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Why your infrastructure team should embrace DaaS (and not fear it)...

Wed 19 Mar 2014
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Desktop-as-a-Service brings flexibility, control and cost benefits to your organisation, but what does it mean for the IT infrastructure team?

“With change comes opportunity,” says James Walls, technology manager, Dimension Data New Zealand.

In addressing the rise of Desktop-as-a- Service (DaaS), Walls acknowledges the fear of “devolution” among IT infrastructure teams, yet reassuringly, he insists it shouldn’t be feared.

Rather it should be embraced.

“By taking the provision of the corporate desktop out of the hands of IT infrastructure teams, DaaS allows them to focus on other valuable areas of the business,” says Walls.

A century ago, organisations had internal Electricity Departments, which focused on the quality and consistency of supply, maintaining the circuits and managing the complaints and downtime when things didn’t work. They kept things ticking along.

As the electricity market matured, focus moved to strategy – how will the departments demonstrate and maximise value? Ultimately the departments devolved, because electricity companies came in and took care of everything.

According to Walls, the rise of DaaS represents a similar issue for the IT infrastructure team to the fear of “devolution” that the Electricity Department experienced during the 1920s.

But IT infrastructure teams need not fear, in Walls’ view.

“If there’s one thing we know about the IT industry, it’s that it’s evolving at great speed,” he says.

“As a result, there’s a raft of opportunities for infrastructure teams to change tack within their own organisation and add value from an alternative perspective.”

Think governance strengthening, provider management and strategy development, advises Walls, who says helping infrastructure teams through these changes is of paramount significance to Dimension Data.

“We talk to business executives about how organisations can position and focus their people on where they can add real value to the business; to move resources away from the generic aspects of IT and into the genetic – the areas that are differentiated and fundamental to the organisation.

“This is the time to re-skill, re-tool and seize the opportunity to focus on something of real value to the business.”

Dimension Data’s DaaS product, 3D Workspace, provides a win-win for the whole organisation.

It’s a flexible, efficient and functional solution, seamlessly integrating the cloud experience and that of the traditional desktop.

The IT team can manage desktops remotely through a single portal, while the core platform is managed, monitored and maintained by Dimension Data. The internal IT team has the freedom to focus on adding true value to the organisation with real technology improvements.

“But this issue isn’t resolved purely by creating a great product,” Walls reminds. “We’ve spent 18 months building an ecosystem and philosophy that ensures the interests of our clients and their clients remain firmly at the heart of what we do.”

In delivering value for organisations and its people through technology and commercial innovation, Walls believes with DaaS there’s no need for IT to be buried in the generic plumbing of the infrastructure anymore.

Instead they can focus on implementing fundamental improvements for the business in genetic areas aligned to the organisation's core DNA, driving a positive change for the way your business interacts with its clients and customers.

“IT infrastructure teams can not only survive with the rise of DaaS, they can thrive,” concludes Walls.

This article was originally published in the March 2014 issue of IT Brief magazine

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