Businesses around the world are working towards a continued digital transformation, seeking inventive solutions to not only survive but also thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is emerging as a pivotal technology in this context, a cloud-hosted desktop solution that can redefine operational efficiencies and open doors to elevated productivity and cost savings. But what is Desktop as a Service? How does it work? And how can a Cloud-Hosted Remote Desktop solution provide increased productivity and long-term cost savings?
What is Desktop as a Service (DaaS)
Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a cloud virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), think of it as your desktop that you access every day but hosted in the cloud. In traditional VDI setups, businesses had to maintain physical “Remote Desktop Servers” on-premises or with IT Support/Managed Service Providers such as ourselves. However, DaaS eliminates the need for costly physical hardware and expensive overheads, such as power, redundancies, cooling and much more. Outsourcing the entire infrastructure cloud providers with large data centres reduces the needs for these overheads whilst also providing higher levels of redundancy, greater flexibility and enhanced scalability. Users can access their personal desktop environments via the internet, from a variety of devices—be it laptops, tablets, mobile phones or even ultra-light weight devices such as a Raspberry Pi.
Key Benefits to Businesses
Flexibility and Mobility
One of the largest benefits of adopting a cloud Desktop as a Service solution is the unparalleled flexibility it offers. It provides employees with the ability to access their desktop environment from virtually any location (with an internet connection) where employees can work remotely with ease, thereby fostering an agile and dynamic workforce. Imagine being able to connect to your main desktop environment whilst at an international business conference from your tablet, or from your phone whilst on the road (obviously not whilst driving).
Simplified Management and Reduced IT Workload
Managing your own in-house IT infrastructure can be labour-intensive. DaaS circumvents this by outsourcing the task to professional Microsoft specialists, freeing up internal resources to focus on what matters most to your business. This centralised approach allows for simpler and more efficient software updates, quicker rollout of new desktops, security patch deployment, compliance tracking and better scalability.
Scalability with Ease
Traditional hardware setups come with constraints in terms of scalability, increasing storage means downtime to replace or add storage drive (Hard Drive or Solid-State Storage), increasing memory means finding compatible memory for your device downtime to upgrade and upgrading a processor could mean an entirely new machine. Desktop as a Service, however, allows businesses to scale up or down with minimal fuss, just upgrade the resources and log back in to get access to increased storage or compute power. Licences and resources can be added or removed seamlessly, thus offering operational flexibility that is incredibly beneficial for seasonal businesses or startups experiencing rapid growth.
Enhanced Security Protocols
Data is the new gold, and protecting it is paramount. DaaS providers usually have stringent security measures in place that include multi-factor authentication, end-to-end encryption, and frequent security audits. By storing data in secure, remote servers, DaaS significantly mitigates the risks associated with data breaches and other cyber threats.
Reduced Hardware Costs: The Shift from CAPEX to OPEX
Purchasing and maintaining physical hardware such as Desktops, Laptops & Servers, and software for those devices can entail significant capital expenditure (CAPEX) for businesses. Desktop as a Service eliminates many of these upfront costs, allowing businesses to switch to an operational expenditure (OPEX) model with low CAPEX expenditure on “Thin Clients” or migrating to a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model. This not only aids in better cash flow management but also often results in overall cost reductions as Thin Clients will require fewer regular updates as Desktop as a Service are constantly updates and can be scaled for the user in the cloud.
Improving Productivity: A Closer Look
The influence of DaaS on productivity manifests in a variety of ways:
DaaS facilitates easier file sharing and real-time collaboration by providing employees with uniform access to files and applications, regardless of what device they use or where they are in the world. This seamless experience is crucial for enhancing team coordination and effectiveness.
Efficient Resource Allocation
With a centralised desktop management system, it means that resources can be allocated in a more targeted manner. Need more storage? More storage can be allocated to you. Need more compute power? Increase the CPU allocation to the end user. This translates into quicker operations and less downtime, enhancing employee productivity along the way.
Desktop as a Service also offers robust resilient solution to an onsite solution often having their own failover solutions in place to protect your business from common on-site woes such as hardware failures. In the unfortunate event of hardware failures, data loss, or even natural disasters, the impact on business operations can be minimised, thereby ensuring continuity and sustained productivity. This however is not a replacement for a complete backup solution and often cloud hosted services still recommend a comprehensive backup solution and insist that you are responsible for your business data under their “Shared Responsibility” clause.
Focusing on Core Business Strategies
By alleviating the complexities of desktop management, DaaS enables businesses to focus on core competencies. This has a cascading effect on productivity, as employees can direct their efforts towards more strategic, revenue-generating tasks rather than getting bogged down by operational hassles such as hardware issues.
Real-world Applications of DaaS
Remote Workers/Work from Home:
In a world where many businesses have been transitioning to a hybrid or remote working environment, providing easily deployable tools to remote workers to allow them to connect to a Desktop Solution quickly and easily from any available device, offering a vast array of key benefits for the business. Rather than ordering a new Desktop/Laptop that then needs to be configured and send to a user, you can simply assign a licence and send them the details to log on from any available device. This allows users to get up and running quickly with minimal overhead using equipment they may have available to them.
Not all remote or office workers may have their own devices to use, and whilst many businesses do operate a BYOD/Bring Your Own Device policy, this is also not suited to everyone especially those who may not have an existing device or would prefer not to use a personal device. “Thin Clients” are low-cost physical hardware that are easily deployed to users and allow them to be able to quickly connect to a DaaS environment.
Just one example of this could be a Raspberry Pi, purchased for as little as £35, these devices can be connected to a Monitor or TV and can connect Cabled or Bluetooth peripherals (keyboard & mouse). This device would then allow users to access their Desktop as a Service environment via a web browser.
Is Desktop as a Service for everyone?
No- Whilst for many businesses DaaS will provide many key advantages over traditional solutions, there are many key business roles which may require specific hardware. For example, graphic designers, animators, CAD technicians, photographers & videographers and much more may require specific graphical processing power or hardware which is not offered by most Desktop as a Service solutions. Similarly, DaaS may not be suitable in particular industries such as on a manufacturing shop floor which require highly specialised machines to be run via custom software. However, Desktop as a Service is surprisingly versatile as to the wide number of industries and roles which could see large benefits from its flexibility and saleability.
How can TwentyFour help your business?
TwentyFour has helped businesses throughout the UK (United Kingdom) with a wide range of Digital Transformation projects. Desktop as a Service is far more than a mere technological trend; it is a transformative tool that is providing vast benefits to the way businesses operate. Its myriad benefits, spanning from security and operational efficiency to cost management and enhanced productivity, make it an invaluable asset for any modern organisation. As the business landscape continues to evolve, adopting DaaS could be the foundation for future success and sustainability.
Contact Us today to see how we can help your business with its Digital Transformation projects.