Benefits of Implementing Workspace as a Service (WaaS)
Digital workspace meaning: Workspace as a service, WaaS, or digital workspace, is a way of delivering everything a user would expect on their work computer to anywhere with an Internet connection through the cloud. WaaS is especially useful for remote employees and users who need to use specific software only accessible through desktop virtualization.
SMBs today face big challenges in ensuring their workforce is adequately equipped to do their jobs—from remote work capability to modern tech to automation; there are many ways to do this.
Workspace as a Service—WaaS for short—is one method of utilizing the prevalence of mobile devices in the modern workspace to ensure access from anywhere through a digital workspace.
You may already be familiar with “bring your own device” strategies; allowing staff to make use of their own devices within the organization’s network.
With a comprehensive BYOD security plan, concerns raised by the increased number of endpoints that exist within your company’s network can be fully addressed.
WaaS is, to a large degree, an extension of the BYOD principle; allowing devices to be given anywhere, anytime access to a user desktop.
The difference between the two is that WaaS is focused on providing a solution for employees to work even while out-of-office.
The premise is quite simple: you sign up for a WaaS service, and users then have to use their credentials to log on to their digital workspace to get access to everything they need.
This includes business apps that they might not be able to run on their home computers or laptops, in addition to any other services they may need.
Of course, with businesses trying to cope with the demands of remote work given the circumstances of the pandemic and the changes forced on businesses because of it, solutions like WaaS have received new interest among SMBs looking to get their employees the resources they need—regardless of where they are or which device they’re using.
Related Post: Why You Need Remote Work Endpoint Security Now
The lasting effects of the pandemic will be apparent for us to see in the coming years, and there are already a number of indications that large-scale remote work is here to stay.
PwC’s 2021 survey indicates that 72% of US executives are planning new investments in tools for virtual collaboration and 70% are investing in IT infrastructure to secure virtual connectivity.
For organizations that are implementing solutions now to counter the challenges (both short- and long-term) that COVID-19 has brought, they are likely to find that many of them will be necessary for the future in any event as attitudes change and businesses become more comfortable offering remote work opportunities.
Workspace-as-a-service is one solution that will benefit businesses in years to come. Let’s take a look at why it’s useful to SMBs.
Growth and the Future of Workspace as a Service and Digital Workspaces
As demand for workspace as a service solutions continues to rise, the market value for WaaS is growing by a significant amount.
The WaaS market, valued at $4.9 billion in 2020, is expected to increase to $8.5 billion by the end of 2025, an increase of 73%.
Much of this rapid expansion of the market is being driven by increased adoption among businesses of all sizes, especially large enterprises. Look no further than Intel’s expansion into the WaaS space as an indication of how seriously businesses are taking remote work solutions.
One of the primary consideration for adopters of WaaS solutions is security—many businesses maintain offices for that exact reason; to keep the chances of a security breach to a minimum, an especially important consideration if the organization deals with a lot of sensitive data or has strict compliance regulations to abide by.
For these businesses, a WaaS solution must be secure, and fortunately for those using cloud servers from providers with good data centers, like Azure for example, can be assured that they’re data and applications will be kept safe in the cloud.
Cloud security has long been a concern for companies to get over in their adoption plans, but the advances of the security and reliability of modern data centers, especially as it pertains to redundancy and cybersecurity, have largely allayed these concerns, and most data centers today are actually more secure than on-premise servers installed by businesses.
As adoption of WaaS solutions continues to expand, we can expect the market to grow further and workspace as a service to become a central aspect of the tech stacks for companies that need it.
Related Post: Data Center Tiers: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?
Benefits of WaaS and Digital Workspaces
Digital transformation has brought a large amount of disruptive technologies to SMBs.
Whether it’s automation or the Internet of Things, there’s always a new piece of tech right around the corner, and digital workspaces—while not new—certainly fit into this category in terms of their recent popularity and viability.
These solutions are almost always driven by a desire to create a more flexible and agile organization.
The number one driver of digital transformation is to ‘streamline operations, internal efficiency and process management.’ Executives and decision makers are constantly looking for ways to change their structures to allow for a more modern and efficient workplace.
Take Impact Networking’s vDesk as an example (it’s what we know best!). The solution offers a cloud-based virtual desktop which can be accessed via browser, client, or mobile app.
Once the user is logged into the digital workspace, they have access to everything as though they were in the office as usual—apps, data, desktop; it’s all there.
As you might imagine, this particular solution proved enormously useful for our employees during the pandemic, and many companies are looking to adopt similar workspace-as-a-service for their own operations.
Such is the popularity of a solution like this, working remotely—known as telecommuting—has exploded in popularity. It’s estimated that 70% of professionals work remotely at least once a week
The flexibility of solutions like WaaS is a key part of a solid digital transformation strategy, and it’s a trend that is unlikely to slow down anytime soon.
