An increasing “must have” in commercial IT services today is desktop as a service (DaaS). Not only does DaaS improve employee productivity and ease of getting work done from anywhere on any device, but DaaS is increasingly recognized as a key component to the security strategy of an organization. DaaS has been off to a sluggish start due to some issues with its cousin, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). DaaS shares many of the benefits of VDI, without the deployment headaches and high cost that plagued VDI.
To understand DaaS, it’s helpful to just focus on the environment it creates. DaaS allows your users to simply walk away from their computer at the end of the day – there is no application closure required. If they chose to get some work done at home, they simply log in from any device and their desktop is exactly as they left it. Even their cursor is blinking in the same location. When they return to the office, the same thing happens, they log onto their desktop and find everything just as it was at the end of their previous session.
This creates significant efficiencies. Consider the parent who can finish a project from their child’s soccer practice, mobile workers save considerable time by being able to work as though they were at their desk from anywhere, on any device, or employees being able to stop emailing files to themselves so they can work on them without going through a clunky VPN. The simple ability to become productive within minutes of arrival and stay productive until you leave your workstation saves most employees 10 minutes per day, paying for the service many times over.
DaaS benefits are many, with employee productivity topping the list. A close second is the added security achieved through DaaS. Many viruses are introduced to the workplace network by innocent employees clicking on a link in an email. Even if you have extensive email security, users will access their personal email on their work machines. In a DaaS environment, you have complete control on what can be done on the workplace desktop. Your security measures and read/write authorizations are completely locked down, dramatically increasing the security between the desktop and the network. The client itself just becomes a viewer to the desktop. If the client becomes infected, it can simply be taken out of circulation and scrubbed, while the employee gets back to work with a loaner device - never skipping a beat. The clients can be modest netbooks, as all processing occurs in the data center.
The third key DaaS benefit is the elimination of shadow IT among your users. As mentioned above, read/write authorization is locked down. Users only have desktop images approved for their role within the organizations. The ability to install foreign software onto the enterprise environment is eliminated. Users must once again go through IT to gain access to applications they seek, reestablishing control and centralizing risk management with the experts. The elimination of shadow IT is a great opportunity to inventory applications and their uses to determine appropriate licensing requirements and easily demonstrate compliance to your vendors. Lastly, nothing is saved on the client, enforcing your “server only” rule to facilitate backup and accessibility.
Desktop as a service is one of the recent developments that directly and positively impact the user experience. It pays for itself with even minor efficiency gains and it reestablishes control over the desktop. ARG, a DaaS user since 2014, is uniquely suited to assist with your DaaS transition. Not only do we have multiple service providers, but in-house experts to show you where DaaS can benefit your organization and substantial experience working with the service providers on successful deployments.
Contact ARG to discuss what DaaS can do for your organization. To get started email firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-770-2400.