Most professional services firms are looking for ways to reduce complexity, improve productivity, and deploy systems and structure that can scale as work scales. These are key factors to client service and profitability. There’s a range of strategies and options to achieve these goals, including Desktop-as-a-Service.
You can think of Desktop-as-a-Service, or DaaS as it is commonly known, as essentially putting your current physical servers, hard drives, desktop applications and networks into the cloud where they are safe and available in the same way no matter what device you use. It’s your applications and data anywhere and the contemporary office in action.
When deployed professionally, DaaS provides many benefits. Here are four that most firms are interested in achieving:
1. Improved Security and Compliance
Say ‘cloud’ to many people and they think security, or lack of it. The fact is the opposite is true. The irony is that desktop-as-a-service often protects your sensitive information by removing the option for local storage on all those mobile (and often personal) devices your staff are using, losing, and upgrading at will.
And when it comes to compliance across the organisation, well it’s never been easier. With a DaaS solution you can ensure all staff are using the same versions of approved applications and nothing else. Upgrades and patches are managed quickly and easily across the office, country or globe. Everyone operates on the same page, working with the same approved tools, no matter what device they use. Such a firm now has more time to simply get on with business.
A great example of this is the ease with which an upgrade to your core line of business application (be it finance, practice management, etc) can be made across your firm using DaaS. It’s faster than traditional methods with little cost, no stress, and zero need to upgrade servers or PC hardware.
2. Managed Mobility
The traditional office for a professional services firm is under attack. The rise and rise of all-day traffic, flexi hours, contractors, part-time staff, Skype for Business, outsourcing and even the café-based meeting is changing the nature of the traditional office. Today, work is done anywhere and at all times.
To facilitate this easily, your staff can have the one desktop computer environment on any device they want wherever they go – and whatever device they choose to use. Whether a laptop at home, desktop in the office, or tablet in a café, your staff and partners need to have the same windows and files available to them in real time. That way they’ll be more productive and find working at your firm a more professional and contemporary experience.
3. Greater Flexibility
People are the most important resource in professional services firms. As work scales, so do your people requirements. Managing this from an IT perspective can be expensive and difficult in traditional environments.
On the other hand, desktops in the cloud are implemented and deployed extremely quickly – to your professional staff located anywhere in the world.
Deployment of new software, applications, and updates takes far less time that traditional processes, and can be completed across offices no matter where they’re located around town or around the world– all without a flight or hotel accommodation.
When its time to update new operating systems, deploy a new productivity application (such as timesheets, practice management, accounting, relationship management tools and more) you can without the hassle and cost that used to come with server upgrades, PC upgrades, ad hoc software upgrades and more.
Application compatibility issues become a thing of the past, improving staff productivity, reducing frustration, and minimising the support requirements you’ve traditionally paid through the nose for with your traditional environment.
4. Improved Cost Management
I’m the last person to guarantee that DaaS will directly cost less than your current physical desktops and networks and servers and storage as this depends on many factors. Only an assessment of your unique environment would indicate whether this is true or not (this can be completed if you desire).
However, you can be sure that in nearly all circumstances your costs are better managed than ever before. They’re more predictable thanks to the subscription structure, more variable as they are tied more closely to demand (as a per user model), and in the end provide a reduced total cost of ownership too.
As a cloud-based solution, DaaS operates on a per user subscription model. You pay an agreed amount per month per user and add or remove any other services you may want such as user environment management. You can then budget and pay this predictable fee per month per user from there. This ties cost to value – and generally eliminates the surprise costs associated with traditional PC and network management.
With regards to total cost of ownership, an IDC white paper revealed that desktop-as-a-service can reduce hardware capital expenditure (CAPEX) by a massive 56% annually (halving your costs) while also reducing operating expenditure (OPEX) such as support overheads, management time, power consumption, and real estate required to store equipment and manage internal desk space.
There are many reasons why a professional services firm replaces their traditional desktop and networking environment with a cloud-based desktop-as-a-service solution – these are just four.