Of all the advancements, cultural shifts, technologies and endless data points that come together to drive the digital transformation, arguably none has influenced today’s organizations as much as the mobile workforce. Once considered a company’s biggest nightmare, offsite flexibility and the “work from anywhere” mentality have now become the norm. By some estimates, the number of companies adopting a mobile workforce will reach 70% by 2020. And the number of devices managed within an enterprise is increasing right along with the percentage of employees and contractors working remotely.
The “work from anywhere” mentality triggered a rise in streamlined mobility solutions that alleviate issues inherent with a mobile workforce: access, security and communication, to name a few. But in an era where 96% of organizations are using the cloud and 81% have adopted a multi-cloud strategy, we’re now experiencing another evolution: one that has more customers than ever asking us whether they should opt for Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), Microsoft O365 or another solution altogether.
We’ve created this quick primer to get you thinking about DaaS and O365 options in terms of your business’ particular needs.
Comparing Microsoft O365 and DaaS
Since launching, Microsoft O365 has amassed 120 million business users. The company expects to have two-thirds of its Office business customers in the cloud sometime in fiscal year 2019 (which is already at the midway point). But with its meteoric rise in adoption—and its impressive suite of features—comes many misconceptions about Microsoft’s flagship cloud offering. One of the misconceptions we hear most often? That it eliminates the need for DaaS.
A DaaS virtual desktop puts your servers, network, data and more into the cloud. In doing so, it’s designed to deliver enhanced collaboration, increased productivity, lower costs and, of course, access from any team member, anywhere. (Check out this case study for a glimpse into the power of DaaS). At first glance, that might sound a lot like O365. But it’s more accurate to think of cloud services like O365 as an evolution in the mobile workforce—one that’s a great fit for some companies, but not all.
Here are a few points to consider when determining whether to adopt O365 or DaaS.
- Cost: Although both typically use monthly subscription models, O365 is a lower-cost option than DaaS.
- Functionality: DaaS comes with a higher price tag, but it also offers more functionality than O365. In addition to more robust security measures, which we’ll dive into below, a solid DaaS solution will allow your workforce to access all pertinent data and applications. DaaS typically also offers 24/7 access to a team of IT professionals, eliminating the costly lag-time often involved with support people, and delivers the peace of mind that your systems are continually upgraded and always compliant. One of the biggest missed opportunities with O365 is that organizations fail to utilize even a portion of its power. (You’ve likely heard the claim that most companies only use 20% of O365’s functionality.) With DaaS, you’ll always have a dedicated team to ensure you maximize the potential of your workforce mobility solution. No two organizations are the same. But for companies with complex IT systems and robust security needs, the extra features offered with DaaS can quickly make it a more comprehensive solution than O365.
- Compatibility: If your organization’s critical systems aren’t compatible with Microsoft, using O365 alongside your existing system and devices can be challenging. For organizations that rely on legacy systems, compatibility could be a major issue to opt for DaaS.
- Security: Microsoft O365 has been criticized for its lack of security. While that’s not entirely the case, O365’s OneDrive cloud-based storage solution opens the door to major breaches if not managed by experts well-versed in how to activate and maximize O365 features like we do in OBT's Secure365TM offering. Millions of O365 users have had their passwords stolen. Brute force attacks are too common, and 71.4% of O365 users have at least one account compromised each month. Not every organization is comfortable having someone else manage its data—even if that someone is Microsoft. With O365, it’s wise to supplement the solution’s existing security features with active information security. With high-quality DaaS offerings like the one from OBT, an organization receives more robust, proactive security measures managed by a team continually evolving its security strategy to anticipate, and guard against, what’s next. Another factor to note, is that with DaaS you always know where your data is, whereas with O365 there is often local copies of files kept on user devices. DaaS allows access anywhere, but O365 allows your data to reside anywhere.
Getting a customised recommendation for your business
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing between DaaS and O365, which is why truly astute businesses and technology teams are genuinely investigating a hybrid of both worlds. Even Microsoft is due to come out with their own version of DaaS which effectively blends the two together.
Not sure whether DaaS, O365 or some other solution is best for you? Want a second opinion before making a switch? Learn more about our DaaS service, or our Secure365TM service, and drop us a line to discuss the best solution for your business. We’re here to help.