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Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions are some of the groundbreaking technologies promising notable changes to the business economy. Consequently, several small and midsize businesses (SMB) are engaging in digital transformation initiatives to unlock true digital value.

While digital shift is a hot topic in boardroom discussions, most SMB runners fail to understand its meaning thoroughly. The basic mistake they commit is deploying technologies without any reasonable cause and not forming a relevant, sustainable strategy. They get enthusiastic about the technologies and adopt them without understanding their long-term usage and effect on the business.

Digital is always on the move, making SMBs feel overwhelmed. As such, they need to be accurate on the fundamentals instead of over-sophisticating an already challenging transition.

This article digs deeper into eight digital transformation mistakes SMBs should keep at bay.

Vague Goals for Digital Transformation

Most SMBs have a confused and blurred vision for digital transformation as they cannot define relevant specifics or build a coherent strategy. While entrepreneurs boast intent and a stack of innovative projects, they cannot specify the reason behind the digital transformation.

When the goal is not set, and key performance indicators (KPI) are not mutually agreed upon, business persons will have a distorted view of the problem they want to fix. As such, they end up investing in the wrong technology, which could disrupt the entire digital journey.

SMBs must perform the upfront hard work to create a well-articulated, easy-to-understand digital transformation plan with specific, measurable, and feasible goals. Moreover, the process should begin at the top and then scatter across the enterprise.

Setting Unrealistic Deadlines and Milestones

Having a plan at hand is quintessential before commencing the digital transformation journey. SMBs must be clear on what results they expect, for instance, better overall workplace efficacy, increased profit margins, or streamlined complex operations.

Irrespective of the goals, being unreasonably bullish from day one and creating concrete deadlines to accomplish them will always backfire. C-suite executives must understand that digital transition is a “marathon,” and not a one-off affair. The entire process will take time, effort, and numerous risks to come to fruition.

To keep digital transformation on track, SMBs should define milestones and interim goals to gauge its impact in due course. As a result, they can better manage the deliverables and clearly understand the transitioning pace. Moreover, organizations can adjust their strategies (if necessary) and avoid getting overburdened with deadlines.

Enterprises should keep the larger picture at the center while shifting to a digital-native ecosystem rather than celebrating short-term gains and wins.

Ignoring In-house Staff Training

One of the digital transformation mistakes that SMBs often commit is falsely assuming that their workforces are already tech-savvy. However, that is not the case every time, particularly regarding new corporate-grade VDI solutions built to scale and might not be easy to use. An underskilled workforce poses a significant long-term risk.

The C-suite often believes that a quick demo or intro of the technology will do the trick, following which employees will learn it themselves. No matter how skilled employees are, the senior management must keep them and their handling of digital solutions on the watch.

As employees are already versed with the traditional platforms, they will likely resist the foreseeable digital transformation. Hence, SMBs must invest in well-structured training programs laden with quality documentation to instill confidence in their employees to work on business applications.

Not Bringing Employees Onboard for Digital Transformation

Any SMB is about the stakeholders who contribute to overall growth, the most critical being the employees. They will feel insecure and intimidated due to tectonic changes to their work environments. As such, before diving into the ocean of new-age technologies, it is crucial that these stakeholders can swim. The success of the entire transformation rests upon employees’ involvement in digitalization.

This is where chief executive officers (CEO) play a pivotal role. First, they must demonstrate to employees the digital tool and its benefits, and be approachable. For instance, if the reason driving the transition is slumping revenue, CEOs must convey the same. Then, they should explain to employees that digital transformation can equate to higher payscale and better career opportunities.

Also, CEOs can single out early adopters who can help their co-workers with using the tool and boost their morale.

While all businesses create a sound strategy, most do not pass it down. Employees are more likely to hop on the transformation ride when they know not only the logistics involved but the “why” behind the move. They need to cultivate a sense of purpose to build loyalty and enthusiasm for the cause.

Communication and transparency are paramount when it comes to triggering digital transformation across the board. Otherwise, employees cannot fully leverage the technology and transition smoothly.

Considering Digital Transition a One-off Event

Often, SMBs assume that digital transformation is a one-time setup, results of which will persist for ages. Digital evolution is a never-ending procedure as some new innovator surfaces every other week (or month).

Business leaders fall into the mental trap of believing that their job of digitally transmuting their organizations is done. Such thinking can make them lax and miss out on effective methods that could considerably benefit their enterprises.

Digital transformation is never a destination, as per general belief. It is a dynamic process where SMBs are constantly on their toes to encounter the challenges of the fast-evolving market conditions.

The purpose here is to become a flexible business that can keep pace with changes rapidly and is ready to embrace (appropriate) technologies as soon as they emerge without any resistance.

Planning for Digital Transformation too Far in Advance

Going digital is more about doing than planning. SMBs can get involved in endless loops of analysis paralysis, which hinders the transformation initiative. Excessive planning for the digital transition initiative can increase the odds of inaccurate assumptions or the inability to predict future needs.

To tackle this, SMBs should institutionalize lean startup mindset at every corporate rung. Lean startup mindset prefers experimentation to a top-down strategy. This approach rapidly and iteratively builds an innovation to become a minimum viable product (MVP) that businesses release to customers. Then, they refine the innovation based on customer feedback.

Not Offering Internal Operations the Automation Touch

No matter how far SMBs go to integrate prominent technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT) or AI, they cannot achieve desired outcomes until they automatize the processes within the firm.

Digital transformation starts from the inside, automating how teams collaborate and organizations move away from legacy business models. Introducing a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, for instance, is one of the best ways to streamline internal corporate operations.

CRM software logs all the internal tasks, builds logic networks, and decodes customer-related data earlier stored in spreadsheets. If executed properly, CRM platforms can help automatize several routine and crucial tasks.

While rolling out CRM software, determining the most suitable feature set is pivotal. Most SMBs do not leverage the complete feature sets and only introduce tools based on recommendations by competitors’ business developers. However, blending a CRM with automation tools can help save money than purchasing a product companies will not fully utilize.

Paying No Heed to KPIs

If SMB owners do not have pre-defined relevant metrics to quantify their results, they cannot measure the growth. This could sabotage the whole digital transformation journey.

As the shift to digital is an enterprise-wide application, businesses must define KPIs that will consider all organizational aspects. Case in point:

  • Digitizing operations KPIs: Measure business sustainability, time saved in completing manual processes, and employee productivity
  • IT uplift KPIs: Measure reduced costs, new solutions, and the revenue of tools
  • Digital marketing metrics: Measure user lifetime value, the number of leads generated, return on marketing, and client acquisition
  • New ventures KPIs: Measure new launches and access to markets

Getting Digital Transformation Right

Over the past few years, SMBs across continents have accelerated their shift to digital. However, a venture as colossal as digital transition will never be a straightforward path. In addition, the chances of facing multiple barriers to success will be high.

Businesses have to dodge a slew of mistakes and sloppy waters while focusing sharply on the end goal. That said, they can either succumb to cutthroat market competition due to subsequent fears or embrace these challenges and collectively find solutions to script a success story.

By getting the basics right and implementing a crystal-clear roadmap tailored to business needs, SMBs can reap the benefits of digital transformation.

VDI Solutions – Overview

The significance of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions across businesses of all industries and sizes continues to snowball. That said, with this increasing reliance on leading-edge technologies comes the hurdle of the ever-growing digital skill gap in companies.

The logistics of deploying new technologies – choosing the suitable product, compatibility with existing systems, and installing them – overwhelms the C-suite. Oft-times, organizations ignore equally crucial aspects of the process – employee adoption.

Fortunately, with the right VDI training, business leaders can help their workforces not only embrace innovative technology but also succeed with it. Else, they can never experience the desired results or expected return on investment (ROI), irrespective of how impeccable the solution is.

This article explains 7 strategies for VDI training to drive enthusiastic acceptance of VDI in workplaces, fluidly and effectively.

