Workspace-as-a-service is a virtual workspace that provides employees access to the same work-related resources they could if they were in the office physically. These resources could include corporate data and applications accessible anywhere using Internet-connected devices.
Workspace-as-a-service is usually provided by third parties through the cloud. Some major players in the industry include Amazon Workspaces, Citrix Workspace, Google Workspace, Workspace ONE, and Windows Virtual Desktop. The technology gives employees the flexibility to work anywhere as long as they can access the remote cloud system of their company.
Read More about “Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS)”
Workspace-as-a-service may sound familiar and desirable to most people by now, with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing almost everyone to work from home. But how big is the WaaS market, and how does it benefit both employees and companies? We explore these and more below.
The Workspace-as-a-Service Market
The workspace-as-a-service market is expected to reach a value of US$8.54 billion by 2025. Considering the market’s 2019 value of US$4.9 billion, its predicted growth is quite significant. Take note that the estimate was made before remote working became a necessity for most industries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Workspace-as-a-Service versus Desktop-as-a-Service
Workspace-as-a-service and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) are often confused for each other and understandably so since they are pretty similar. Both technologies use the cloud to deliver services.
WaaS provides employees with the applications they need for work, while DaaS provides the infrastructure or the virtual desktop environment.
Think of DaaS and WaaS this way: DaaS serves as the operating system (OS) of your computer. It helps make your device work, but it doesn’t necessarily give you enough functionality to perform tasks specific to your job description. On the other hand, WaaS provides additional features that enable you to do your job.
For example, an accounting staff would need access to the company’s accounting software, which can be delivered through WaaS.
Benefits of Workspace-as-a-Service
WaaS has several advantages for both companies and employees. Here are some of them:
- Ability to work remotely: Employees can work from anywhere as long as they have an Internet-connected device. They can be productive even when they are outside the office.
- Reduction of office overhead expenses: With WaaS, companies can implement a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy and don’t have to invest in desktops for all employees. And since people can work from home, utility expenses can be reduced.
- Workspace flexibility: Employees need different applications to perform their functions. For instance, human resource (HR) staff may need administrative access to the HR information system (HRIS) but they don’t need to have the company’s payroll software on their desktop. With WaaS, companies can assign employees specific applications based on their job requirements.
Challenges of Using Workspace-as-a-Service
Workspace-as-a-service brings a lot to the table, benefiting both employees and companies. But like any other component of software-as-a-service (SaaS), it brings challenges that you must be aware of and prepared for. Below are two significant challenges that are also related to cloud computing:
- Third-party security risks: Deploying WaaS rids you of the need for physical hardware security, which most companies may find beneficial. However, take note that this should be replaced by cloud security, which becomes the responsibility of the WaaS provider. Still, this doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it anymore. You can conduct third-party risk assessment and monitoring to ensure your provider conforms to the latest security standards. Third-party monitoring also keeps you updated on anything that could affect the provider and, therefore, your organization.
- Availability and uptime: When you have physical workspaces and manage your applications, you have primary control of the availability of services. You can mitigate outages. With WaaS, however, the availability of the services you need largely depends on the provider. Therefore, it’s essential to check the uptime performance of any WaaS provider before committing to long-term agreements. Also, make sure it has an easy-to-use and open communication channel so you can reach out in case there’s an outage.
While some industries may find it necessary to stick to their pre-WaaS devices due to security concerns, the demand for WaaS continues to increase. Companies are becoming more comfortable with it because of recent global events, and employees also welcome the flexibility to switch workspaces.