As someone who has been a member of the hybrid work force for many years, coming into the office for a few days every month or so, the primary tool that has made this not only possible but also very easy, is Desktop as a Service (Daas).  I can run the same applications, on the same desktop, with everything just where I need it, whether I am working from home, in a hotel, or at a hot desk in the office.

What is Desktop as a Service (DaaS)?

DaaS is a public cloud solution that provides Windows desktops hosted as a cloud services and accessed over the Internet.  In particular it provides a way of businesses running desktop software that share documents, data, and databases, that can be accessed equally well in the office or from home.

There are various DaaS offerings, including Hosted Desktops and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).   Many are operated by the big cloud services firms like Amazon Web Services with its Amazon Workspace, and Microsoft Azure who offer Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows Cloud PC.  However, there are a significant number of smaller players who not only provide DaaS but run it as a Managed Service, something that Microsoft and Amazon don’t do, so businesses wanting to adopt a DaaS solution don’t need IT skills on their team and also don’t need to pay for third party IT support.

How does DaaS work?

DaaS solutions use Windows Virtual Machines, hosted in a data centre, dedicated to individual companies to provide remote access to their line of business software applications.  Software such as accounting systems, payroll, CRM and stock control, alongside familiar staples like Microsoft Office. As well as using storage for databases, documents and files on the DaaS platform, hybrid workers can also connect to other cloud storage solutions like Google Cloud, DropBox and OneDrive in order to work on the same documents with colleagues not needing a DaaS solution.

Benefits of Desktop as a Service

There are a number of benefits of using a DaaS solution.  For the remote work force it means having all the tools to do your job at your fingertips, wherever you are, and having the same experience as desk-based colleagues.  For the business owner it can mean a reduction in overall IT cost and also complete predictability of IT spend.  As a managed service any technical issues are resolved by the provider as part of the service, as are routine maintenance tasks, backups, antivirus, Windows updates and resource monitoring, so it also reduces financial risks.

DaaS solutions can generally be accessed across multiple devices, so instead of the home worker being committed to running a Windows PC from home, they can connect just as easily from an Apple Mac, or on an Android or iOS tablet.

While it seems that many applications are moving to cloud based Software as a Service, running in web browsers, there are certain sophisticated or bespoke applications where the advanced features and functionality just can’t be replicated in a browser. This is where VDI and DaaS solutions come in to their own, providing a platform to run full fat Windows desktop applications without needing to compromise on usability.  Of course, remote workers can also run their browser-based apps on their remote desktops as well.