7 Strategies for VDI Training

Listen to Employees

Before rushing out and purchasing VDI services, business leaders must ask employees for their input. The interaction can be formal (via focus groups or surveys) and informal in the form of casual conversation. Then, they should perform meticulous research to pinpoint productivity obstacles with the current infrastructure that require immediate attention and consult their employees to highlight the missing elements. For instance, organizations can

  • Ask the opinions of the department heads. “Will the VDI service streamline employees’ jobs?” “Will the new tech tackle any existing pain point (s)?”
  • Create a survey and share it across the board to gather employees’ feedback about the conventional systems and insights on what will optimize their work.

Share the Benefits Company-wide

Employees will readily adapt to the IT change when they understand the loopholes of the current platforms. Kick-starting an internal marketing campaign that answers the “why” and the “how” for employees is a wise choice. Such campaigns that treat employees like end-users will make their jobs better, easier, and faster.

In addition, businesses should organize a video conference to convey the benefits of VDI and promote two-way communication to mitigate potential issues.

Employees are more likely to accept the new tech if companies effectively illustrate its benefits. Hence, for instance, if the VDI software will simplify remote access to mission-critical files, organizations should explain the same to their workforces. This especially applies to less tech-savvy employees, who feel the most uncomfortable while trying their hands at any new tech-based solution.

Offer VDI Training in Multiple Formats

For effective VDI adoption, organizations must provide learning content in various formats, including live videos, written instructions, and in-person workshops, to serve numerous work styles.

Some employees respond best to online learning, while others find a hands-on learning experience more suitable. Case in point, if a business’s outlets exist across regions, such as in hospitality and retail, mobile (just-in-time information) or microlearning resources would be more appropriate.

Likewise, each employee fulfills unique roles and responsibilities. As such, organizations must modify VDI training workshops by department so that employees only understand the tools they need for their duties. Hence, no more wasting time elaborating features and functionalities a particular team will never use.

Pair New Users with Tech-savvy Employees

Suppose a company is looking to adopt VDI to bolster its sales arm. In that case, approaching a few volunteers from the sales team to try out the solution can clear queries, including:

  • How will the VDI software benefit the sales team?
  • How easy is it to use the solution?
  • Will it pose new challenges or negotiate existing ones?

Organizations can utilize these insights to shape the remaining VDI deployment. Also, they should understand that some employees lack a firm grip on technology compared to others.

This offers a ripe opportunity to use these digitally literate volunteers to promote the new technology to their colleagues. Senior-ranking officials should team them up with less tech-savvy employees to help them get up to speed.

Fuse Incentives with VDI Training

Training incentives work when used selectively and complemented with high-quality rewards. The cue lies in understanding employees well enough to determine the rewards that keep them focused and enthusiastic to complete the VDI training. For some employees, the incentive is as straightforward as verbal recognition (in-person or in public) that acknowledges their commitment.

For others, businesses can think of outside-the-box ways to figure out how to keep their workforces engaged. For instance, employees can take an early hour on a Friday afternoon at specific checkpoints. Or, employers can include a delicious catered breakfast or lunch as a regular part of VDI training.

Facilitate Self-guided VDI Training

Getting familiarized with new technology requires repetition. The most effective approach to achieving this is by enabling self-guided learning. For that, organizations can implement the following methods at length:

  • Creating a separate sandbox enables employees to experiment with the VDI platform without worrying about disrupting the central IT system.
  • Apart from initial live coaching, IT experts should develop bite-sized learning content employees can refer to both during the roll-out and on an as-needed basis. Case in point infographics, step-wise manuals, and audio recordings. These how-to guides ideally stretch at most five minutes and are easily consumable.

More and more employees of all age groups prefer completely independent learning. Therefore, facilitating self-service VDI training is paramount.

Add Fun to VDI Training

Complementing employee training with fun elements and rewards is critical to driving VDI adoption. For instance, organizing a friendly contest where one team uses the traditional system while the other uses the new VDI software. That way, employees can decide on the winner between the two platforms.

In addition, a leaderboard reflecting the names of those employees dedicating the most hours or accomplishing certain targets is another way to promote VDI prevalence. Officials at the higher end of the corporate hierarchy should reward such employees with badges, bonuses, and micro-credentials to foster further participation.

VDI Training is a Must to Avoid Gathering Digital Dust

Companies squander resources on hiring fresh staff, employee coaching programs, and internal communications systems. Additionally, they do so with a properly thought-through strategy. Investing in and deploying VDI solutions is no exception. Following an empathetic, people-centered approach will serve organizations with at-scale workplace productivity and bigger profit margins.

Recruiting a new employee costs organizations around US$ 4700 on average. Hence, enterprises must focus on preparing their current workforce for the ongoing digital shift instead of hiring new people. Besides, the existing employees will have the opportunity to upskill or reskill while on their jobs.

Furthermore, VDI training programs tighten the linkage between companies and their employees as the latter will appreciate the effort dedicated toward their betterment rather than getting neglected.

You probably know that moving your workloads into a cloud can help to decrease costs, increase agility, simplify deployment, and enhance security.

But did you know that you can double down on these benefits by leveraging not just one, but multiple, cloud data centers at the same time as part of a multi-cloud strategy?

If not, this blog’s for you. Keep reading as we unpack the benefits of pivoting to a distributed multi-cloud architecture that gives businesses the ability to spread workloads across as many data centers as they wish, thereby getting even more value from the cloud.

What is a multi-cloud strategy, and why does it matter?

A multi-cloud strategy is any approach to cloud computing that involves using more than one cloud at once. Under a multi-cloud architecture, you could use two or more public clouds (like AWS and Azure). Or you could pair a public cloud with a private cloud that you host in your own data center.

Multi-cloud strategies offer a variety of benefits:

  • Cost-savings: By allowing businesses to choose from a wider selection of cloud vendors and services, multi-cloud helps them achieve the best tradeoff between price and features. In 85 percent of cases, multi-cloud ends up being less expensive than other types of cloud architectures.
  • Reliability: Using multiple clouds at once increases workload reliability and availability because it ensures that some of your workloads will remain available if one of your clouds fails.
  • Agility: The more clouds you have in the mix, the more flexibility you’ll enjoy about where and how to run workloads.

According to Forbes, more than 90 percent of large businesses currently use some kind of multi-cloud architecture.

The importance of multiple data centers within multi-cloud

Importantly, not all multi-cloud strategies necessarily involve distributing workloads across multiple data centers at once.

In some cases, going multi-cloud simply means that you host some workloads in one cloud, while placing other, separate workloads in a different cloud. You could host some of your applications on AWS, for instance, while others run in Azure.

That’s why we draw a distinction between multi-cloud computing in general, and multi-cloud architectures that involve hosting the same workloads within multiple data centers simultaneously.

The latter approach to multi-cloud means that different instances of a given workload are hosted in different cloud data centers at the same time. You could do this by, for example, deploying one set of virtual machines as EC2 instances in the AWS cloud, while simultaneously hosting a set of the same VMs in Azure Virtual Machines.

How multiple data centers bring even more value to multi-cloud

Benefits of Distributing Workloads Across Multiple Cloud Data Centers
Any type of multi-cloud architecture delivers benefits like increased agility, enhanced reliability, and cost savings.

However, for most workloads, choosing a multi-cloud strategy that distributes workloads across data centers unlocks the greatest potential of multi-cloud. This is true for several reasons:

  • Multiple data centers maximize reliability: If you host one workload in one cloud and another in a different cloud, one workload will fail if the cloud hosting it goes down. But if you host redundant instances of the workload in both clouds, it will remain available in the event of one cloud’s failure.
  • Easily migrate between clouds: When you provision multiple data centers to host the same workload, you can quickly scale the workload up or down in each data center because it’s already configured to run there. It would take much more time to migrate a workload from scratch from one data center to the other; for example, you can’t instantly lift-and-shift an EC2 instance into Azure Virtual Machines.
  • Rapid deployment: Along similar lines, having multiple data centers already ready to go can speed the deployment of new workloads of a similar type. If you’ve already set up EC2 or Azure Virtual Machines to host one type of VM, for example, chances are that you can launch a second VM on both services quickly because you will already have the configurations in place for networking, storage and so on.
  • Tighter security: One of the major challenges of multi-cloud is that it is hard to configure Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies properly when your team has to work with multiple IAM frameworks in order to move a workload from one cloud to another. (This is why more than half of IT leaders report security as a barrier to adopting multi-cloud.) However, if your workload is already provisioned for multiple data centers, you’ll have IAM policies ready to go for all of them, reducing the risk of introducing security issues during a rapid migration from one data center into another.

