It’s been a long time coming, but it appears that the desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) method for managing IT is finally gaining significant traction. A report from Custom Market Insights values the DaaS market at $6.2 billion in 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of 21 percent through 2032 to reach $18.7 billion.
According to the report, the rise of remote work coupled with increased consumption of cloud services will accelerate the DaaS transition. In addition, increased awareness of the need to better secure data in a centrally managed IT environment has also become a significant factor.
MSPs can save costs and reduce attack surfaces
DaaS is dependent on virtualization technologies designed to deliver a desktop experience remotely and has improved considerably in recent years. Most managed service providers (MSPs) continue to manage traditional endpoints. Still, if more customers transition to DaaS, there is an opportunity to reduce the total cost of IT services as the management of application environments becomes more centralized.
At the same time, most organizations are aware that cybercriminals are targeting endpoints. Hence, a switch to DaaS enables an organization to considerably reduce the overall size of the attack surface that needs to be defended. That’s especially critical given the number of mobile devices most organizations regularly employ.
The main DaaS challenge is obviously overcoming the bad reputation virtual desktop technologies have garnered over the years. Many IT professionals and end-users remember previous efforts that proved challenging to manage and delivered suboptimal application experiences. However, as more network bandwidth has become available, that later issue today is much less of a limiting application performance factor.
Well-defined use cases overcome technical and cultural roadblocks
Making a wholesale transition to DaaS is still a significant technical and cultural challenge for many organizations, so MSPs would be well advised to establish a well-defined use case to prove its merits. That approach reduces the perceived level of risk and provides the added benefit of a working proof-of-concept that can be used to convince other parts of an organization to follow suit.
Today there is no shortage of DaaS options to choose from in the cloud, so the total cost of setting up a DaaS environment has been considerably reduced. That shift may have simultaneously made DaaS more accessible and perhaps less profitable as a distinct service. However, the overall benefits in terms of cost reduction still accrue in favor of the MSP.
It may be a while before traditional endpoints disappear entirely but given the current economic climate and growing concerns over security, more organizations are reconsidering all their options. An MSP that makes a case for DaaS will, at the very least, be seen trying to help organizations proactively address those concerns, even if they ultimately decide to stand pat with what they already have in place. More often than not, it is better to put everything on the table with a gentle nudge in one direction versus another rather than being seen as a hardcore advocate for one approach over all others.
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