Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is a simple concept that has gained a great deal of traction over the last several years. As more and more workplaces have shifted to a remote or hybrid environment, employers have relied on DaaS architecture to help ensure team productivity, data security, and consistent availability.
DaaS systems, at their core, are structured the same way as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) systems. At the most basic level, both of these solutions centralize the applications, data, and maintenance of an organization’s computing system. All users then interact with these systems by connecting through virtual devices. Both solutions also eliminate the need to commission, decommission, and maintain individual desktop machines.
The primary difference between VDI and DaaS is who is responsible for that centralized system. In a virtual desktop infrastructure, a business’ internal IT department invests in needed equipment, licenses, and staff. In the latter, a third-party solution provider handles the infrastructure, licensing, platform, and management of the solution for a monthly subscription fee.
Overview of DaaS Architecture
Both the physical and workflow aspects of DaaS play an important role in its architecture. Here are key elements:
Centralized Components: When companies work with third-party solution providers, these vendors are responsible for the storage, security, and centralized equipment in the cloud. In most cases, data centers are available in multiple geographically diverse areas, which helps guarantee consistent uptime and availability and better connectivity ideal to the latency requirements of the client company’s users and applications. It also helps reduce the risk that inclement weather or other unexpected events will jeopardize daily operations.
Devices: The devices used to connect to cloud-based company systems can either be provided by the business itself or owned by individual employees. This provides a great deal of flexibility for the business. Team members can be working in the office on desktop computers, jumping in meetings from home on a tablet, or checking email on a smartphone in the airport. Regardless of location or device, access and information are consistent, making it easy to stay both productive and secure.
Communications and Collaboration: One important aspect of a DaaS system is how well it integrates with industry-leading communications and collaboration technologies. Remote or hybrid employees must be able to access systems such as Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, or Zoom from any location and as easily as if they were sitting in the office.
Workflow Expectations: Both the culture and workflow operations must complement the DaaS technology itself. Companies must set expectations about employee availability, how often updates are provided to supervisors and colleagues, and the expectations about how work should get done regardless of the environment.
The Ideal Setup to Implement DaaS
Before embarking on a DaaS partnership, companies must ensure that they understand exactly what they need for their particular business. Here are some of the most common considerations for today’s organizations:
- Consistent User Experience. One of the most frustrating things for employees is the need to reorient themselves to company systems from different devices or locations. A DaaS system should provide a consistent experience regardless of the user’s device. This means that whether a user logs in from a desktop in the office, a smartphone on the road, or a home-based computer, the experience is the same. Persistent desktops that are tied to unique user logins can help.
- Compliance and Regulatory Requirements. Governments require privacy and regulatory standards, and businesses must ensure that they comply. This can be even more important in highly regulated industries such as healthcare. Be sure those elements are well-understood and in place within the DaaS system.
- Security Offerings. DaaS providers offering cloud-based solutions should have a reasonable level of security built into the overall architecture. The secure storage and management of applications, data, and software should be a given. Browser-based dashboards can help team members do things like reset passwords and access data securely. Analytics and reports should flag any suspicious activity so that it can be managed immediately. Specialized security offerings may be available for premium purchase. Additionally, ease of management of a company’s desktop solution directly correlates to increased security across those devices.
- Frictionless Integration. Just about every organization today uses workplace communications and collaboration tools. Popular systems such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Cisco Webex are critical to the overall productivity of most organizations. Be sure that your DaaS provider offers seamless integration within these common tools so that team members optimize daily productivity.
- Personal Device Options. Most people cannot be separated from their favorite devices for long in the modern world. Businesses that have the regulatory capacity and security policies to support doing so need to make it simple, safe, and productive to support ‘BYOD’ in which team members may bring their own devices in order to access the DaaS environment. Help ensure that the team can easily log in with personal devices just as they would be able to in the office for maximum productivity.
Curious how DaaS pricing models work? Explore common questions about DaaS pricing here >
Ready to learn more about DaaS systems and virtual desktops? They are important elements of today’s remote and hybrid workforces. Contact EvolveIP for more details. We’d love to learn more about your organization and show you how a DaaS architecture can benefit your operations.