The bottom line: Although distributing workloads across multiple data centers is not the only way to implement a multi-cloud strategy, it offers maximum benefits in many respects. That’s an important point to keep in mind in a world where 78 percent of IT leaders still believe their organizations have work to do to optimize their multi-cloud strategies and operations.

Technology in workplaces has become indispensable, citing today’s ever-changing market conditions and end-user demands. In fact, digital transformation is the antidote to multiple issues associated with conventional workplaces, including low engagement, inadequate collaboration, and inept operations. Part of the credit goes to the new working patterns in light of COVID-19 that have accelerated the pace of digital workplace transformation.

As technology drastically remodels industry after industry, enterprises are engaging in at-length change efforts to grab the value at stake or maintain market competitiveness. However, in a hyperconnected economy where business growth identically relies on both workers and customers, several companies are yet to focus on employee productivity in digital workplace environments.

While spending in digital workspaces has only witnessed an uptrend, there is limited proof to substantiate technology’s role in boosting workplace efficiency. As such, organizations must reinvent their workplaces to function in sync and connect with their employees irrespective of their locations, time zones, and devices. Put simply, connecting workforce experience to business outcomes.

This article elaborates on key strategies that will help organizations uncover the power of workplace transformation and ensure optimal employee productivity.

Foster Open-ended Discussions throughout the Corporate Hierarchy

Communication is the cornerstone of any workplace transformation framework. Employees resist change when business leaders force it upon them. As such, organizations must bring all the employees together and welcome their queries and opinions.

Various high-ranking officials must exhibit technology prowess to encourage enterprise-wide adaptation. After all, change is a team effort. The boardroom-level discussion should begin from the top and involve employees throughout the corporate ladder.

The Chief Information Officer (CIO), in particular, should take charge of building digital-driven synergies across their companies. Moreover, they must effectively bridge the gap between the actual technology deployment and employees’ concerns and demands.

Even though the digital workplace transformation is in motion, the C-suite must keep the floor open, continuously asking for employees’ input. During the early stages of tech-based changes, company-wide communication is thus considerably vital.

Build a More Collaborative Landscape

Robust collaboration and communication are paramount in enhancing employee productivity through digital change as they linearly affect workforce culture and how workers perform their duties.

Remote and hybrid working models have become crucial for workplace transformation initiatives. With COVID-19 keeping everybody tethered to their respective homes, companies often suffer disordered communication between employees, leading to conflicts and misconceptions.

Employees now seek liberty to access enterprise tech solutions to work from anywhere and on devices of their choice. In order to develop a collaborative work environment, businesses must connect their employees with the appropriate tools and processes. In doing so, they can make necessary tweaks and create a positive atmosphere for remote work communication while warding off unwanted stressors.

That way, they can smoothly fill the gap between offline and online collaboration. Besides, workplace transformation tools offer a straightforward way for remote employees to communicate and collaborate in real-time. This truly creates “anytime, anywhere” access to corporate data, tools, and resources.

Furthermore, digital tools help eliminate generational gaps and bring together employees of all age cohorts. They help keep every employee accountable and ensure better inter-departmental collaboration.

Monitor Employee Productivity in Real-time

Several service-based firms have enacted remote working policies over the past few months. However, forging a capable remote workforce is miles from being easy. From managing global resource clusters to delayed decision-making to lack of accountability, remote managers have to negotiate multiple obstacles.

During digital workplace transformation, organizations must keep a constant on employees to determine:

  • How digitization is helping employees
  • Whether businesses fulfilled the initial objective of digitization
  • Areas of improvement throughout enterprise-wide digitization

Companies must capture these insights during and after post-digital workplace strategy. Then, they should determine the key performance indicators (KPI) necessary for evaluation before deploying the technology. These KPIs help determine whether the results gathered from real-time monitoring align with the organizations’ workplace transformation goals.

Moreover, they help underline the elements that require improvement and maintenance. In the case of the former, organizations should conduct a meeting with all employees and stakeholders to discuss the same.

Invest in Training Programs

New technologies surface frequently, and organizations need to keep pace with them. As businesses bid goodbye to legacy systems, they must arm their workforces with the relevant skill set to operate the new digital solution. That said, not all employees are tech-savvy. At times, even those fluent in technology take a while to become familiar with the recently utilized platform.

Companies must organize and schedule holistic training programs for employees to educate them about the direct and indirect changes digital workplace transformation will deliver. Such coaching sessions help employees build relevant capabilities to survive the dynamic business environment.

Some effective ways of training employees in new digital solutions include:

  • Approaching in-house subject matter experts for training
  • Product/application training by a third-party service provider
  • Online learning resources such as videos, e-courses, and quizzes
  • Using sandboxes to enable experimentation with technologies without affecting the primary IT system

Business leaders should motivate every employee, regardless of their corporate rank or department, to undergo immersive training to fuel tech adoption. Particularly if the technology used is still in its early days. Furthermore, organizations will not be ready for change if their workforces are not.

Focus on Improving Employee Experience

Employees are the heart of any corporate workplace. Including them in the planning phase of any workplace transformation framework is critical. In addition, employee experience and customer experience are innately linked.

Understanding how to step up employee productivity and engagement should form the basis of an effective digital transition. That said, productivity slumps happening early in the transformation journey are natural as employees need time to adjust to the new tool or application.

For this, businesses can perform comprehensive research through the following techniques:

  • Individual feedback forms
  • Polls and surveys
  • Meetings with team/department representatives

When CIOs learn how the current employee experience squares with the desired experience, they can take actions to better align both within their workplace transformation strategy.

For instance, if employees experience communication inefficiency, senior officials should form an online forum that makes internal communications more accessible and appropriate.

Or, suppose the remote workforce cannot be in full swing due to constant toggling between browser tabs, wrestling with recurring sign-ins, and searching for resources. In that case, a digital workplace platform will be sufficient.

Elevating workforce experience has a domino effect on customer experience as employees can work in their preferred methods and thus offer higher grades of service.

Deploy Suitable Workplace Transformation Technologies

Similar to how companies assign employees specific tasks, they must also appropriate business operations to particular digital technologies. An effective way is to consider a specific department and single out a certain workflow to determine what processes hold well with particular tools or solutions.

Case in point, a company’s IT division needs to focus on a strategic project. However, they lack enough labor pool as they are occupied attending inbound calls and maintaining print servers. The on-site print equipment is disturbing the IT team’s ability to concentrate on core enterprise initiatives.

In this case, the company must look for digital solutions that help remove the existing burden by shifting the print infrastructure offsite.

While deciding on which departments and which workflows to consider, starting with the trickiest areas is an impressive move. Perhaps, processes pose challenges because existing technologies are not aligned with the employees who utilize them.

Moreover, suppose the solution used in a particular workflow is well-aligned with its users, yet inefficiencies persist. In that case, businesses must determine if the technology is assigned to suitable tasks.

Once enterprises optimize how they assign tasks to workplace transformation solutions, they can further capitalize on how employees are leveraging these technologies.

Make Ample Room for Experimentation

For several employees, digital workplace transformation involves stepping out of their comfort zone. A culture where experimentation is advocated is helpful for those new to the digital game. Employees can then effortlessly experiment with new technologies without worrying about the repercussions of mistakes.

Secondly, regular trial-and-error helps unlock innovative and faster ways of performing everyday duties, improving employee productivity and, thus, operational efficiency. Indeed, the odds of employees sticking with the same company for over three years surge by 85% if the workplace transformation solutions support them in their work.

