The purpose of modern business could be summarised with one word – agility. Organisations need to be agile in every single aspect of their operations; agile in how they respond to customer trends and demands; agile in how they react to markets and societal trends. Being able to act reactively and proactive in a fast and efficient way is what business agility is all about. This is often tied with the ever-increasing integration of technology with work. A perfect example of how technology can help organisations operate in a more agile fashion is with the trend of Desktop as a Service. Though not a brand new trend, DaaS has been gaining traction recently. We discussed this with some IT companies that have a background in using this type of cloud service.

What is Desktop as a Service?

For most people, the concept of the desktop is intrinsically linked with the device – you can’t have a desktop without a device on which to access it. But what if you could? What if users could access the same desktop on any device, so long as they had access to the internet? This is what Desktop-as-a-Service is all about; a complete virtual desktop experience is delivered from the cloud, to an endpoint (typically a laptop or PC, but some tablets and smartphones can also be used). According to one company we spoke to that provides IT support Financial Services companies rely on, DaaS lends itself to a more agile and mobile approach to work and recruitment. Owing to the fact that the underlying infrastructure of DaaS resides in a public cloud platform (such as Microsoft Azure) it can theoretically be deployed to any device with an internet connection, anywhere in the world.

Examples of DaaS

As we already mentioned, Desktop as a Service is not a brand new concept. In fact, it has been around for several years, and there are a few different examples of it. Some examples of commercially available DaaS products include:

  • Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) – This product from Microsoft was their original Desktop as a Service solution. Originally known as Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), used a client app installed on a computer to access a virtual desktop environment from the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
  • Windows 365 – Microsoft released another DaaS product, which is build on the infrastructure of its predecessor. Windows 365 is a service that offers preconfigured ‘Cloud PCs’ to users. It was designed to be easier to use than its predecessor, thus lowering the barrier for entry for businesses with less experience with this type of technology.

These are just two examples of a Desktop as a Service solution, and there are many more out there. According to a company we spoke with who provide IT support for Estate Agents, commercially available DaaS solutions are excellent for any organisation (such as estate agents and other property-based work) where users need to be able to use computers outside of work. The great thing about DaaS is that the endpoint (the computer you access the virtual desktop on) does not need to be powerful at all, because all the compute resources are actually in the cloud. This means that users can access high-powered computing on a lightweight, accordable device (a thin client).

How Can Desktop as a Service Support Hybrid Work

There are a number of ways in which Desktop as a Service can support modern ways of working. In terms of hybrid work, the key benefit is that users no longer need a dedicated device to access a personalised desktop. A user’s desktop, and all of their apps, can be hosted in the cloud; then, they can use any work device (as well as a personal device while working from home) to access everything they need for work. We spoke to one IT support provider London businesses use who pointed out that, with DaaS, businesses also do not need to worry about the security risks of conventional BYOD practices, because company data never leaves the company’s cloud environment.