The Great PC Store in the Cloud

Desktop-as-a-service is heating up



Lee Davis



The concept of a virtual machine (VM) has been around for a while but has largely been the province of IT-types. Using virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) software, you can create and run multiple virtual computers—complete with their own virtual hard drive, CPU, memory, and network interfaces—within a single computer or server. Now take that same concept, host it in a cloud-hosted server instead of a server in the IT closet, charge a monthly fee and—presto!—you have Desktop as a Service (DaaS). For office equipment dealers already in (or making the move to) the IT services space, DaaS is an offering worth serious consideration for a customer’s IT environment.


DaaS enables businesses to take advantage of desktop virtualization without having to make a hefty up-front investment or doing any of the heavy lifting. DaaS providers host and maintain the underlying infrastructure. Customers connect to their virtual desktops from anywhere they have an Internet connection using the device of their choice.


There are plenty of benefits that come with DaaS. Like any other “as a service” product, customers pay only for what they use, and can scale or discontinue usage as their needs change. This is particularly useful for businesses with slow and busy seasons, as they can add or remove resources to match demand. It’s also attractive to agile bean counters looking to convert CAPEX outlays to predictable OPEX line items. Costs aside, DaaS also helps businesses mitigate physical device security risks and provides workers with access to their PC even if it was (or still is) locked away in their office.


An Excellent Opportunity for Dealers
The DaaS marketplace represents an excellent opportunity for dealers looking to diversify their portfolio. It scratches customer’s immediate itch of dealing with hybrid work. In Keypoint Intelligence’s 2020 IT Decision Maker survey, respondents anticipated that two-thirds of workers will spend some time between the home and the office. But DaaS also positions dealers for the future, providing them with a new way to expand their presence in their customer’s IT environment (or at least make up for declining print revenues). Also in that study, 33% of IT decision makers told us that they will continue to replace older IT infrastructure with new technology, and 12% of respondents said that investing in a zero-footprint computing environment is important.



The DaaS marketplace isn’t new, but it’s certainly heating up. Recently, Microsoft announced Windows 365 Cloud PC, which enables users to stream their own desktop to any device they please. HP also made a splash, announcing an agreement to purchase Teradici Corporation, developers of remote computing technologies. They join the likes of Citrix, Amazon, VMWare, and other behemoths in a DaaS marketplace poised for some serious growth. The folks at Business Fortune Insights predict that remote desktop software will grow at a CAGR of 17% through 2028.


Providing DaaS on your own is a tremendous undertaking. It means managing your own datacenter, providing 24/7/365 support, and taking on a lot of responsibility. But these are not impassible hurdles. DaaS providers like dinCloud are happy to partner with dealers; if you can sell the solution, they can handle the rest.


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