Democratizing Technology to Drive Intelligent Workforce

Understanding the purpose, functionalities, and tools of digital workplaces is critical to devising a robust workplace transformation strategy. Even more, mission-critical is offering mobility and flexibility to employees scattered across continents as they work more and more from home, in the office, or even on the go.

While organizations’ rigorous efforts to digitize their workplaces are commendable, most focus on only business metrics, and a handful of them emphasize employee productivity.

Workforce efficacy and engagement are essential to success. Placing employees at the center of your workplace transformation strategy helps change how they collaborate, complete their tasks, and eventually deliver tangible business outcomes.

You may not think of your company’s desktop computers as the weakest link in your environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy.

But for some companies, they are. In multiple ways, desktop PCs contribute to bloated carbon footprints, undercut sustainability initiatives, and reinforce global social inequality.

That’s yet another reason why businesses can benefit from desktop-as-a-service, or DaaS, which may significantly reduce the environmental and social impact of their end-user computing infrastructure. ESG priorities have been receiving growing attention from enterprises globally. In fact, earlier this year, Gartner reported that “more than 90% of organizations increased their investments in sustainability programs since the start of the pandemic”.

Here’s how DaaS does this – and why achieving ESG goals through DaaS is an essential step toward business success.

The sustainability impact of desktop PCs

Desktop computers undercut ESG priorities in two main ways: by increasing emissions and contributing to e-waste.

CO2 Emissions
PCs increase carbon emissions due to the electricity they consume. Since that electricity is more likely than not generated using coal or natural gas, a typical desktop computer can dump as much as 1,500 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere every year if it’s left on continuously – as many corporate desktops are because employees don’t want to have to wait for devices to restart or open back all of their apps on a recurring basis. It would take between 100 and 500 trees to offset those emissions.

And we’re talking here about a single computer. If you run hundreds or thousands of PCs, you’d need an entire forest to make up for the emissions they produce.

PCs and laptops can also be a nightmare from an e-waste perspective. Businesses routinely dispose of computing devices when the devices become unable to handle increased workload requirements. Devices may also be tossed because the company downsized, and it no longer needs as many computers.

When devices end up in dumps, the various chemicals inside them – which may include lead and arsenic, among others – leach into the ground, polluting the environment. That’s the opposite of what your business wants to do if it cares about ESG.

The fact that significant amounts of e-waste end up in developing countries is also a problem from an ESG perspective. Discarded desktops turn into poisonous trash on the doorsteps of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

How DaaS strengthens ESG commitments

Imagine a world where businesses no longer depended on fleets of energy-hungry, landfill-bound PCs to keep their workers productive. Such a world would involve significantly fewer emissions and a lot less e-waste.

Fortunately, that world is possible. By embracing DaaS, businesses can replace traditional PCs with virtual desktop environments that have a lower overall carbon footprint and that generate much less e-waste.

With DaaS, there’s no need to keep local PCs running (and contributing to carbon emissions) 24/7. Instead, employees can log into virtual desktop sessions when they need and shut off their local devices when they are done. In the meantime, the desktop sessions remain stored in the cloud, with no need to reboot the next time employees need to access applications or data.

DaaS also makes it easy for businesses to scale desktop computing infrastructure up and down without contributing to e-waste. If your company no longer needs as many desktops, it can simply turn off some of its virtual desktops, without throwing out any physical devices.

And if you find that your virtual desktops are no longer able to handle a particular kind of workload well, you don’t need to toss them in a dump and buy new machines. You can simply increase the virtual CPU and memory allocated to your virtual desktop instances in order to prepare them for heavier load.

Does DaaS have a sustainability cost?

To be sure, DaaS doesn’t totally eliminate emissions or e-waste. Electricity is required to run the servers that host virtual desktop instances, and employees need some kind of device to connect from when they want to access those instances.

Compared to traditional desktop infrastructure, however, virtual desktops are significantly less wasteful from a sustainability perspective, for several reasons:

  • Economies of scale: You can run dozens of virtual desktops on a single server, which greatly reduces that amount of physical infrastructure required to power virtual desktop infrastructure.
  • Cloud energy efficiency: In many cases, virtual desktops hosted in the cloud consume much less energy than devices running locally. The cloud is about 93 percent more energy-efficient than conventional infrastructure.
  • Clean energy sourcing: It’s also often easier to source clean, renewable energy for cloud-based infrastructure, including servers that host virtual desktops. Your company’s office may not be able to obtain clean energy, but there’s a decent chance that your cloud data center is powered, at least in part, by wind or solar energy.
  • Longer device lifetime: The devices that users use to connect to virtual desktops are likely to last longer because the devices don’t have to handle computing requirements locally. The “heavy lifting” takes place on cloud servers, which are designed to tolerate sustained periods of intense use.

In each of these ways, DaaS helps businesses achieve ambitious ESG goals – which is an increasingly important consideration for business success.

The Gartner report also points out that hyperscalers are actively investing in sustainable cloud operations with the lofty aim of achieving net zero emissions within this decade. Which means that we can look forward to innovative means to reduce carbon emissions through the effective use of cloud services.

How Anunta adds value to our clients’ ESG commitments

As an industry leader in Managed DaaS for over a decade, Anunta has been successfully adding value to the ESG commitments of our clients. In our engagements with the customers, we have helped them eliminate their dependency on high-end physical desktops – which require regular maintenance and updates – and replaced them with thin clients, thereby helping with power saving and reducing electronic device wastage.

The reduction in electronic waste along with the subsequent power saving have directly contributed to a significant reduction in our clients’ carbon footprint in our 10+ years engagements.

Migrating our customers’ workloads from on-premises to cloud is another area which positively contributes to our ESG commitments. By helping our customers leverage the energy efficiency offered by cloud, Anunta has been consistently helping its customers embrace sustainability.


Conventional PCs are a major source of waste and a contributor to global social inequity. But a better world is possible: With help from DaaS, businesses can build end-user computing environments that mesh well with ESG priorities.

Creating a balance between remote or hybrid work and cybersecurity is something most businesses are yet to achieve. A recent survey reveals that nearly 7 out of 10 cyberattacks target remote employees, triggering disruption of day-to-day operations, loss of classified information, and ransomware pay-out.

With work from anywhere (WFA) here to stay and more organizations deploying virtual desktops than ever seen, IT pros are facing the imperative of safeguarding their companies’ vital digital assets for increasingly distributed workforces. As a response, C-level executives are resorting to Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) to provide secure remote access to critical resources.

One of the primary reasons driving this shift is that DaaS security solutions empower end-users to securely log in to virtual systems without retrieving data from local devices. Plus, companies can achieve this with the scale and speed WFA demands, irrespective of the employees’ devices and locations.

As a result, the odds of cyber intrusion slump while enabling IT teams to implement zero-trust network access (ZTNA) for mission-critical resources. Best of all, end-users experience the same security and centralization benefits that conventional desktop virtualization services provide, alongside decreased cost and better scalability.

In this article, we will lay bare the key benefits of DaaS security systems.

DRaaS for Asset Restoration

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a third-party cloud service that backs up and recovers a company’s critical resources in case of disasters – natural or human-made.

DRaaS vendors simulate a company’s primary settings (physical and virtual) for fast recovery of applications and data whenever required. They can kick-start asset recoveries from any touchpoint using devices of nearly any sort. This enables companies to restore their critical resources directly to a disaster recovery site in a different location if their data centers are unavailable.

The cloud servers immediately replicate any changes happening at the primary site, updating automatically and recovering environments shortly before an outage. Moreover, to prevent data loss during failover, DRaaS providers capture snapshots of the businesses’ resources now and then.

Generally, DRaaS expectations and requirements are documented in a service-level agreement (SLA). Additionally, third-party providers offer failover to a cloud environment through a contract or on a pay-as-you-go basis.

