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Making virtualization, reality

Bring-Your-Own-Desktop: How DaaS Provides Support For The Mobile Workforce

Office work is no longer tied to the office. It’s not just field workers and remote employees who need access to data 24/7. In most modern workplaces, all users should be able to access applications, data, and services when they are away from their desks. 

Desktops as a Service (DaaS) has emerged as a means to deliver a consistent user experience, no matter what the device, format, or brand the user deploys. VPNs and cloud software can help facilitate a mobile workforce, but these solutions don’t meet all the critical needs of remote workers. This article describes how DaaS takes a workforce to the next level of secure, universal access and flexibility.

The Old Way

Before Bring-Your-Own-Desktop and DaaS, field employees and other remote workers had a tough time staying connected. Typically, those employees would leave their workstations powered on. On the road, they would then connect with the company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN), an often cumbersome and unstable process. If connections failed, there was little that could be done to correct the problem without recourse to the IT team.

In order to connect vendors and subcontractors in the field though a VPN, desktop workstations with specialized, restricted access would have to be set up. All of those workstations would have to be configured to keep them powered up and running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If users forgot to leave their workstations powered up, or if power was somehow cut off to that desktop, the user would be unable to work remotely, stalling operational productivity.

SaaS – A Temporary Fix

Software as a Service (Saas) and cloud-based software helped alleviate some of the problems associated with VPNs, allowing users to get work done remotely from any browser-enabled device. This gave the mobile workforce the opportunity to access the network, when they needed it. However, not all enterprise applications are available as SaaS, and many of the applications that are available aren’t compatible with Apple operating systems. So while SaaS has been an improvement over VPN in terms of remote access, it cannot help a workforce achieve full mobility.

Desktops as a Service – A True Mobile Solution

Desktops as a Service ensure that every field employee and remote worker has access to a stable workstation configuration. DaaS can provide a centrally managed, on-demand solution that gives end users the flexibility to access whatever they need, whenever they need it, while still giving the IT department the ability to control costs and maintain data security.

Through DaaS in the cloud, users can access their personal workstations at any time from anywhere, using any device, whether that workstation is powered on or not. Their experience is the same whether they are on a laptop, desktop, or mobile device, and they can access the full functionality of all applications, regardless of the operating system they are working from. If a user should need support, the remote DaaS team is available to help them work through their issues. They no longer have to place a call to the internal IT team when they are working off hours or working in the field.

Desktops can be customized with DaaS for specific workers or groups of workers around their unique job functions. Administrators can customize levels of access to help ensure that employees have access only to the applications and information they need, when they need it. This gives companies more freedom to hire remote workers and contractors, as they can set up parameters to ensure that these offsite workers do not have access to sensitive data.

The days of the 9-5 workweek are over. Employees want to have access to their applications off hours, and as remote work becomes the norm for most organizations, Desktops as a Service can provide a secure and consistent user experience that will help improve productivity across the board.

Trent Dilkie

Trent Dilkie

Trent Dilkie has come a long way in the last 30 plus years, from engineering student at the University of New Brunswick to VP Strategic Initiatives & CSO at Gibraltar Solutions. Today, Trent is an important part of the Gibraltar team, as his expertise in security has allowed him to be involved in ethical hacking and building computer security assessments and new security practices. He has also developed solutions for mobile device integration into corporate IT, Bring Your Own Computer programs and Mac@Work programs.

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