By Ali Din
Technology has afforded the modern worker a number of freedoms. Work isn’t confined to the office or a single device anymore. Users have the freedom to work from home, on-the-go, or remotely during business travel. Work can get done nearly anywhere and often does. However, this has resulted in added complexity for those tasked with managing and securing end-user compute environments.
The Empowered Mobile User
For many workers, the freedom to work from various locations on the device of their choice is often an arrangement they’ve made for themselves. Instead of catering to this new work style and the productivity gains that can be achieved, many organizations haven’t adapted internal practices to meet the needs of the mobile workforce. Companies are often forced into mobility initiatives as personal devices are introduced by “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) trends, with users taking matters into their own hands to leverage the tools they need to remain productive. This has left many companies in a precarious situation, as they’re forced to introduce mobility initiatives, often unprepared for the challenges associated with mobility.
The Security Challenge and the Mobile Workforce
Many businesses strive to harness the mobility trend in a way that advantages workers, while still maintaining a level of control and direct management that’s appropriate given today’s security concerns. While the mobile user is often a more productive worker; when you introduce new, independently managed devices into the network, and when users are accessing company data from outside WiFi networks, security can be compromised. And, with multiple high-profile security breaches in recent years, security in the enterprise has become a hot-button topic.
Following a rise in security concerns, the hosted workspace, and specifically Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solutions, have emerged as an alternative to on-premises management of end-user compute environments. DaaS solutions provide the flexibility users desire—they’re able to access a workspace—desktop, applications, data—from the device and location of their choice, but that access is secured in order to provide peace of mind at the management level.
The Cost Challenge and the Mobile Workforce
Cost is another common barrier to entry for mobility initiatives. In fact, as described in TechAisle’s whitepaper titled, Agile Cloud: Managing the Empowered User, 41 percent of midmarket CIOs surveyed cited total cost of ownership for mobility initiatives as a challenge faced when investing in tools that enable the mobile workforce. Cost was the most cited barrier to entry in this research, exceeding security, corporate data protection, mobile device management, and compliance. DaaS solutions provide a cost-effective alternative to on-premises management that’s appealing to many businesses.
DaaS is Powering Mobile Workers and Driving DaaS Adoption
Because DaaS can help solve for security, cost, and other challenges associated with mobility, many businesses are forgoing on-site management in favor of cloud-hosted client workspace management. TechAisle’s research also shows that “DaaS penetration” is expected to grow by 183 percent within the midmarket.
Commonly cited reasons for using DaaS include—in order of frequency:
• Less investment required/cost savings: 29 percent
• Security, quality, features, flexibility, performance, etc.: 26 percent
• Complexity/ease of implementation: 16 percent
• Better/efficient management: 13 percent
• Lack of internal staff skills: 9 percent
• Best option/other: 7 percent.
DaaS Here to Stay
Considering these projections, and larger market trends, one thing remains clear—like mobility, DaaS isn’t going anywhere any time soon. We can expect that as mobile workers continue to work in the manner in which they are today, businesses need to provide flexible access to empower their workforce. For many, DaaS is the solution of choice that can empower users without weakening security, accruing additional cost, and compromising other management objectives. SW
Ali Din is GM/CMO at dinCloud, a cloud services provider that helps organizations migrate their IT infrastructure to the cloud. Din’s IT industry career in the last 20 years has spanned product development, finance, and most recently, marketing and brand management. For more information, visit: dincloud.com or follow @dinCloud on Twitter.
Aug2016, Software Magazine