Pitfalls to Avoid When Migrating Desktops to the Cloud

Desktop as a Service can allow your clients to work remotely and enhance security, but a successful migration to the cloud requires avoiding these seven mistakes.

migrating to the cloud

Your client is ready to take advantage of Desktop as a Service (DaaS) features such as remote access, enhanced security, and easier management. But are they—and you—ready to execute a migration to the cloud that minimizes disruption to the clients’ operation and optimizes performance long term?

Here are seven common mistakes that Desktop as a Service providers need to avoid when their clients take their first steps toward the cloud:

  1. Only focusing on IT goals: Migrating to the cloud isn’t only an IT initiative. Making a move to Desktop as a Service impacts the entire organization. Make sure you speak with all stakeholders to understand their objectives and their concerns so you can make the transition smoothly. Respect requests to schedule work, so it has minimal impact on productivity.
  2. No clear migration strategy: It’s crucial to develop a roadmap for migration to Desktop as a Service and document the process, including backups at essential stages, to prevent data loss. Also, It’s unlikely that all of your clients will want to move all data to the cloud immediately. Instead, work with them to address their specific needs and connect DaaS with on-premises systems.
  3. Overlooking differences in cloud platforms: Each Desktop as a Service offering and each cloud that supports them can have subtle differences impacting performance. Make sure you have knowledgeable in-house resources that understand the fine points and circumvent potential issues. You’ll find that there are also differences in pricing plans and available features—make informed choices for your clients.
  4. Treating cloud desktops like on-premises desktops: Don’t make the mistake of assuming that a virtual desktop is exactly the same as a desktop on a PC. You need to optimize desktop images for the cloud to ensure the best performance and user experiences.
  5. Cutting corners on security or compliance: You may have end goals in mind regarding security and compliance, but you also need to ensure data and applications are secure during the transition, especially if your clients must comply with regulations and standards such as HIPAA or PCI DSS. Make security a priority at all stages of the process.
  6. Trying to make DaaS work for everyone: As with any solution in your portfolio, a specific Desktop as a Service offering won’t be a perfect fit for all of your clients. And depending on your clients’ specific use cases, they may, instead, require a virtual desktop infrastructure to have on-site control and greater customization ability.
  7. Overlooking DaaS as a complementary service: Although DaaS may not meet the needs of an entire organization, you may be missing the opportunity to provide it as an option for companies that need desktops for seasonal workers or as a part of a business continuity offering. Consider offering it as a complementary service for your enterprise clients.

Don’t Make the Mistake of Waiting

By all accounts, the migration to the cloud is in full swing. For example, in its FY21 Q4 earnings report, Microsoft announced that its revenue was $46.2 billion and increased 21%, driven by growth across each segment, including Intelligent Cloud, which garnered $17.4 billion and increased 30%. Additionally, revenue from Amazon Web Services totaled $16.11 billion in FY21 Q3, up almost 39% from Q3 FY20.

Desktop as a Service gives organizations the ability to keep remote workers connected and improve collaboration among dispersed teams—two growing trends. And the pandemic isn’t the only force at play here. According to a 2014 survey, 34% of company executives said they expected over half their workforce to be remote by 2020. Moreover, by the end of 2020, 71% of employed Americans who could do their jobs remotely were working from home.

Now, as we begin 2022, we’re seeing lots of support for continued remote and hybrid work. For example, 54% of employees prefer meeting a colleague via a video call, and 63% report being more productive working from home.

Providing your clients with the solutions they need to keep up with these trends can help you build stronger relationships and remain relevant as the demand for on-premises systems decreases. If you avoid pitfalls other MSPs commonly make, it can also confirm that you have the knowledge and expertise to provide and optimize the solutions your clients need to succeed. Don’t miss the opportunity to grow your business with DaaS. 

The former owner of a software development company and having more than a decade of experience writing for B2B IT solution providers, Mike is co-founder of XaaS Journal and DevPro Journal.