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Cloud computing has become embedded in the way we all work and in our leisure time.   From sending emails from using a Google app to social media and online shopping.  Many of these cloud based solutions are given the title of “Something as a Service” such as Infrastructure as a Service or Platform as a Service.   In this article we’ll look at two of the most common cloud computing services, Software as a Service, and Desktop as a Service, and compare what each has to offer to businesses, and in particular to small businesses.

Let’s start with a brief explanation of what each of these are:


What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?

Software as a Service is a way of not only selling software applications but also the infrastructure to run them on a cloud platform.  Typically, people will run SaaS applications on internet connected devices through a web browser, but many will also come with associated “apps” to run on Smartphones or tablets.   SaaS will generally be a for a single, standalone application and sold via a subscription fee model where customers pay for a number of users, on a monthly or yearly basis, often choosing different levels of service offerings depending on individual user’s needs.

SaaS is easy to manage, customers don’t need any IT infrastructure to run these specific applications, no servers, no data storage, just the internet connected devices (PCs, Laptops, Tablets and Phones) to run them.

There is no need for any IT skills or technical knowledge to run Software as a Service applications beyond knowing how to use the application itself.


What is Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

Where vendors sell Software as a Service they are usually just selling one product such as an Accounting system.  With Desktop as a Service the providers are supplying a cloud platform that can run multiple applications, those applications typically designed to run on Windows desktop PCs.  Although a Desktop as a Service platform may be initially required just to run one application, they can be used to run all the applications a business uses, including the Software as a Service ones by running a browser on the DaaS desktop.   Like SaaS a DaaS solution would typically be on a subscription model and also easy to manage as the virtual desktops and infrastructure behind them are all supported by the DaaS provider.


Why would people use SaaS Software as a Service?

The infrastructure required to run computer software applications has a significant cost associated with it, application servers, file servers, operating system licences, database servers and licences, support and maintenance, all combine to impact the total cost of ownership of software.   Software vendors have realised that if they can look after that infrastructure for all their customers, and enjoy the benefits of economies of scale to reduce the cost per head, then it makes their software more attractive, as it has a lower TCO.

Also, as Software as a Service in cloud based then user accessibility is improved as users can be located anywhere and businesses don’t need to put in complicated network systems to enable people to work remotely.


Why would people use DaaS Desktop as a Service?

No matter how good SaaS applications become, they just don’t have the features and functionality that good desktop applications deliver.  Some software vendors don’t want to compromise the quality of their applications by making it cloud based and shoe horning it in to running in a web browser.   But the customers love the flexibility of cloud-based applications, the ability to support remote working, the ability to use it on different devices.   This is where Desktop as a Service comes in.  Instead of making the software cloud based DaaS makes the virtual desktop cloud based.   The desktop software is installed on servers in the cloud and users can connect to them from anywhere over an internet connection, and on any device.  This makes application running on DaaS as flexible as SaaS applications and as feature rich and fully functioning as if they were installed on a local PC.

The other big advantage of DaaS is the ease with which software can integrate with other applications and share the same data storage.  Whether it’s an analytical add-on to an accounting package, or the ability to draft letters or send emails using Microsoft Office direct from a Customer Management System (CRM) these interfacing applications can be installed alongside the primary business app to fully integrate them without complicated APIs or exporting stuff to import somewhere else.

What are the benefits of Software as a Service (SaaS)?

  • The user accessibility of being able to run software from anywhere over the internet
  • The ability to use different devices and operating systems
  • Subscription fee payments from OPEX
  • No IT skills, support costs, upgrade costs.
  • Technical issues are dealt with by the SaaS provider


What are the benefits of Desktop as a Service (DaaS)?

  • All of the above
  • The ability to run any and all applications in the cloud
  • Run sophisticated applications with complex infrastructure requirements, those that need database servers, web servers, extra storage.
  • The ability to run old legacy applications in the cloud
  • The ability to integrate applications as easily as on a desktop PC
  • Support, maintenance and issues all managed by the DaaS provider
  • Run DaaS within a public or private cloud.
  • More control over your data and applications in the same way as on-premise infrastructure. For example, the option to backup data to a third party.
  • The choice of moving your application back to local servers if preferred whereas with SaaS types of service you are tied to their platform unless you change software.

Not just Desktop as a Service

With a DaaS solution from Your Office Anywhere your options are incredibly flexible, in fact you would be able to enjoy the benefits of other “aaS” types of service, as we can provide an Infrastructure as a Service or Platform as a Service platform to create complex and scalable solutions to run your particular set of applications.

Want to see Desktop as a Service in action? Get in touch using the form below or call 01282 500318.