Desktop-as-a-Service: Start with the Right Roadmap

August 27th, 2015 by admin

iPad on a dark wood desk showing a 2015 calendar in red, sitting next to an Apple display and keyboard

In this third installment of our blog series on Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) and Cloud-hosted virtual workspaces, we'd like to pass along a few pointers about when and how to plan a successful structured deployment within your organization. Everything starts with a plan.

When is it time to think about switching over to virtual desktops? First, assess the physical condition of your current IT infrastructure. Have your existing servers literally outgrown the confines of your cramped server room, making expansion near-impossible?

If the average age of your servers, desktops, and company-issued laptops is more than three years—long past their initial warranty—it's probably a good time to consider switching to a DaaS environment over the mounting costs of maintaining all that depreciating hardware.

Adapting Your Software: Old and New

Your first step toward DaaS is a comprehensive inventory of all software currently used by every workgroup. Many "legacy" applications—where the original vendors are either out of business or no longer offer support—require extensive advance testing to determine if they'll fully function on a modern DaaS platform.

Newer software may require some "gymnastics" when it comes to user license agreements. Copies licensed to one or more individual PC users may contain significant restrictions regarding installation on a multi-user Cloud environment. The penalties for license infractions—fines or back payments—can be rather stiff, so it pays to "do your homework" before committing to a DaaS switchover.

Test, Troubleshoot, Tweak

Migrating to the Cloud isn't a one-size-fits-all, flick-of-the-switch affair. A successful company-wide deployment only comes after a period of in-depth pilot testing. Find a few volunteer "guinea pigs" from every workgroup to test-drive critical parts of their new DaaS experience. Are their everyday applications completely functional? Are subtle differences in the virtual interface more or less convenient? Is the available bandwidth sufficient, or causing annoying lag? Are remote users encountering common difficulties among their mobile devices? Now is the time to troubleshoot the earliest problems before the formal deployment “goes live."

Preparing Your Workforce: Change Is Good

After completing necessary adjustments during the pilot phase, it's time to set an official deployment date. Get your company ready for that day by setting aside time for a formal training program to get everyone acquainted with the new interface, changes in log-in procedures, and any differences in the support structure. You'll probably notice that many employees are naturally wary of changes to their familiar work environment. Expect to offer plenty of patience and hand-holding before everyone "gets with the program."

Our point today is that while much of a DaaS rollout can appear daunting, most of the initial headaches and growth pains can be prevented by strong advance planning and sticking to the roadmap along the way. For more ideas about DaaS, the Cloud, and other custom IT solutions for your company, contact us.

Posted in: Hardware and Software