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November 03, 2022

From remote desktop to Workplace as a Service (WaaS)

A remote desktop is a program (or a function of an operating system) that allows a user to connect to a computer from another location and another terminal. This makes it possible to not only see the desktop of the computer you are connecting to, but to interact with it as if you were physically next to it.

In other words, as if by magic, with a mouse and keyboard you can control a computer that is thousands of kilometres away thanks to this software. This application became a very popular tool among service departments and technical support, as it allowed their professionals to troubleshoot potential incidents without having to travel.

Many of these tools can also be used to share files with the computer from the one that is controlling it, and vice versa. A remote desktop can also allow access to audio in some cases, with the sound being transmitted from the remote computer to the controlling device.

But beyond technical support professionals, remote desktops offer many advantages to other types of users. For example, it provides a way for workers to use any device to do their work even if they do not have access to professional equipment. And it does so with the guarantee that they will be accessing both resources and documents in a way that is fully secure.

This also allows controlling and restricting access to certain documents in remote areas, giving more flexibility to employees to work from wherever they want with whatever devices work best for them.

In the cloud

However, with the gradual transition to cloud environments, where many of the applications no longer reside on any computer or server, but are instead offered as a service, the remote desktop is evolving into what is known as Workplace as a Service (WaaS).

Both models provide solutions for remote or hosted desktops. The main difference between the two is that the remote desktop (or VDI, Virtual Desktop Interface) is managed by the company itself, either locally or in a colocation facility. Meanwhile, the WaaS option is an infrastructure service that is managed, delivered by a vendor and hosted in its data centres.

In other words, remote desktops require the company to manage servers, storage, licences, endpoints, as well as the cost of purchasing all the necessary products and licences. However, in the case of the WaaS, a usage fee is paid, with the company that offers this service being responsible for having the servers, storage, security, data backup and updates needed to offer this work environment.

WaaS offers virtual applications and desktop services through cloud services, whether private or public. Users access the service via the Internet using a web browser or a secure application downloaded on any device. WaaS is normally purchased as a subscription from an external provider.

In general, WaaS is a good option for companies that do not want to invest in and manage local remote desktop solutions. However, you will have to decide which WaaS product is right for your business. It is important to realise that with WaaS, services such as cybersecurity, cloud services, insurance, data destruction, hardware, software, basically everything a company or worker needs to furnish a workspace and start working, is no longer bought, but is simply rented.

This option not only makes it possible to provide a productive and problem-free IT environment to all users in the workplace, but the company's systems department is released from some of the most tedious tasks so it can devote itself to more productive or urgent tasks. This provides more flexibility to workers while enhancing data security. From the point of view of the financial department, it also provides greater reliability in terms of the recurring costs that will be incurred, avoiding unexpected expenses.

As we have seen, it is not surprising that a WaaS market that was worth over $27 billion in 2021 is expected to have an annual growth of 22.3% by 2030.

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