By Nick Black, Territory Manager, SADC at VMware
Notwithstanding the dramatic decline in the purchase of desktops and notebooks over the past two years, it would be folly to think that the personal computer is dead. Better to think of it as reincarnated. In its new incarnation, it is no longer the component-heavy device of the past, but a streamlined one that is better equipped to run a cloud-based desktop.
Enter Desktop as a Service (DaaS) – a cloud-hosted desktop that is ideal for organisations that need new end-user computing solutions, but are conscious of cost, deployment and support challenges.
Here are the top five reasons an organisation should deploy DaaS:
- Financial advantages
Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 8 or now even Windows 10 is a major IT challenge and expense for organisations, and frequently requires major upgrades in client hardware. Not so for those running a VDI. As a result, many organisations are moving to DaaS to save potentially large capital expenditures.
Given the choice, most business executives would opt for operating expenses like cloud-based subscription services over the major capital expenditure associated with maintaining, upgrading or replacing PC hardware. The ability to reduce or even eliminate the latter costs – as in the case in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) organisations – is naturally quite attractive. At the same time, DaaS offers the added incentive of helping to control operating costs by reducing the need for IT deployment resources and in-house technical support, together with predictable subscription costs that are less likely to throw a spanner into the works of corporate financial planning.
- Faster, easier deployment for various use cases
Competitive advantage, success, and business continuity are all key considerations when it comes to rapid desktop deployment.
Rather than spend days or even months bringing new or temporary personnel up to speed with desktops, DaaS gives organisations the ability to provide all necessary desktops rights resources in a matter of hours.
DaaS also helps circumvent the upheaval associated with managing the disparate infrastructure that often results from mergers and acquisitions; can help software development teams set up temporary test beds for development and testing; and can mitigate deployment challenges in disaster recovery and business continuity.
- Support for pervasive mobility
BYOD is the way of the future, and users are clamouring for mobile access to applications, data and services via their own familiar consumer devices. DaaS provides this, along with a consistent user experience across multiple platforms. It is moreover an ideal solution for geographically dispersed workforces. This is particularly the case in “always-on” global industries like financial services, retail and hospitality.
The perceived security risks often outweigh the financial attractiveness of BYOD for businesses. Not so with DaaS, where data and applications are stored in the cloud and not on end-user devices that are ripe targets because of weaker security tools and often lax security practices by the end users themselves.
Cloud-based DaaS also helps alleviate another challenge associated with BYOD by enabling a consistent set of security protocols across users’ own mobile devices, regardless of mobile operating system or hardware brand. Finally, tactical security steps increasingly become the purview of cloud service providers rather than in-house IT, which is a huge advantage because of the service providers’ ability to devote more resources and utilise a greater body of experience on security matters than most resource-strapped in-house IT organisations can deliver.
- Avoids drain on internal IT skills
Few IT organisations can claim they have bigger and more specialised staff today than they did even a few years ago, and that trend isn’t likely to change. This puts pressure on the IT department to onboard new users faster and more easily, as well as make the move to virtual desktop deployment at less cost and with a smaller footprint. DaaS doesn’t require the same level of expertise and experience that virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployment requires, which cuts down on deployment and support requirements for in-house staff and obviates the need to spend money to hire external VDI specialists. Time, money and talent otherwise spent on transitions to virtual desktops can instead be allocated to transformative applications and other sources of IT-enabled innovation.
You don’t need an actuarial background to see that a desktop solution which offers increased flexibility, improved security, greater ease of administration and cost-savings like DaaS does, is absolutely the way of the future.