces security risks associated with the loss of devices, just as one example.
All the data is hosted in the cloud, and this is more secure when you have remote employees and also when you have a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy.
The cloud-based environment offers secure access to everything users would have on-premises, and all they need is a secure internet connection.
These examples certainly aren't exhaustive because DaaS can be implemented anywhere a traditional desktop would otherwise be used, but the implementation can be especially beneficial if you have call-center workers who work part-time.
Software developers can utilize a virtual desktop to access different operating systems for multiple clients.
Health care providers working in hospitals and clinics can stay HIPAA-compliant and secure with DaaS.
DaaS also has specific benefits for mobile workers and contract workers, as well as seasonal and temporary hires.
When you're choosing a DaaS provider, consider the following:
You'll need to look for a solution that has compatibility with your current virtualized environment if you have one on-premises.
Understand what customer support is like and what turnaround time is for a response if something goes wrong.
Does the DaaS offer automatic and included backup and recovery? Is this part of the price?
While DaaS tends to be more secure than traditional workstation alternatives, it's not infallible. With that in mind, make sure there are robust security tools and features.
Finally, it can be beneficial to outsource DaaS support to managed services providers.
Managed services is a good option if you don't have an in-house staff to otherwise provide support and you want to simplify the function of your internal IT operations.
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