MFA for Additional Security Walls

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a multi-tier account sign-in process that allows users to access digital assets only after validating their identity with at least one verification factor on top of a conventional user ID and password. MFA includes the following steps:

  • Something you know: Includes PINs, passwords, and answers to security questions.
  • Something you have: Includes time-sensitive one-time passwords (OTP) delivered by email, text, or a secure link.
  • Something you are: Includes biometrics such as fingerprints, face or iris scans, and keystroke patterns.

While passwords protect a company’s digital assets, they do leave an insecure vector for cyberattacks. Cyberattackers are always on the hunt for passwords. By cracking a single password, they can potentially gain access to multiple enterprise accounts, especially the C-suite, for which users might have re-entered the password. MFA provides an extra security layer to keep suspicious users from accessing these business accounts, even when the password is compromised.

SSO for Simplified Logins

Single sign-on (SSO) is an authentication technique allowing users to access multiple DaaS applications and systems using one set of login credentials. It runs on a trust relationship between the service provider (a website and application) and the identity provider. This relationship sustains by exchanging digital certificates and metadata, helping service providers confirm the source’s reliability.

Additionally, both parties communicate with each other through open standards – Open Authorization (OAuth), Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), or OpenID Connect (OIDC).

SSO centralizes administering the ever-increasing number of enterprise accounts without compromising security or getting stuck in endless account provisioning. With automated credentials management, IT admins no longer need to manually monitor all the employees’ access to the DaaS applications. As such, human error subsides, and IT teams gain more time for more vital tasks.

Besides, SSO enables companies to quickly remove access to all their resources in one place if an employee resigns.

Compliance with Industry Norms

Most (if not all) sectors have established regulations dictating data storage and transmission to ensure its privacy and security. Case in point, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) of 2004 devises controls and policies to secure customers’ credit/debit card details. Likewise, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 sets the norms for confidential patient data protection.

Complying with these legislative norms can be overwhelming for organizations. Fortunately, effective DaaS security programs produce reports that are always in line with prominent data security standards. Such automatic compliance is instrumental in making corporate work more convenient.

Updates and Security Patches

Online threats are continuously on the rise as cybercriminals keep innovating ways to break into an organization’s IT fabric. As such, regular updates and security patches are essential to sustaining a secure IT ecosystem.

Conventional security frameworks do not guarantee timely updates or as frequently as needed, thus increasing the attack surface. Using DaaS security, however, companies experience up-to-the-moment security features as the cloud vendor ensures rapid deployment of security updates as soon as they become available. Moreover, as the hardware resides in centralized locations, this process gets more streamlined.

DaaS security patches and updates are necessary as no shipped software is error- and vulnerability-proof. In addition, the software development cycles get rather shorter than longer – often creating more exposure – and the cybercriminal base globally is expanding. Hence, automated updates from numerous threat intelligence engines safeguard organizations’ IT infrastructure and users from all the latest known digital risks.

24/7 Monitoring for Faster Response

Time is a crucial factor once cybercriminals release malware or ransomware into an enterprise’s IT framework. The longer threat detection and mitigation take, the greater the damage companies might endure. Legacy security models react slowly compared to their cloud-enabled counterparts, as the IT team could be unavailable throughout the day to respond to cyber threats.

DaaS security providers offer a dedicated monitoring crew in the subscription that constantly watches over organizations’ networks round-the-clock for any suspicious data traffic activity. If identified any, the cybersecurity experts promptly respond and nullify the offending act. This rapid response ensures limited damage to businesses’ IT architecture.

At-length Visibility across the Network

Data loss does not always occur due to digital intrusions. It can also result from the carelessness of employees managing classified information. Again, with cloud models, organizations might think they are sacrificing control. But DaaS security services provide complete control over employees’ activity. Case in point: who can access critical resources, who has logged in, and when.

Besides, through DaaS security solutions, companies can access analytical insights about data inventory, including location and condition – if the hardware is obsolete or linked to untrusted networks. Consequently, they will receive notifications in real-time and take necessary measures.

The visibility level of DaaS security platforms significantly empowers companies to monitor and pinpoint malicious conduct and practices that could plague their security posture.

ZTNA for Access Control

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) runs on the idea that threats exist both outside and within an organization’s networks every moment. ZTNA solutions grant access only at the application layer on a need-only basis to curtail risk and avoid lateral movement on enterprise networks.

The ZTNA model constantly verifies and monitors users’ identities, privileges and devices during data access or transfer on a private corporate network. This process does not rely on whether the user is inside or outside that network perimeter.

ZTNA masks the connections between business services, devices, and assets. Once the DaaS security system authenticates a user’s identity, ZTNA gives the green signal for access to specific corporate resources via an encrypted channel. The encrypted security adds another layer shielding everything on the other side of the encrypted channel from illicit access.

The entire process blends filtering, analytics, and logging to validate behavior and continually look for signs of compromise. If a device or user, for instance, acts suspiciously, the DaaS security provider monitors and pinpoints it as a potential threat.

This continuous monitoring defeats several common cybersecurity threats. Malicious actors can no longer exploit corporate networks’ weak points and manipulate confidential data and applications later.

DaaS Security: A Quick Fix for Thwarting Digital Trespassing

Managing a remote/hybrid workforce comes with stressful security challenges for a business’s stakeholders. This nudges organizations to take their workloads to the cloud as cybercrime frequency continues to increase.

DaaS security solutions have now become an indispensable attribute of enterprises’ security strategies. Training workforces on best cybersecurity and data management practices does play a crucial role in shielding organizations from threat actors. However, that is only a piece of the puzzle. DaaS platforms help reduce any concerns regarding cybersecurity risks to businesses’ workforces spanning across regions.

Businesses want employees to be productive and happy, which is part of the reason why organizations across the world have embraced remote and hybrid work.

But businesses also want to protect against cybersecurity risks. And unfortunately, that goal is often at odds with remote and hybrid work.

How can companies square this circle? In other words, how can they ensure that employees have the flexibility to work from anywhere, while also enforcing strong cybersecurity postures?

The answer is desktop virtualization. Virtual desktops deliver the flexibility that businesses need to operationalize remote and hybrid work, while also making it easy for IT teams to protect against the security threats that plague distributed workforces.

Why remote work breeds cybercrime

To understand why, let’s first examine how remote and hybrid work increase the security challenges that businesses face.

According to Verizon’s 2022 Mobile Security Index, nearly 80 percent of respondents report that recent changes to working practices – which include the widespread adoption of remote and hybrid work models – have adversely affected their organizations’ cybersecurity postures.

The main reasons why include:

  • Remote work makes it hard to guarantee the physical security of devices that may store sensitive business data. Attackers could steal the devices themselves to exfiltrate private information from the business.
  • Remote devices can’t be protected behind firewalls and VPNs in the same way as devices that are located on-site.
  • IT teams can’t easily monitor, patch and update remote devices in order to stay on top of security threats.
  • Remote devices often connect to business systems through insecure home networks.
  • Employees may inadvertently install malware or vulnerable applications on devices that they use when working remotely, especially if they use the devices for personal reasons in addition to working.

In short, when workers are off-site some or all of the time, it’s simply not possible to deploy the same security protections that work for on-site employees and devices.

How desktop virtualization secures modern workforces

Faced with challenges like these, some business leaders may be tempted to pull the plug on remote work policies and force everyone back in the office.

But that’s not practical in many cases. As the Harvard Business Review points out, businesses gain a variety of benefits from allowing remote and hybrid work – such as reduced real estate costs, higher employee retention rates and even increased profits.

So, instead of abandoning remote work, companies need to find ways to embrace the “new normal” of working without compromising on security. And the obvious solution is desktop virtualization.

Desktop virtualization means replacing conventional desktop computers with virtual desktop sessions hosted on servers inside a business’s data center or a public cloud. Employees can connect to these sessions from anywhere, at any time, so they get all of the flexibility that they need to work remotely.

At the same time, however, desktop virtualization plugs the most serious security gaps associated with remote work. Virtual desktops can be protected with firewalls and operated in such a way that sensitive data never leaves the virtual desktop infrastructure – so it is never at risk of physical security breaches.

