In an increasingly virtual world, many higher education organizations are looking to develop ways in which students can learn from home. With remote learning on the rise, there are many virtual solutions available to help organizations make the switch from on-campus learning, either part or full time. This needs to be done in a way that helps students and staff maintain the structure and connectivity of in-person learning.

One virtual solution gaining popularity is Desktop as a Service (DaaS) which is a cloud service offering in which the service provider allows users to have access to virtual desktops using an internet connection. In this article, we will explain the benefits of DaaS as a way to encourage and support virtual learning, seeing what it can do for both students, staff and support staff such as IT departments.

The benefits of DaaS for students

Remote learning can be a challenging transition for students to make which means it is important to have a solution in place that replicates an on-campus learning environment as much as possible. A DaaS solution offers a number of benefits for both students and organizations. To find out more about what DaaS is, read our guide.

Support BYOD policies

One of the leading benefits of a DaaS environment is that it supports Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. Due to its ability to work on a cloud computing basis across a range of devices, DaaS can run from campus or from home. This means it’s very flexible when it comes to students being able to work on and access a hosted desktop from their own laptops, desktop PCs, tablets and beyond. This results in a more seamless learning transition for students, while allowing organizations to invest in less equipment.

Study anytime, anywhere

DaaS also provides organizations with the ability to provide students with the chance to learn anywhere, anytime using hosted virtual desktops. As a cloud computing solution, DaaS allows students to transition between being on campus or being at home, or even travelling. This is vital in the current climate and will be a much more popular way to work going forward.

Benefits of DaaS for organizations

While there are excellent benefits of DaaS for students, there is also some crossover, with some of these benefits also working for the wider organization and support staff.

Flexible and scalable

DaaS is highly flexible and a scalable solution, which is pay-as-you-go. This means there are no large outgoings is required if less coverage is needed than originally planned for. For example, if the student population fluctuates or staff numbers change. Less investment and hardware is required than for other solutions which can help with cost savings.

Centralized management

With a centralized management system, DaaS is easy for IT departments to navigate, and reduces the maintenance they need to provide due to it being a cloud computing solution. This is due to the reduction in physical machines on-campus and the support of BYOD policies mean that IT departments will not be required to provide updates to physical machines.

Easily updated

Virtual desktops can be updated quickly and easily, in a manner that is far less labor intensive than having to rebuild machines to create a traditional desktop environment. This also reduces the downtime that students and staff may experience when traditional updates are taking place.

Improved security

Another benefit of DaaS is improved security. All the data and information is stored in a cloud system which not only protects the organization’s data, it also prevents students from losing their data if their device is lost or stolen. When allowing students to use their own devices away from campus to access university data, the security risk is much higher than when they’re accessing the same information in campus labs.

How do these benefits compare to VDI solutions?

When looking into virtual solutions, it is important to be aware of all the available options. Alongside DaaS, another popular option is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) which is another desktop virtualization solution.

While not as new as DaaS, VDI has proven itself as one of the best virtual desktop solutions for both business and higher education. It shares many of the great benefits of DaaS, such as being able to recreate the desktop environment for students easily on a range of devices and supporting the BYOD policies that many organizations now use.

One of the main differences between VDI and DaaS is that VDI solutions are usually managed in-house by the IT department, not by the system provider. So, when considering VDI deployment, it’s important to consider the availability of the IT department. However, with DaaS, the centralized management system frees up their time. This is a benefit especially if the IT team is smaller or their time is required for other projects.

However, VDI still does not require a huge amount of maintenance, so if IT departments were to manage the solution, it would still take up less resource than overseeing the security, upkeep, and replacement of physical machines.

Choosing the right solution for your organization

When looking to transition from on-campus learning and studying to virtual solutions, it’s important to examine the benefits and drawbacks of all of the systems you consider.

When it comes to whether VDI or DaaS is the better choice, the needs of students and the availability and time of the IT department should be considered. So, if the IT department has the resource and time to manage a VDI solution, this would be the best option. However, if you have little to no IT support, DaaS adoption could provide a better solution as the updates and data are managed by the DaaS provider.

While the reliability and popularity of VDI is well-known, DaaS is also an increasingly go-to option for organizations of all kinds.

With working and studying remotely looking set to continue as the new normal, it’s important to invest in a system that can grow and change with the needs of the organization and has the infrastructure to remain up-to-date as the situation changes.

You can read more about the differences and similarities between VDI and DaaS, in our guide.

Find out more about the leading virtual solutions offered by AppsAnywhere by contacting a member of our team.

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