Why COVID-19 Drove an Increase in DaaS

DaaS project implementations grew during the pandemic, but those built solely with the purpose of saving costs are more likely to fail.

A leading global software company reported triple growth of desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) projects in just the first quarter of 2020. Gartner forecasts that the number of users for DaaS will grow by over 150% between 2020 and 2023.

One of the major reasons behind this growth will be the need to set up cost-effective secure remote working spaces for organizations embracing the benefits of distributed work. 

Historically, DaaS was often considered an IT cost-saving measure for organizations — a business case that failed 80% of the time. However, the pandemic brought a simple and compelling need: Organizations needed to keep working but with staff at home and using a range of devices. DaaS provided a secure and scalable solution.

According to Gartner, through 2023, more than 80% of desktop virtualization projects deployed primarily to save cost, rather than to improve security or business continuity, will fail to meet their objectives.

Both the cost of implementing virtual desktops and the expected total cost of ownership (TCO) are relatively high. DaaS moves the cost from capital expenditures (capex) to operational expenditures (opex), which further increases the cost. 

To continue a successful DaaS project, I&O leaders need to: 

  1. Identify the right audience. Segment the user base by job function and location to correctly identify candidate use cases for desktop virtualization and application virtualization.
  2. Focus on security. Minimize and reduce attack surfaces and optimize the management of highly distributed endpoints by prioritizing thin-client architectures for desk-based workers.
  3. Extend use of DaaS beyond business continuity. Improve the onboarding process by using desktop virtualization to increase the speed and lower the cost of onboarding workers.

2021 Top Priorities for Infrastructure & Operations Leaders

Emerging trends, expected challenges and next steps for I&O leaders in 2021

Download eBook

Recommended reading for Gartner clients*: Predicts 2021: Digital Workplace Infrastructure and Operations by Stuart Downes and et.al.


Note: Some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.

Get Smarter

Follow #Gartner

Attend a Gartner event

Explore Gartner Conferences

Improve Remote Work Effectiveness

Gartner’s survey of more than 7,000 digital workers identified 10...

Learn More


Get actionable advice in 60 minutes from the world's most respected experts. Keep pace with the latest issues that impact business.

Start Watching