In addition, desktop virtualization allows for rigid isolation between employees’ personal computing resources and business resources. Instead of mixing personal apps with business apps, virtual desktops keep business applications isolated inside the virtual desktop environment, so that malware or other threats present on local devices are essentially a non-issue from a business security perspective.

The fact that IT teams can continuously monitor virtual desktops and patch them in real time to address security threats adds yet another layer of protection for remote workers. Businesses don’t need to worry that attackers will take advantage of unmonitored, un-updated remote PCs to gain a beachhead from which they can launch further attacks against a business.

Protecting traditional PCs as well as mobile devices

The security advantages of desktop virtualization apply, by the way, regardless of which types of devices employees use when working remotely. Whether they log in from their own PCs, company-supplied laptops, or even mobile phones, they connect to secure virtual desktop environments.

That means that desktop virtualization gives employees the freedom to connect from any device they choose, while still allowing employers to enforce strong security policies.

Access controls like multifactor authentication, geofencing, and whitelisting of devices secure devices in a hybrid work environment while enforcing network controls like firewall with IPS & IDS protection further secure corporate data from bad actors.

Desktop virtualization also allows setting of desktop-level controls like Active Directory integration of authentication and Group Policy Objects (GPO)-based restrictions on virtual desktops.


In short, desktop virtualization provides the best of both worlds: The flexibility that employees expect from the “new way of working” and the cybersecurity protections that businesses need to keep critical applications and data secure. For many companies, there’s no going back to the old days of having everyone in the office, all of the time, which is why desktop virtualization has assumed an absolutely vital role in business success.

The 2020-2021 timeline witnessed Desktop as a Service (DaaS) ascending from a linear evolution to an exponential one as the business economy went virtual. With companies embracing remote and hybrid workplaces, data-native strategies, and global supply chains, the appetite for DaaS-based solutions is only becoming stronger and ever-growing.

These cloud computing technologies are now a cornerstone for organizations looking to work smarter, focus on their core operations, and complete projects faster. From banks’ C-suite shepherding the development of innovative digital banking applications to warehouse managers striving to strip complexity from their transportation and logistics, the use cases for DaaS are limitless.

With highly scalable platforms, on-command computing power, and a more resilient approach to IT expenditure, the cloud has climbed from a budding technology to an integral IT asset. As such, more companies are shifting toward a cloud-first strategy, and as they do, we are likely to observe the following DaaS trends very shortly.

The AI-Cloud Synergy

The confluence of cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and its subset, machine learning (ML), will soon gather center stage. AI/ML-enabled platforms consume massive data bandwidth and processing power to process and analyze data. Well-engineered cloud computing technologies make these capabilities considerably more cost-effective than other solutions.

Conversely, AI and ML help organizations glean additional value from the ever-increasing data chunks. From e-commerce brands testing their websites’ performance in real-time to logistics companies assessing their transportation networks’ efficacy, AI/ML enables organizations to make the most of the data and operate better.

Common AI applications, from social media filters to Google searches, happen through the cloud. Additionally, the technology that redirects traffic from data centers to end-user devices and controls storage runs on ML.

What is more, cloud solutions help democratize AI and ML, thus expanding the user base. Consequently, even budget-constraint businesses can leverage the potential of these oft-cited technologies to develop innovative offerings.

Serverless Cloud to Go Mainstream

Serverless computing, also called function-as-a-service (FaaS), takes the burden of infrastructure management and server provisioning off users’ shoulders. Instead, the cloud vendor dynamically manages the underlying infrastructure and allocates computing resources as per the needs of running applications.

A subset of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), serverless cloud particularly benefits companies requiring colossal processing power but in short bursts. Case in point, compiling and running software code.

Serverless computing is a pay-per-use system; companies need not have to squander their money on storage and bandwidth upfront. As such, they can build new applications and utilize greater computing power at a fair price and in less time. Also, old-line organizations can launch new digital services without overwhelming their already-stretched IT crews.

Besides, a serverless cloud helps remove the risk of back-end failures and offers safe sandboxes for coding and innovating. Indeed, the deployment of serverless architecture will soar by about 22% CAGR during 2022-2027.

Hybrid and Multi-cloud to Become the De Facto Strategies

Previously, businesses have had two options while shifting their workloads to the cloud – public or private models. The former was easily accessible and offered pay-as-you-go services, while the latter was more flexible and provided better security for data storage.

Fortunately, hybrid cloud models combine the best of both experiences. According to a report, 8 out of 10 business owners are taking the hybrid approach – melding the potential of both private and public clouds.
Public servers can store a fraction of easily and frequently accessed data through dashboards, tools, and applications. At the same time, private servers can safeguard more confidential or mission-critical assets, which IT admins can track and process using patented applications.

With that considered, organizations are looking to distribute internal processing and storage requirements across multiple cloud platforms, often from numerous providers, based on the use cases. Hence, they are flocking to the multi-cloud environments to use a slew of solutions from different vendors. Empirical evidence suggests that about 90% of companies implement a multi-cloud model.

Cloud Security to Climb up in Businesses’ Agenda

Cybercrimes are already on the rise. On average, a data breach costs US$ 4.35 Mn, a 2.6% increment from the 2021 number. In response, cloud providers are infusing their services with best-in-breed data defenses to address existing issues, including bandwidth constraints and repercussions of sharing data from untrusted devices.

In 2022 and ahead, we will see surging adoption of:

Cloud disaster recovery (Cloud DR): Cloud DR backs up an organization’s critical data on an external cloud server in the event of human-made or natural catastrophes. The cloud-based service creates a standby IT setting that can take charge if the primary infrastructure collapses. It is cost- and time-efficient, benefitting from third-party management – Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Moreover, organizations can change, add, and eliminate data from these external servers when needed without having to scale their IT fabric. Cloud DR is the go-to solution for compute-heavy applications and servers such as massive databases and ERPs.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE): SASE is an emerging cybersecurity concept that empowers companies to manage access and connectivity between cloud services, cloud applications, and end-user devices. Businesses armed with SASE benefit from IT security features – firewalls, web filtering, zero-trust architecture (ZTA), and credential theft prevention – all cloud-enabled. In addition, SASE offers users a single sign-on experience across multiple corporate cloud applications while maintaining the most stringent levels of security compliance.

Deploying Applications at the Edge

Edge computing is a novel approach to data processing wherein operations do not occur within a centralized cloud. Instead, it involves creating localized devices or data centers for computation and storage or within the network’s periphery.

This decentralized computing infrastructure reduces latency and boosts application performance. As the enterprise resources and data reside closer to the end user’s device, they can be processed locally, thus saving money as well.

Edge computing is the driving force behind cutting-edge devices, including smartwatches, smartphones, and smart cars, and the interrelation of all the data produced by these solutions.

Nevertheless, most people misunderstand edge computing as a threat to cloud computing even though the technologies complement each other. Organizations utilizing both edge and cloud experience reduced bandwidth usage, near-instant data processing, and decreased volumes of transferred data.

Edge computing is presently one of the hottest topics in boardroom discussions, and its market will only expand going forward. Cloud technology will be an excellent fit for businesses interested in increasing operational efficiency.

Kubernetes-powered Blockchain Networks

Existing public blockchain infrastructure does not deliver adequate data storage and management; hence, incorporating blockchain systems for big data applications becomes challenging.

Kubernetes (K8s) is an open-source engine that streamlines the deployment and management of container-based applications. Moreover, the software monitors the performance of new services, enabling organizations to deal with loopholes proactively.

Using K8s for blockchain helps swiftly scale environments and ensures at-length availability with several containers operating for essential services. In addition, the combination promotes service interoperability between companies that are designed differently.

Positioning blockchain networks and their constituents via Kubernetes clusters could soon be the adoption standard. The reason being they address two key obstacles blockchain encounters – its innate intricacy and integration into the current infrastructure.

Massive Outbreak of Cloud Gaming on the Cards

Cloud gaming enables users to stream endless options of video games on remote servers for a fixed monthly charge. Players can play the games on any web-browsing device without having to invest in a costly console. In addition, remote gaming provides a lag-proof experience and hardened security and keeps users from cleaning up their device storage space.

