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The business rationale for cloud workspaces

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Virtual desktop delivery models
  3. Factors driving adoption of desktop virtualization
  4. Speed bumps on the road to DaaS adoption
  5. Factors driving DaaS adoption
  6. Choosing a DaaS platform
  7. Key takeaways
  8. About Simon Bramfitt

1. Summary

Desktop virtualization technologies offer enterprise IT a new opportunity to deliver lower-cost, yet more responsive, end-user computing services across a larger range of endpoints. However, many of the technologies behind desktop virtualization require significant capital outlay and are architecturally complex, difficult to implement, and subject to rapid change. This makes them a high-risk investment.

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offers a significant opportunity to realize the benefits of desktop virtualization through cloud-hosted desktops consumed as a service without the high upfront capital cost, and at a considerably lower risk, by leveraging a service provider’s domain expertise in creating and managing a high-performance virtual desktop infrastructure.

This report, which gives enterprise IT organizations a hands-on assessment of leading desktop-as-a-service platforms, is based on interviews with platform vendors and service providers and interviews with enterprise customers conducted from June to October 2014. Additional information was collected from a curated group of approximately 200 end-user computing decision-makers who have been interviewed and surveyed annually since 2010.

Key findings from this report include:

  • Desktop virtualization technology, primarily in the form of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), provides significant operational benefits but is highly complex and disruptive, and requires major capital investment.
  • DaaS provides the benefits of desktop virtualization while transferring the capital investment and technical difficulty to third-party service providers, who have the domain expertise to mitigate much of the risk.
  • DaaS offers significant benefits over VDI when demand for desktop services fluctuates for reasons such as a seasonal workforce.
  • A DaaS hosting provider’s ability to support workloads effectively and minimize latency issues will significantly influence all subsequent decisions.
  • Although cloud desktops are priced similarly, careful platform selection and contract management can ensure that opportunities for savings increase over time.

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