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The rising adoption of Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS): What's next?

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There’s no denying that technology has advanced in recent years and has enabled businesses to increase their productivity, save costs, and reduce manpower needs. Cloud computing has proven with its offerings that time-consuming and expensive tasks can be facilitated in a cost-effective and timely manner. One of the cloud offerings, which is Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), has provided businesses with the flexibility to function remotely. DaaS is a cloud offering that enables a service provider to deliver virtual desktop to end users over the internet. In this service, the maintenance, updates, storage and other backend management is handled by the service provider which saves both time and costs to small businesses. 

It goes without saying that the emergence of Covid-19 has accelerated the need for remote working. And to run their tasks remotely, businesses are relying on cloud-based services such as DaaS. According to a forecast by Gartner the number of DaaS users is expected to grow by 150 percent between 2020 and 2023. DaaS provides users with virtual desktops, which are hosted on a cloud server. This makes work easier for IT professionals as it automates the difficult task of signing into every single computer in the organization to make the same changes. By allowing the employees access to essential business resources from anywhere, DaaS ensures business continuity and provides the business with control over their critical assets, ensuring the data is used appropriately. 

According to a recent report by Accenture, the Covid-induced move to a remote workforce has resulted in more growth from laptops and notebooks than desktop units. The report also revealed that the smartphone market is also expected to see growth in the as-a-service model from $14.5 billion in 2019 to $34.1 billion. This makes it more crucial for businesses to adopt DaaS because of the service being secure. DaaS offers a range of benefits to companies such as enhanced productivity, reduced expenses, and scalability. However, the pandemic has unveiled DaaS’ great potential of facilitating remote workforce. 

DaaS: A helpful cloud offering for remote working 

The sudden emergence of the pandemic left employees with an unexpected shift to work from home. Many businesses, not prepared to facilitate remote work, struggled to run their daily operations. Moreover, the adoption of DaaS has provided businesses with enhanced security, enabling them to meet new employee demands and changing trends in technology, due to the pandemic. 

DaaS is hugely beneficial in the post-pandemic era due to its ability to support remote workers. A report from Gartner found that 55 percent of employees use their personal devices for their work. The unprecedented shift to work from home during the pandemic accelerated this ongoing trend of ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD). Now, as flexibility has become the core part of employee demands, DaaS facilitates businesses to implement remote work successfully. Employees can log in to their company systems to access the important data and applications needed by using their own devices irrespective of format or brand. 

DaaS: Cost effective in nature 

According to an estimation in the IDC White Paper, the hardware capital expenditure can be reduced by 56 percent with DaaS implementation. The offering also saves costs for businesses by eliminating the need for upgrades that are required when organizations migrate from hardware PCs. DaaS allows employees to access the data and applications using any device irrespective of the operating system. Additionally, companies can leverage the reduced operating costs as maintenance is done through a centralized location and hence eradicates the need for separate client systems maintenance.

DaaS: How it simplifies the IT 

DaaS has the ability to streamline IT protocols and increase management efficiency. Unlike hardware systems in the past where companies waited for months for upgrades, DaaS has systems and applications centralized, ensuring its efficiency and providing appropriate desktop rights within hours. With continuous software updates, DaaS provides its users with the latest version of technology for optimum productivity. Another aspect of DaaS helping businesses is its secure nature. By keeping all the sensitive information of the organization in a central location, DaaS enables businesses to overcome any risks. Data kept in client systems are often easy targets for hacking attacks. 

DaaS: What's next?

The future is expected to see the DaaS market grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18 percent during the forecast period 2019-2029. The rise in the adoption of cloud platforms is the driver of the DaaS growth. As previously mentioned, the increasing adoption of DaaS can be linked with the ongoing trend of BYOD. The trend is expected to grow in the post-pandemic era where remote working is a common demand of employees and companies can not rely on physical PCs. 

Whilst the BYOD trend grows, and businesses continue to leverage the virtualization of the desktops which enables them implement BYOD policies more smoothly, increase productivity and save costs, the security of the data requires more attention. Although, with DaaS, the data and applications reside in the cloud rather than the employees' physical devices, which may be more vulnerable. However, businesses can leverage added levels of security from cloud service providers. With an added security layer, companies can look for multi-factor authentication which acts as a shield in the case of credential theft by denying the access of the entire virtual desktop to the attacker. 

DaaS, powered by cloud technology, will be the ‘new common’ platform used by most businesses. The offering will not only benefit employers in terms of increased productivity but also with employee satisfaction. The growing adoption of hybrid working models will accelerate DaaS being adopted more widely. However, with technology advancements hackers have also advanced their ways of attacking servers and hence it is evident that with rising adoption of the technology the security issues need to be kept in consideration. 

Employers need to make sure that they adopt DaaS with an added level of security from their cloud services provider to ensure they achieve the optimum level of protection. For businesses, additional security within their virtual infrastructure can protect sensitive company and employee information but also the important information of their clients.

Dominik Birgelen, co-founder and CEO, oneclick AG (opens in new tab)

Dominik studied business administration at the University of Zurich. Since 2015, he has been the CEO of oneclick AG and is responsible for the development of international markets.