Equipping game streaming technology with cloud computing propels the demand and engagement of multi-players for various games and eliminates existing platform hurdles.

Cloud gaming services, including Google’s Stadia and Amazon Luna, will shape the industry’s course in 2022. Additionally, the onset of Cloud Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) has made headsets more cost-effective and accessible while promoting cloud gaming across multiple verticals. Also, cloud-driven AR and VR will find usage in areas like data visualization and product design engineering.

While e-gaming is yet to achieve its optimal capacity, its fusion with the cloud will ensure the continuous evolution of cloud gaming.

Tracing the Path Forward

The years ahead are an exciting time to work in the IT realm. With DaaS innovation advancing, businesses will have immeasurable opportunities to reinvent their tactics for optimum results.

About 9 of 10 organizations will implement a cloud-native regimen by 2025. Proper execution of digital strategies is not feasible without leveraging cloud-driven architectures. DaaS is the backbone of every digital service and delivery pipeline, including connected automobiles, social media, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Besides, upcoming ultra-fast networks, such as Wi-Fi 6E and 5G, mean more data will be streamed from the cloud, welcoming new sorts of data streaming. From an end-user standpoint, Desktop as a Service effectively makes interconnected technology faster, lighter, and more accessible. It will be a critical driving force in migrating more enterprise workloads to cloud platforms.

MSPs and resellers want to build new revenue streams within what has become an extremely competitive managed services market. Yet, many remain unaware of one of the most obvious opportunities for creating a profitable new type of offering based on VDI and DaaS – which is good news for those MSPs and resellers who are seeking to differentiate themselves by capitalizing on managed VDI and DaaS services before their competitors can launch their own offerings.

That’s one of the takeaways from our experience at ChannelCon 2022, where the Anunta team spent several days talking to MSPs and resellers from across the world. We came away from the event with an even deeper understanding of what MSPs and resellers need to be successful in today’s ultra-competitive business environment, and how VDI and DaaS can help them do it.

Hybrid work breeds opportunity for MSPs and resellers

One topic that was constantly on the lips of ChannelCon attendees was hybrid work. MSPs and resellers are keenly aware that the workplace is changing dramatically as businesses embrace work models that involve employees based off-site.

What MSPs and resellers didn’t always recognize, however, was how they can leverage hybrid work as an opportunity for creating new revenue streams by moving their customers to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS).

That’s why we enjoyed talking to ChannelCon attendees about how VDI and DaaS allow businesses to solve the challenges of hybrid work. As we explained, by replacing conventional PCs with virtual desktop sessions that can be hosted either in on-premises data centers or the cloud, VDI and DaaS make it easy to deliver desktop computing resources to workers based in any location.

At the same time, VDI and DaaS technologies offer strong access controls and encryption to ensure that desktop infrastructure remains secure. They also allow businesses to pay for their desktops on a monthly basis, rather than having to make large upfront capital investments. That’s a particularly attractive advantage for companies worried about today’s uncertain economic climate.

These benefits prompted Mark Evans, Anunta’s Manager for Pre-Sales, to note, “With the popularity of hybrid and remote work and the pressing need for secure and scalable digital workplaces, it is critical that resellers and MSPs take advantage of DaaS and its evergreen profitability potential.”

The challenge of managed VDI and DaaS services

Although hybrid work has created strong demand for VDI and DaaS, we found that many MSPs and resellers whom we talked with remained a bit hesitant to capitalize on this opportunity at first.

The problem wasn’t that they don’t think their customers would benefit from VDI or DaaS. Instead, it’s that they worry that DaaS is too hard for MSPs and resellers to set up and manage on their own.

That’s a valid concern. Designing, deploying and supporting VDI and DaaS environments requires expertise in technologies that not all MSPs and resellers have mastered. They may also be unsure how to sell and market managed VDI and DaaS services.

The easy approach to managed VDI and DaaS: Partnering with Anunta

But as we explained to the prospective partners we talked with, that shouldn’t be a barrier for MSPs and resellers who want to take advantage of the massive opportunity surrounding hybrid work by building managed VDI and DaaS services.

By partnering with Anunta, any MSP or reseller can create managed VDI or DaaS services for their customers without having to spend months learning new technologies and building out new infrastructure.

Through Anunta’s VDI and DaaS partner program, MSPs and resellers get end-to-end services that cover every aspect of managed VDI and DaaS. From design and implementation, to day 2 client support, Anunta does it all. We even offer sales and marketing services to help our MSP and reseller partners communicate the value of VDI and DaaS to their clients and prospects.

Get ahead of the pack

The MSPs and resellers we spoke with at ChannelCon already know all of the above. But we want to get the message out to the broader community because the opportunity surrounding hybrid work won’t last forever. If you want to build managed VDI and DaaS offerings, you need to do it now, before your competitors beat you to it.

After all, most segments of the MSP and reseller market have a history of becoming saturated relatively quickly. Services like managed backup or managed networking were novel once, too, but it’s now hard to sell them with good profit margins because so many other firms have built competing offerings.

For now, managed VDI and DaaS remain an exception. Our experience at ChannelCon shows that MSPs and resellers are still becoming acquainted with this type of service and the opportunity surrounding it at present.

If you want to get ahead of the pack, contact us to learn more about our VDI and DaaS partner programs. We’ll explain how Anunta can help you launch managed VDI and DaaS that you can have up and running in a matter of weeks, even if you have no background in desktop virtualization or management.

Over the years, overall IT infrastructure across organizations has transformed, and the recent global health event has only spurred the trend. The era of working in office cubicles – via company-issued systems – is fading away. Now, the near omnipresence of digital technologies and the availability of newer, more portable devices enable work from almost any location.

However, deploying and maintaining all end-user devices at scale while catering to the fast-changing workforce needs is challenging. So, to be resilient, agile, and efficient in this context, businesses are gravitating toward virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to encourage remote data access to their workforces.

This article briefly discusses Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) in general, its working, types, and benefits.

What is Windows Virtual Desktop?

Windows Virtual Desktop is a cloud-based app and desktop virtualization platform from Microsoft that offers a native Windows 10/11 experience on demand. While each virtual desktop mimics real standalone computers, the processing/computing occurs on the central server. Besides, all these are managed centrally by an organization’s dedicated IT staff or outsourced to a cloud service provider.

Now rebranded as Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), WVD enables a company’s employees to access their business resources quickly and securely from anywhere and any device – PC, tablet, or smartphone. As such, organizations no longer need to provide their workforces with physical machines, let alone manage, repair, and maintain them.

How Do Azure VDI Platforms Work?

VDI platforms such as Azure Virtual Desktops work using a hypervisor, a software that creates, runs, and manages virtual machines (VM) on enterprise system servers. Also known as virtual machine monitors (VMM), hypervisors categorize servers into pools of identical VMs that further host virtual desktop operating systems (OS). Each such virtual desktop contains an instant of the OS. Further, the IT administrators supervise these VMs using centralized management software and configure them for specific tasks and functions.

Employees can access these virtual desktops from any location or device, and all the processing happens on the host server. They can log in to their AVD instances and establish a connection via a connection broker – a software-enabled gateway that acts as an intermediary between users and VDI servers. The connection broker assigns the session to an Azure Virtual Desktop from the appropriate pool.

Types of Azure VDI Platforms

Businesses can deploy Azure virtual desktop infrastructure solutions in two environments:

Persistent VDI

Persistent VDI functions are similar to legacy systems where end-users can personalize their devices and retain their work progress and settings from the previous sessions. Thanks to the capabilities of VMs, persistent virtual desktops act like true physical systems – from a remote device. The end-users log in to the same VM every time, even if the connection is reset. This is tremendously beneficial for several educational and work settings.

