Virtual desktops generally got a bad rap when this technology first became available during the early 2000s. The Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions that were available at that time had poor performance and other problems that often made IT managers reluctant to implement it. Fortunately, this technology has greatly advanced during the past decade, which now allows VDI to be offered as part of Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS).
However, many business leaders still have misconceptions about DaaS. This article discusses seven of the most common myths about DaaS and how DaaS can benefit a business. Let's dive in, shall we?
1. DaaS won’t save money
It’s true that the transition to DaaS may not save money in the short term due to the upfront costs. However, this initial cost must be weighed against the long-term savings of using DaaS. For example, DaaS allows your business to shift capital expenditures (CAPEX) to operational expenditures (OPEX) while ensuring that your IT capacity can still scale up as your company grows. DaaS can also reduce soft costs by improving employee productivity.
2. DaaS won’t help me with regulatory compliance
Some DaaS providers offer solutions that can help your business achieve compliance with regulations such as HIPAA and PCI. However, it’s essential for you to evaluate the delivery and implementation of this solution, since these factors can affect the scope of your compliance requirements. DaaS providers vary greatly in the variety of their deployment models and their ability to tailor solutions for your business.
3. Virtual desktops won’t improve performance
The dramatic improvements in VDI performance allow some DaaS providers to specialize in optimizing their platform for this technology. Some providers even design their DaaS infrastructure from the ground up to maximize end-user experience. Advanced hardware such as solid-state drives (SSDs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) are also cost-effective methods of greatly improving the performance of DaaS.
4. Cloud solutions like DaaS aren't secure
IT managers are naturally concerned about the security of their infrastructure, due to the constantly increasing frequency and severity of data breaches. Cloud solutions have a reputation for poor security since the data isn't stored on the customer’s premises. However, the data in a virtual desktop is stored in a central location, typically a secure data center. The storage devices in this facility should never be accessible by a mobile device to ensure that sensitive data isn't compromised by the loss or theft of a smartphone.
5. End users won’t adopt virtual desktops
End users are often reluctant to embrace any change, including a DaaS implementation. Strong user buy-in is essential for the widespread adoption of new technology, which requires executive sponsorship and clear communication about the benefits of the change. For example, most DaaS solutions allow users to customize their desktop, which is often the most obvious advantage for end users. It’s also essential to select a robust solution that will meet the end users’ expectations.
6. Outsourced DaaS requires IT teams to give up control
It’s easy to think that outsourcing a DaaS solution will result in your in-house IT team losing control over your infrastructure. However, it’s more accurate to say that you’re adding experts to your IT team without adding headcount to your budget. This benefit creates an IT advantage as well as a business advantage, but your DaaS service provider must keep their experts available for it to work. It’s therefore important to ask prospective DaaS providers about the level of support they provide and if it has an additional cost.
7. VDI won’t work with unified communications technology
Advancements in unified communications (UC) technology over the last few years allow DaaS providers to integrate softphone applications seamlessly into desktops. This capability can eliminate the need to ship physical phones to employees who work off-site. Furthermore, UC currently requires comparatively few IT resources, even when it supports smartphones. However, not all DaaS providers offer this capability.
Modern DaaS solutions address many of the concerns that IT managers and business may have had about implementing this technology when it was first available. The cost of implementing DaaS has also dropped to the point that it’s an economical solution for even small businesses. However, the specific capabilities of DaaS providers vary, making it essential to determine the services they offer before selecting a provider.