Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is cloud-based desktop virtualization. Managed by a third-party, DaaS includes compute, networking, and desktop storage. In fact, the vendor will stream the virtual desktops to the intended end-user devices for convenient access from anywhere and at any time. Moreover, DaaS is subscription-based making billing simple, straightforward, and much more budget friendly relative to purchasing 50 new computers for an office.

While DaaS is surging in popularity, it is far from a new concept. In 2005, application service providers were already offering remote desktops using Microsoft’s Terminal Services that were built on dedicated hardware for each client and managed from the desktop as a service providers data center.

Given that there were always issues with security and manual patch management, many businesses were already searching for another solution outside of traditional desktops where the IT department is continuously burdened with installing the operating system and company-approved applications on each system – one at a time. Invariably, companies discovered the desktop deployment model required way too much time, money, and valuable human resources.

The traditional desktop deployment model is also a poor fit for an increasingly mobile and remote workforce. Employees today frequently work remotely and while traveling — and they use a wide variety of devices, including desktops, laptops and mobile devices. To maximize remote and mobile productivity, organizations must provide a strong and consistent user experience across all of those devices, enabling workers to easily access the same applications and data no matter what device they are using.

Moreover, with the wide adoption of smart devices and increasing network speeds, people became more mobile and remote. Employees could take work with them as they traveled using the device of their choice. To maximize productivity and efficiency, while working remotely, desktop as a service began to attract more attention. Not to mention the security hazards of losing a device does play into the desktop as a service offering. Even if a device is lost or stolen, end users can still access their desktops from another device while desktop access is shuttered on the stolen or lost device.

So then, businesses have been taking notice of desktop as a service for its ability to streamline operating system and application administration while offering cyber security protections for sensitive data.

How does DaaS work?

By utilizing a public or private cloud, desktop as a service providers can deliver or stream virtual desktops or secure applications to a smart device, thin client, or tablet. The virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is managed by the desktop as a service provider and offered via subscription service.

Desktop as a service providers also provide the security, data backup, maintenance, deployment, and storage. All the client has to do is to use the service and manage the applications and desktop images. As more offices completely transition to remote work, desktop as a service is the logical choice for companies who don’t have the desire or even the resources to invest in and manage a traditional desktop solution.

Is there a difference between DaaS and VDI?

DaaS work is effectively virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that someone else hosts and manages. The following are some of the relative advantages and disadvantages that can help you decide which desktop provider to use.

Well, desktop as a service is quite similar to the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) hosted by desktop as a service providers. However, DaaS is much easier to deploy over VDI since all end users have to do is to open any browser that supports HTML5. Unlike VDI, DaaS does not require an on-site virtualization expert. Moreover, end users do not have to purchase any additional hardware. And, you only pay for what you use.

Why should you switch to DaaS?

The modern workplace has undergone drastic shifts in terms of digital transformation, especially during the digital era and year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employees have become digital-first natives and millennials are now managers. By 2025, it is expected that 75% of the global workforce will be comprised of millennials. The reason for the statistic is to emphasize the millennial perspective on workplace technology – they expect it to perform as well or much better than their personal devices. Millennials also expect their employers to provide the right tools to get their work done efficiently. In addition, millennials are quite comfortable with technology.

Another area where DaaS makes sense is with pricing. Compared to desktop deployment, DaaS eliminates the need to make any additional hardware purchases and also mitigates the need to expand your IT workforce since desktop as a service providers bundle all the features with the price and comprehensively manage the service. There is less demand on the endpoint since the virtual desktops extract compute power from their respective data centers instead of from local machines. Also, employees can switch to low-maintenance thin clients that don’t require local storage or OS. Using virtual desktops helps to keep endpoints in action for a longer period of time. In the era where remote work has become pretty permanent, DaaS ensures that employees can securely work from anywhere.

Another crucial aspect is the advantage of scalability. DaaS can facilitate quick deployment of new user workstations. If your company hires new employees, you can create a virtual desktop almost instantly. If an employee leaves, you can delete their desktop just as quickly moving on to our next point – better control.

While there are risks with remote work, DaaS gives your business a more robust ability to manage those risks by controlling data access and compliance protocols. Since the data stays in the data center at all times, you don’t have to worry about end user devices housing specific types of data. Further, access can be revoked at any time.

Since workforces have become even more dispersed, manually rolling out patches, software, and upgrades can induce a logistical nightmare. Try convincing employees to come back into the office with their physical devices so that they can be patched. With DaaS, you don’t have to worry about any of this since it operates either on a small number of images or once central image. As a result, everyone gets to use the latest iteration. And, regardless of configuration, DaaS can run on almost any device.

DaaS moves the security risk from hundreds of end-user devices and puts it all into the controlled and managed environment of a data centre. Lost or stolen laptops no longer provide a security risk. No data is on the local machine. As DaaS removes the need to create VPNs to access applications and data held by the company it also removes the problem of users trying to bypass the security in the belief that it will make their life easier.

Now, you certainly don’t want to forget about cyber security. With DaaS, stolen devices are no longer a security risk since the data is stored within the data center. You don’t have to create VPNs just to access applications.

Final thought

If you’re ready for a solution that is secure, robust, and scalable, then you are ready for desktop as a service. If you’re interested in learning more about how DaaS can make a difference in your organization then get in touch with our expert team who are interested in learning more about your business objectives and how DaaS can align with your strategic goals.