Not sure what Workspace as a Service is? It’s more familiar than you think.
The ‘as a Service’ model isn’t a recent phenomenon, but one that’s heavily linked with cloud computing. There are three categories of the model, the most well-known of which is Software as a Service, aka SaaS. SaaS is accessible to everyone but doesn’t always suit the needs of larger companies. That’s where Desktop as a Service and Workspace as a Service are needed. While the differences between the two seem minimal, it’s easy to see how they meet different needs.
What is the ‘as a Service’ model?
The ‘as a Service’ model in technology is like renting a house. You get access to everything that comes with that house, but you don’t own it.
The rise of cloud computing enabled the ‘as a Service’ model to really take off in name and structure. Today, anything that is offered under this model means that you are given access to the products and services available for a monthly or yearly fee. When you stop paying, the access stops.
There are now three main categories that ‘as a Service’ models fall into Software as a Service (Saas), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). The most popular and familiar model is SaaS.
Software as a Service
SaaS is everywhere. Here are a few examples: Dropbox, Microsoft 365 and Spotify. Under this model, you get access to the software, but you don’t really ‘own’ it. Sometimes, there’s still the option to buy and download the standalone version, though it’s becoming less and less available as companies pour their efforts into the SaaS versions. And a lot of SaaS have free versions that offer access without the full perks, which is enough depending on your needs.
What makes SaaS so popular is that it can be used by anyone, whether the use is personal or professional. Every industry has been touched by SaaS: CRM, HR, Analytics, just to name a few. The instant access means that you can get started straight away. Many of them even have a complementary app to make it easier to access on other devices.
If you’re interested in knowing more about SaaS, you can read a more comprehensive history of it here.
With SaaS demonstrating the value of the ‘as a Service’ model, it was only a matter of time before it gave rise to Desktop as a Service.
Desktop as a Service (DaaS)
DaaS is the modern version of its 1960s predecessor. Employees can access their desktop on any computer. The desktop is stored virtually on a central server, which is why the term ‘virtualisation’ comes up a lot in relation to DaaS. It falls into the category of PaaS.
Many companies use DaaS to improve productivity. For example, if an employee’s computer has an issue (for example, the screen isn’t turning on, or some software keeps freezing), they would normally have to wait until an IT team member is available to fix it. And even then, they may have to work on a spare computer that has not been set up for day-to-day use.
But with DaaS in play, this kind of problem is easy to resolve. The employee may still need to work on a spare computer, but because the desktop is virtualised, they can be back up and running with just a few clicks.
While reducing downtime is not the only benefit, it is a major draw for large companies with expensive, ageing IT infrastructure who experience tech issues regularly.
So it makes sense that the next step for DaaS is to virtualise the entire workspace.
What is Workspace as a Service?
Not to be confused with the other WaaS (Wifi as a Service), Workspace as a Service takes DaaS to the next level. Rather than only giving access to the desktop on a computer, WaaS lets employees access their desktop and applications on any device at any time, as long as they have an internet connection. So employees who travel with only a smartphone or a tablet still have access to all the same data and software that they would on a laptop.
What are the benefits of WaaS?
There are many benefits to moving to the WaaS model:
Being able to work anywhere is one of the biggest perks of cloud technology. Now employees can be on the road, out visiting clients, even travelling overseas, and still be able to do all the same work they could in the office.
When your computer’s in an office, you can only work when you’re there. But sometimes, that’s not enough. Maybe you want to impress a client with speed of service, or you need to access their information the night before a big meeting. Being able to access your work data and applications whenever you need could make all the difference.
While physical hardware like laptops and mobiles are still needed, costly infrastructure like physical servers is a thing of the past. Servers are moved into the cloud, which means upkeep costs drop and increasing server space is also cheaper and much easier to manage.
Staying secure may seem counterintuitive when everything is in the cloud, but it makes it easier because everything is in one place. When everything is in the cloud, you can create backups and know you’ve captured everything. It also means granting and removing access is a simple process. Rather than having to install or remove applications one by one (which is time consuming), doing it through the cloud can be as easy as ticking a box.
Keeping software up-to-date is no longer about long wait times while the computer is busy. The IT team can install patches remotely and outside of business hours, so you never have to sit around watching a percentage bar instead of working.
Which model is for me?
Each ‘as a Service’ model has its benefits and drawbacks, but generally, the bigger your company, the more likely you are to move up the categories. Bigger companies come with bigger IT needs and costs, so to reduce both, SaaS isn’t enough. DaaS is a starting point, but WaaS is where you should ultimately aim, especially if you have a medium or enterprise-level company. It’s worth comparing costs between your current infrastructure and systems to help make your decision.
How do you implement ‘as a Service’?
Most SaaS is easy to access and use, but DaaS and WaaS become more complicated because of the risk of data loss and improper migration. Taking your desktop workspace and putting it in the cloud is no easy feat. To do it properly, you need an expert IT team to manage the transition.
If you’re an accounting firm that cares about security and is looking to migrate to the cloud quickly and easily, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at +61 3 9828 9999.