Organizations had little time to prepare for work-from-home mandates when COVID-19 spread across the country. Paul Carley, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Desktop and Applications Group at Citrix, says many companies looked to Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solutions. This strategy allowed them to quickly provide their employees with access to corporate systems and information for employees using different devices, including unmanaged endpoints such as desktops, laptops, and Chromebooks to work from home.
Carley tells XaaS Journal that an even better strategy would have been for companies to plan all along on using remote desktop services in the event of a crisis or disaster.
Should DaaS be a part of a business continuity plan?
Carley: Natural disasters and public health emergencies can strike anywhere at any time. And when they do, companies need to be prepared. And this is where DaaS solutions can be of real value. When a hurricane, wildfire, or pandemic prevent employees from physically getting to the office, they can connect to digital workspaces and access all of the tools and information they need to collaborate and get work done from the safety of their homes in a secure and reliable manner without missing a step.
Why have remote desktop services been valuable to companies during the COVID-19 crisis?
Carley: DaaS solutions deliver desktops and applications virtually from the cloud, which adds a layer of security over accessing company data from an unsecured device. Another that is key in unpredictable times like this is the pay-as-you-go model that allows companies to scale their resources up or down to meet their evolving business needs.
Many companies just want to deliver access to a simple desktop or application, and DaaS does that well. But beyond this, it provides for more robust desktops that support GPU for engineers, or Linux desktops. There are also remote desktop services, such as Citrix Managed Desktops, that support legacy apps and desktops securely.
How can MSP or VAR increase the value of their clients’ business continuity plans with remote desktop services?
Carley: Our partners can offer their customers a secure, simplified virtual apps and desktops solution from the cloud that is both scalable and cost-effective and provide a great user experience every time from anywhere on any device.
They also can use our simplified management console, to manage custom master images that can be quickly and easily deployed to hundreds or thousands of users and just as quickly and easily decommissioned when the customer no longer needs them. And in delivering virtual desktops and apps from the cloud, they have better control over operational expenses versus adding capital expenses for data center buildout.
What advice can you offer MSPs or VARs as coronavirus shutdowns end?
Carley: Many companies viewed remote work as a short-term fix to the pandemic problem and felt that it would go away after a few months. But many are now recognizing that it may be the new normal. To help their clients prepare for this, partners should encourage them to include DaaS solutions in their business continuity plans.
Companies can keep a minimum subscription active, then quickly ramp up to accommodate increases sparked by unforeseen events, seasonal workers, temporary workforce, or mergers and acquisitions.