Non-persistent VDI

Non-persistent VDI platforms, on the other hand, offer a slew of generic desktops that end-users connect to whenever necessary. The desktops allocated to the users start anew in each session. Hence, whatever changes users make on their desktops in their previous sessions are lost once they log out. Besides, non-persistent virtual desktops are cheaper and simpler to use as the organizations’ IT teams need not have to maintain customized desktop instances between sessions.

Non-persistent VDI is commonplace in companies brimming with multiple-task workers or employees performing a limited set of repetitive tasks. Case in point, call centers, computer labs, public libraries, and retail kiosks. In these environments, neither users require personalization nor want their personal data to be stored.

Benefits of Azure VDI Platforms

With the worldwide shifts in work patterns, more organizations are turning to AVD. Following are some of the benefits of leveraging VDI platforms, especially in a hybrid workplace environment:

Long-term Cost-savings

As computing is done on servers, Azure virtual desktop infrastructure helps scale down hardware, maintenance, and software licensing expenses significantly. Employees can access their virtual desktops from traditional devices, thin clients, or even tablets, thus avoiding purchasing new (and expensive) hardware.

Also, end clients can cut down on infrastructure costs by right-sizing VMs and optimize their usage with Windows 11 and Windows 10 multi-session. Companies with heavy and highly unpredictable workloads can opt for pay-as-you-go billing.

Remote Accessibility

Azure VDI users can log in to their virtual desktops from any endpoint. In addition, they can utilize any web-browsing device – smartphones, tablets, and computers – to access the same application and data. Therefore, setting up hybrid workplaces for new joinees becomes unbelievably easy with AVD, particularly if they are working remotely.

Besides, integration with FSLogix Profile Containers helps end-users switch comfortably between VMs. The multi-session capability of AVD enables employees to experience the feature-rich capabilities of Windows 10/11 and assemble numerous users on a single system.

High-level Security

In Azure virtual desktop infrastructure solutions, data and applications live on centralized servers instead of end-client devices. As such, businesses’ digital resources will no longer remain at stake, even if an endpoint device is compromised or stolen. Moreover, fewer workstations equate to reduced chances of cyber criminals intruding into a company’s IT fabric.

Azure VDI services boast intelligent security capabilities that proactively detect and tackle threats to keep critical assets secure and compliant. Further, they come with a reverse connect transport to create remote sessions, providing a considerably more secure mechanism.

On-the-fly Scalability

With Azure VDI platforms, companies can launch or pare back on resources based on their corporate requisites. Also, they can deploy system apps, configure settings, and adjust the number of users. This agility and flexibility help trim overall costs while ensuring that businesses always have the resources they need to operate at peak efficiency.

Apart from that, Azure VDI platforms automatically scale session hosts to balance loads to deliver a better user experience, especially during computing-heavy tasks, while optimizing session host costs.

How will hybrid work fuel the demand for VDI?

The past few months have witnessed an explosive discussion on the “future of work,” and certain critical themes have dominated such commentaries. Case in point, several companies are nodding for hybrid work cultures, thanks to COVID-19-triggered shifts. As the dust settles and people return to normalcy, hybrid work will remain highly preferred among employers and employees alike.

However, supporting hybrid work arrangements creates new speed bumps for chief information officers (CIO)s. With tablets, smartphones, and laptops underpinning most of the mission-critical operations, C-level executives are contemplating what technology proposition they should have for their workforces – both at homes and offices.

Luckily, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is the answer to that query. Desktop virtualization technology serves as the antidote to the apparent challenges organizations face while endorsing a more flexible future of work. Moreover, the much-discussed pros of VDI are ringing in the ears of CIOs when pandemic-induced lockdowns have pushed enterprises into the remote working arena.

Having an entire virtual desktop – single and/or shared – housing corporate workflows and assets accessible anywhere, anytime, and from any device makes more sense. This is especially true when VDI simultaneously ticks the boxes of performance, mobility, security, and cost-efficiency.

Going forward, even as the remote working fad wanes, companies will promote hybrid work settings. In addition, initiatives, including scaling down office footprints and implementing hot desking, could become par for the course. Virtual desktop infrastructure solutions truly shine when it comes to managing hybrid workforces. As the work culture continues to cement its position, businesses investing in failsafe VDI to support each employee’s needs (irrespective of location) are well-placed for lucrative returns.


Azure virtual desktop infrastructure is a natural fit for the modern digital economy, serving various use cases across industries. Reputed for its robust scalability, security, and flexibility, the leading-edge desktop virtualization service offers umpteen benefits to organizations with relevant use cases.

Additionally, remote and hybrid workplaces have dug their heels in the labor market. As these pervasive work models gain more steam, the adoption of Azure VDI platforms will only see an uptick.


What is the future of VDI?

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) has been experiencing a demand uptick over the past few years. The new hybrid working paradigm will stimulate this trend as businesses have to facilitate their entire workforce with secure access to mission-critical resources – irrespective of device or location.

The latest technologies, such as hyperconvergence, will be of enormous importance in shaping VDI. This will empower IT teams to focus more on business-centered tasks and spend less time fretting about the infrastructure.

Virtual desktop services have matured, and so have the technology and infrastructure underpinning them. With further advances, their future will nearly mimic that of the cloud: hybrid alongside multiple deployment models serving various purposes.

What is hybrid VDI?

Hybrid VDI fuses the layered, single-image management attributes of on-site/cloud VDI with local image execution on endpoints. All this with fast planning and setup, low implementation cost, and minimal IT skills. Hybrid VDI offers the centralized management benefits of its legacy version while still delivering the best possible experience for end-users.

This layered approach to virtual desktop management tremendously streamlines administration. The IT staff manages only one golden image of applications and operating systems (OS) rather than managing tons of independent endpoints in the fleet of devices.

However, unlike VDI, end-users leverage all the local computing power of endpoints, including on-board graphics processing and high-end processors. Further, they can work even while offline.

Is VDI still relevant?

Virtual desktops have gained immense popularity and for the right reasons. They offer loads of robust features. They help businesses cut down on the total cost of ownership (TCO). They are flexible and agile. Installing software updates and patches is unbelievably easy with virtual desktop infrastructure.

That being considered, VDI’s numero-uno selling point is its ability to enable remote work culture. It allows workforces to connect to corporate networks anywhere and on any device securely. However, even though conventional work models regain momentum, forward-thinking organizations acknowledge the urgency to accommodate employees in a hybrid setting as people rethink work-life balance.

So, yes, virtual desktop services do hold relevance in the current (and future) business economy.

Why is a virtual desktop important?

More than ever, the performance of businesses rests upon data collection and sharing. They benefit from working with flexible, reliable, and highly secure computer systems. This is where virtual desktop infrastructure yields substantial business gains.

VDI empowers companies to operate fully functional virtual desktops, allowing employees to access desktops, data, and applications from any device, location, and anytime. Some of its key attractions include business mobility, device friendliness, reduced operational expenses (OPEX), and the pay-as-you-go subscription model.

Not only are virtual desktop services becoming more prevalent in corporate and home environments, but even governments are quickly realizing their benefits.

What are the benefits of virtual desktop infrastructure?

Virtual desktops offer a multitude of benefits, some of which are as follows:

  • VDI empowers businesses to quickly modify their resource usage, for instance, virtual desktops, as per their evolving needs
  • Better data security with MFA, encryption, OS patching, and access control
  • Cost savings due to reduced on-site workstations and their maintenance costs
  • Allows employees to work on their own devices (also called BYOD)
  • Centralized management helps IT professionals monitor all devices, servers, and networks in real-time and proactively respond to cyber threats.

Is a virtual desktop good for work?

Virtual desktops hold the reins on the future of workplaces. As remote and/or hybrid work climbs from “good to have” to “must have,” organizations are hunting for technologies enabling workforces to conveniently access critical resources without being in a physical workplace.

Thanks to virtual desktop services, employees can work from anywhere, be it their homes, nearby cafes, or a thousand miles away. Moreover, end-users need not worry about system version, configuration, or technical complexities. In a nutshell, employees get to enjoy the same experience as on-site desktops as long as they have a stable internet connection and a compatible device.


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