For those few remaining readers who don't believe we've beat the DaaS horse to death, I would like to present this week's article about DaaS.
It stems from a conversation I had during PEX with a financial analyst who asked me what was holding back enterprises from larger DaaS adoption. Here's the deal:
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- It's not the technology.
- It's not the perceived issues with The Cloud. (trust, security, etc.)
- It's not the cost.
- It's not anyone's lack of vision.
The real reason enterprises aren't flocking to DaaS? It's because the enterprise desktop is a complex Jenga-like intertwined mesh of applications, plugins, data, registry, connectors, scripts, add-ons, files, and settings. You can't just pull out one piece to "give" to a cloud desktop provider without the whole thing crashing down.
You have to keep the desktop intact. So when you first start thinking about moving bits and pieces to the cloud, you quickly realize that you have to move everything the desktop needs to the cloud, including your file servers, mail servers, application servers, databases, AD and security systems, backups, your development environment... it's all or nothing.
We ran into this when we interviewed people for the book about DaaS we wrote last year. We wrote about how in order to move a desktop to the cloud, you also need to think about where the users' files, AD, email, and apps live. We had an entire section of the book dedicated to the challenges of DaaS. What we didn't really appreciate at the time was how big of a limitation that would be for enterprises.
Does in-house on-premises VDI make sense? Yes, lots of enterprises are doing that today.
Does accessing an app with sensitive company data as a service make sense from the cloud? Yes, lots of enterprises are doing that today.
Does paying someone else make to host your desktops in the cloud make sense? Yes, when you can move the whole enchilada.
Do enterprises want (or are they able) to move the whole enchilada? No.
Heck, we outlined a perfect example of this a few weeks ago when we talked about the challenges enterprises were facing just moving Outlook and Office to the cloud. And Outlook and Office are the two most "basic" desktops apps that everyone uses and that have lots and lots of competition, and we can't even figure out how to do that! If we can't figure out Office, how in the world are we going to figure out the thousands of other apps we have?
Look, VDI is awesome and solves lots of business challenges today. The cloud is also awesome and also solves lots of challenges today. But the enterprise desktop? Moving that whole thing to the cloud? Man... I just don't see it.
Small business? Yes. Medium? Perhaps. Enterprises targeting a few user groups here and there? Sure. But the "default" enterprise desktop going to the cloud? Ain't no way.