Can hosted desktop service eliminate the need for IT support? No, but it will require a new set of specialized skills.
While it’s true that cloud computing services can reduce a company’s IT maintenance and support workload, they by no means eliminate that need. The latest generation of cloud applications still require on-premise networks that are functioning and secure — despite what some vendors might claim.
We designed this article to help clarify what’s involved in the support and management of the full range of cloud applications, from today’s popular SaaS applications, to the next generation of hosted desktop and desktop as a service (DaaS) platforms, which are just starting to enter the mainstream.
The Correct Approach to Software as a Service (SaaS) Maintenance
The most popular type of cloud service is the software as a service (SaaS) application. Today, many common software products are delivered using the SaaS model, including Microsoft Office, the Adobe creative suite, customer relationship management (CRM) software like SalesForce, and many others.
SaaS applications are updated centrally by the application vendor, which saves businesses the need for tedious patching and updating tasks. But that doesn’t mean that SaaS isn’t without its challenges. Here’s how proactive SaaS management and maintenance service from Complete Network helps companies approach the cloud with greater certainty.
Valuable Performance and Utilization Metrics
The Complete Network team uses a specialized set of tools to track the performance of its client’s cloud assets, including their bandwidth and disk usage, database queries, and other important data points. This information helps customize a client’s network to maximize the benefit of each SaaS applications.
Proper SaaS License and Vendor Management
Proactive management of SaaS licenses can help a business avoid purchasing software they don’t need, which can lead to significant monthly savings. Unused SaaS licenses are also a security threat. If someone gains access those accounts, they could steal or alter company resources for weeks or months without raising any security red flags.
Another important aspect of Complete Network’s license management process is ensuring that employees are safely on-boarded and removed from SaaS applications, so that only current staff have access to company data.
Bring Shadow IT Out of the Dark
Shadow IT is when an IT product or service is purchased without the IT department’s knowledge. It’s a major problem, with research showing that upwards of 50% of technology spending is lurking in these shadow realms.
Shadow IT undermines your security efforts, creating more gaps and liabilities with every new unmanaged application. It can also create operational inefficiencies by creating data in heterogeneous formats, slowing communication between employees and impeding collaboration.
Better Handling of Multi-Cloud Management
If your business isn’t currently juggling multiple cloud applications, there’s a good chance you will be soon. Research from Rightscale shows that 84% of businesses are already employing multiple cloud solutions.
To help companies manage these workloads, the Complete Network team can help map your cloud environments, plan your integration and automation needs, strategically transfer services between private and public clouds, and much more. If you’re having trouble with the management of multiple cloud services, you should always feel free to ask us a question.
The Requirements of Hosted Desktop and Desktop as a Service (DaaS)
Called either “hosted desktop” or desktop as a service (DaaS), this new cloud technology delivers a complete desktop environment — including operating system, office productivity software, and other applications — from any device in the same way as other SaaS applications.
What are the major benefits driving DaaS adoption?
- Greater Flexibility – Employees can access their applications and desktops from anywhere
- Greater Scalability – Easily add (or remove) desktops to meet the needs of a merger, acquisition or new branch office without any capital expenditure.
- Predictable Costs – Paying a set amount for each desktop on a monthly basis can provide a comforting predictability. It doesn’t always mean reduced total spending though, especially over the long term.
DaaS vendors claim that their solutions greatly simplify — possibly even eliminate — infrastructure support needs. This is inaccurate. Many of the same problems that exist with an on-premise network still exist in DaaS and hosted desktop architectures, though the location and severity of each issue will be different in every situation.
Complete Network helps companies address all the networking and support issues that DaaS and hosted desktop solutions present.
DaaS planning and implementation
There are many reasons you won’t be able to migrate all your services to a DaaS or hosted desktop platform. For example, DaaS providers only offer a limited number of productivity tools, which could severely impact company workflows and staff efficiency. Also, because running your desktops in the cloud means keeping production data in the cloud as well, applications that require or produce large datasets will likely be best kept in on-premise systems.
To make your DaaS initiative successful, Complete Network helps you gain a clear sense of which services will best function in this new environment, then ensures those services are properly integrated your other applications for a seamless experience for users.
Network Infrastructure and Telecommunications Management
DaaS platforms deliver desktop service to each end point, but you still need to make sure that each device is properly functioning, secure, and connected to your DaaS provider. That’s where Complete Network can help. We’ll also manage and patch your local network devices, such as routers and firewalls, another maintenance requirement that’s similar to traditional networks.
A local IT team like Complete Network will also help you solve network latency issues, which are especially important in the context of DaaS services. Poor Internet connectivity can undermine your hosted desktop experience, harming employee productivity and morale.
Strong Security and Compliance
While hosted desktop environments can lower your security risk by removing sensitive information directly from employee devices, there are still major security issues to manage. The most obvious of these concerns is, what happens if the staff at your DaaS provider isn’t doing enough to secure their systems?
The administrators at your DaaS provider will have complete control over your computing environment, which means that a single unsafe application, misconfiguration, or a poorly implemented security tool could result in serious downtime or data loss for your company. You should plan on performing regular security audits to make sure your providers are following best practices.
In addition, DaaS presents many of challenges associated with cloud computing, like ensuring strong VPN tunnels to protect in-transit data, compromised privacy, ensuring that service-level agreements (SLAs) meet security and compliance requirements, and more.
The Complete Network team can help you confidently address each of these problems, removing uncertainty from the DaaS experience.
Complete Network – Hosted Desktop and DaaS Consulting and Support
We’re passionate about helping businesses in Albany, New York or Charlotte, North Carolina take maximum advantage of the latest generation of cloud computing services, including hosted desktop and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) platforms. If your business needs a trusted partner to take the uncertainty out of your migration to these exciting new services, feel free to contact us at 877.877.1840 or email us at [email protected] We’re always eager to help!
The team at Complete Network can help you solve any cloud computing issue you’re facing and enhance your operations. Schedule a comprehensive consultation today.