Businesses of all sizes are migrating to Desktop as a Service offerings. Carisa Stringer, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Desktop and Applications Group, Citrix, explains that Desktop as a Service is ideal for small businesses that want to deliver their Windows apps and desktops to their users without having the capital to make investments in infrastructure. But it’s also ideal for larger organizations looking to deliver a simple desktop for a brief period of time such as during a merger or acquisition, to accommodate a seasonal workforce or contractors, or as a part of their business continuity plan.
Stringer points out that organizations are also starting to look at Desktop as a Service offerings as their first step to the cloud. Industry analysts predict a growing trend of customers moving to DaaS to offload non-essential workloads to the cloud from on-premises infrastructure or providing desktops to frontline workers that only need a simple solution to perform their work.
HTF Market Intelligence forecasts that the global Desktop as a Service market — which has grown at a whopping 49.38 percent annually from $195 million in 2014 to $650 million in 2017 — will continue to grow. HTF is anticipating the global market will reach $4.671 billion by 2022.
Key Desktop as a Service Features and Benefits
As you add Desktop as a Service to your portfolio to help you keep up with this growing demand, Stringer says to ensure the solutions you select have these key features:
- Simple deployment: Desktop as a Service enables companies to rapidly deliver apps and desktops to their employees in a fast and easy way. Citrix Managed Desktops, for example, feature an easy-to-use interface that enables administrators to quickly choose and deploy a desktop that meets the needs of each type of employee.
- Access from any device: Workers can access their apps and desktops from an HTML browser or a simple downloadable application, enabling employees to access their work from a preferred device such as a laptop, tablet, thin client or Chromebook.
- Reduced management: Desktop as a Service providers manage the desktop on behalf of the organization, eliminating the administrative tasks of updating and patching desktops with the latest OS updates — and allowing MSPs to devote their time to providing higher value offerings.
- Cost and scalability: Apps and desktops can be easily deployed or shut down based on need, empowering customers to pay for what they use, helping to manage costs.
- Security: With cloud-based virtual apps and desktops, critical data is stored securely in the cloud rather than on the device, reducing data loss risk for lost or stolen devices.
How Does Desktop as a Service Compare to VDI?
As you review the list of features and benefits, you’ll notice that they are similar to those of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which also accommodates remote workers, strengthens security, and facilitates desktop management.
Desktop as a Service, however, is much more budget friendly. VDI requires a capital investment in infrastructure, but Desktop as a Service has no upfront costs and it’s easily scalable.
Stringer comments that some clients require a more robust solution than a Desktop as a Service offering. “Citrix Managed Desktops is more targeted for companies looking to deliver simple Windows desktops and apps that don’t require unique customizations or granular customizations,” she explains. “Citrix Managed Desktops does not replace Citrix customers with on-prem solutions. It should be considered complementary based on the customers use case.”