There is, however, still room to grow. Though 40% of US employers offer flexible workplace options, just 7% make it an available choice to a majority of their employees.
As SMBs catch up with their larger counterparts, we can expect these figures to rise as they seek to improve the flexibility of their workspaces.
The proliferation of cloud services has opened up an enormous amount of opportunities for SMBs to take advantage of.
When employees are not bound to their office desks, they can flourish not just in terms of flexibility, but productivity, too.
Of employees who work with digital workspaces, 63% of them say WaaS solutions have increased their productivity, compared to 14% of people working in traditional workspaces
The purpose of implementing a WaaS solution in your organization is to create a consistent working experience for your employees, regardless of where they are or what device they’re using.
A good solution will offer a single sign-in function across devices, meaning your data can effectively “follow” you around without the chance of ever losing your work, or your access to it.
The benefits of this extend to the ability for employees to continue working even in a difficult situation.
If, for whatever reason, they cannot get to the office and need work from home, that can easily be done with a virtual workspace.
Our solution, vDesk, offers virtualization on any connected device—regardless of the OS they run, offering maximum flexibility.
This works to the advantage of the employer and the worker—the employer doesn’t lose out on an employee for the day while the employee doesn’t have to take PTO or miss out on work.
The flexibility afforded in this scenario is just one example of how a good WaaS solution can improve productivity, particularly for an SMB pursuing organizational agility.
Concerns about cloud security have mostly been allayed in recent years. As cloud solutions become an increasingly common fixture for SMBs, decision makers want to be sure that their data will be secure when using cloud apps.
77% of companies have at least one application or a portion of their enterprise in the cloud. This could be an internal communication app, stored data, or a creative suite
With digital transformation strategies, there is an enormous emphasis on migrating data and applications to the cloud in one form or another.
Ensuring that data is secure and protected from threats is a key factor in deciding what kind of WaaS platform you want for your business.
Considering that almost half of all cyberattacks target SMBs, there is a pressing and urgent need for organizations to have a strong prevention and contingency plan for mitigating the potential and effects of an attack.
A good WaaS solution should be able to offer an uptime guarantee, data protection, and cybersecurity measures against viruses, phishing, and data theft.
For example, our vDesk solution offers clients Tier IV data centers for an entire computing infrastructure and makes it safely and readily available to all employees in order to support disaster recovery plans successfully.
In case of a breach, all data is backed-up at hourly recovery points and with an uptime guarantee of 99.9%.
Wherever and whenever employees are accessing network and company data, businesses can be rest assured that it is securely protected and safe from threats if using a WaaS solution that uses secure data centers.
In addition to all these advantages, there is the added benefit that WaaS brings is that it significantly reduces overheads from investing in hardware.
With a digital workspace and a BYOD policy, companies can reduce the need to buy expensive equipment for their employees operating out of office—all they need is an Internet connection.
Essentially, this means less for the IT department to deal with. Fewer resources are spent on buying hardware, and less is spent on maintaining and upgrading tech.
The problem with investing in technology is two-fold: firstly, it depreciates in value significantly over the course of even just a year.
Secondly, when it can no longer operate the applications you need, you’re stuck with an outdated piece of hardware that isn’t up to the job and you’re forced to spend again to upgrade it.
With WaaS, you just pay the monthly fee while the vendor invests in the hardware on their end, meaning you won’t be spending on tech that becomes outdated.
This also extends to software needs like license management and software deployment, both of which can be done in a much more simplified way through the cloud.
Workspaces can be implemented for staff members through a cloud service, making onboarding a lot less hassle for IT personnel.
Then, of course, there’s the ability to scale your cloud resources to match your needs. As opposed to traditional data centers, which require large investment and maintenance on-site, cloud data centers are completely scalable.
You can optimize your expenditure on your WaaS solution by only paying for the server capacity that you need, meaning a streamlined cost structure that’s tailored to you.
- Workspace as a Service solutions offer employees a flexible way of conducting their work from anywhere, anytime
- The increased freedom for workers utilizing digital workspaces means more productivity and a more satisfied workforce
- Cloud security is watertight, and disaster recovery options allow peace of mind for organizations operating digital workspace and BYOD policies
- Scalability gives SMBs working on a strict budget to adopt a WaaS solution to fit their business goals without incurring unwanted costs
In 2020, businesses must use digital tools to improve their processes, whether it’s an ERP for analytics to improve their customer experience, or a phone app that streamlines a task on the warehouse floor, there’s a piece of cloud technology for anything.
To find out more about how cloud services can help you, download our eBook, “Which Cloud Option Is Right For Your Business?”