What is desktop-as-a-service — and who are the top DaaS providers?

A report by Forbes states that 74 percent of professionals believe remote work will be the new standard while 97 percent of employees don’t want to return to the full-time office again! Such reports reveal that most employees prefer a work-from-anywhere culture because it gives them greater flexibility to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives. This trend tends to be more prevalent among millennials and the future generations who have grown up with technology. To cater to these needs and expectations of the next-gen workforce and attract the best talent worldwide, companies have to change the way they think about work. One service that can come in handy for this transition to an all-remote work environment is desktop-as-a-service (DaaS).

What is desktop-as-a-service?

Windows Virtual Desktop
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As the name suggests, desktop-as-a-service is a cloud-based offering that delivers desktop and virtual machines through the Internet to employees located anywhere.

This cloud service requires no software or app installations in the local system. As an employer, you can choose the operating system and hardware requirements, install the necessary apps, and implement the security measures needed in the virtual desktop. Your employees can simply access this desktop for work and have everything needed for them to start working right away.

Now, this explanation can bring up an important question — what’s the difference between DaaS and a Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI)?

In a VDI, an organization hosts its virtual desktops on its datacenters. The organization is responsible for managing administrative tasks such as implementing security, patch management, infrastructure upgrades, and more.

DaaS is pretty much the same, except that the administrative tasks are handled by the service provider. The infrastructure is cloud-based instead of being hosted in the organization’s on-prem datacenters.

In all, VDI and DaaS may look similar, but in reality, they are very different and serve different purposes.

Benefits of DaaS

DaaS works well for both employers and employees as a lot of the infrastructure, application, security, and backend management are handled by the service providers.

Let’s take a look at how DaaS benefits employers and employees.

Benefits for employers

What is desktop-as-a-service
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DaaS gives employers complete control over the apps and tools installed on the system and can enhance the overall security and accessibility of the same. Since employees can’t install any apps or change any settings on the device, the chances for malicious code and insider attacks reduce greatly.

Other benefits include:

  • Improved productivity.
  • Control over applications and their usage.
  • Security requirements are met.
  • Backend management that includes storage, patching, and backups, is handled by the provider, and this can be a big-time and cost-saving for businesses.
  • Decommissioning employees and their access are easy. This can be handy for companies that use seasonal employees to meet their demand spikes.
  • Reduces the chances for downtime, as remote IT support can handle the underlying problems quickly.
  • DaaS tends to be cheaper for companies in the long run as they require lesser computing power.
  • Changing devices or upgrading to new ones is quick and cost-effective.
  • Gives device flexibility as faulty devices can be replaced within minutes.
  • Reduces security vulnerabilities due to the loss of a device. For example, if an employee’s device is stolen, simply removing access to that employee’s DaaS can eliminate costly security breaches.

Benefits for employees

Besides employers, employees also get many benefits with DaaS. Here’s a look at some of them.

  • Since it comes preconfigured, the setup time is less, and employees can start working right away.
  • Creates separation between personal and office systems.
  • Employees don’t have to go through the hassle of installing apps on their local system.
  • Work-related files will not clog up the personal storage space.
  • Employees can have a more focused work time and improved productivity.
  • Even a basic device with an Internet connection should be enough, so it gives employees the flexibility to work from anywhere.
  • Many DaaS services are mobile-friendly as well.

Given these benefits for both employers and employees, DaaS is fast becoming a catalyst for secure remote working.

Working of desktop-as-a-service

What is desktop-as-a-service

Moving on, let’s see how DaaS works.

In this service, the provider hosts the complete system, including its infrastructure, storage, network resources, and sends access to the device through the Internet. All that the user has to do is access the remote desktop through a browser, log in to it using the given credentials, and start using the apps installed on it for work.

DaaS is mostly implemented as a multi-tenant system through a pay-per-use model, so organizations can use as many virtual desktops as needed and pay for the same.

As you can see, desktop-as-a-service is a simple way of giving access to a virtual desktop without investing heavily in devices. Also, there’s no worry about administrative tasks such as patch management and security, as the service provider handles them.

More importantly, upgrading the underlying hardware is quick and cost-effective as organizations don’t have to invest heavily upfront.

Top DaaS providers

Since DaaS offers a ton of benefits, more organizations are looking to tap into it. Consequently, more service providers are emerging in this space to cater to the growing demands.

Here’s a list of the top service providers and a brief description of their offerings.

Amazon WorkSpaces

Amazon WorkSpaces is a DaaS that makes it easy for users to access the applications and infrastructure needed to efficiently complete their work. It takes just a few minutes to set up, and you can choose between Windows and Linux as the underlying operating system.

It improves the overall security as well, given that all the data is stored in the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, and no data is stored in the users’ local systems.

VMware Horizon Cloud

Another well-known service provider is VMware, which comes with a ton of features, such as:

  • Multicloud integration.
  • Ability to build cloud-native apps and modernize existing ones.
  • Seamless employee experience.
  • Intrinsic security in every layer.
  • Deliver any application anywhere.

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Citrix is another company known for providing virtual desktops on any operating system or mobile device to give employees the flexibility to be productive from any part of the world.

Its DaaS is adaptive to the needs of different employee groups, so they are delivered on-demand. The pay-as-you-go model makes it a cost-effective solution for employers as well.

Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop

Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop provides a seamless user experience across devices from any location. It’s easy to set up and comes with features such as:

  • Built-in security.
  • Scalability.
  • Reduced costs.
  • Virtualized experience.
  • Integration with Microsoft Office.
  • Quick deployment and scalability.

As the DaaS market becomes more mature, we can expect more service providers to jump into this space to offer advanced features to employees and organizations worldwide.

Facilitates the remote working experience with DaaS

Desktop-as-a-service is a cloud-based service that delivers desktop and virtual environments for employees located anywhere. It facilitates the remote working experience and comes with a host of benefits for everyone involved.

The popularity of DaaS has led many top cloud companies to have a presence in this space, so you can be assured of top-notch support, besides scalability, reliability, and well-implemented security measures.

So, have you tried DaaS? If not, would you be willing to use it in the future?

Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments section.

Featured image: Shutterstock

1 thought on “What is desktop-as-a-service — and who are the top DaaS providers?”

  1. Thanks for helping me understand that the systems are cloud-based which is a good option. I can imagine how businesses need to find the best option for their industry. It will ensure that they get the job done properly while having no delays and issues.

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