New Business Idea: Workspace As A Service (WaaS)

Do you know that of Australia’s 2.1 million SMBs, almost 15% fold annually? Alarmingly, that figure is the same amount that are started every year.

From generating local investment and driving innovation to providing employment opportunities across the country, SMBs make a significant contribution to the Australian economy. As we navigate the current economic environment, it’s critical that as an owner you have access to the technological capabilities enabling business expansion, agility, and success. After all, Australia’s success will in part be built on your individual achievements.

However at Citrix, we understand how the thought of trying to better manage and understand your IT is often enough to send you running for cover. It can detract you from your core business priorities, and can sometimes prove to be a troublesome, time-consuming, and costly in managing your business.

What if I tell you there is a new approach to IT simplifying its management and ensuring it delivers the results you need? I’m pleased to say this platform exists today. Not only does it empower you to better control your IT environment, it allows you to save money, attract more customers, and even re-think the whole way you do business.

WaaS: Worspace-as-a-Service 

We’ve termed this new platform Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS). In its most simple form, WaaS delivers secure, seamless, anytime, anywhere access to all business applications, services, and data across your corporate and personally owned devices. Getting a bit more technical, it combines cloud-based platforms to offer you a virtual workspace, which can negate the need for on-premise IT and in some instances, you might not even need physical office space at all. And if that is not enough to grab your interest, with WaaS you can outsource the management of your IT network to a third-party provider empowering you to focus on core business priorities.

Ultimately, WaaS gives you all the benefits of a fully-functioning IT environment without the need for physical office space or IT components, including:

Optimised IT platforms and assets - Seamlessly and rapidly take advantage of recent desktop and application upgrades, such as moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8, or upgrading your financial applications to comply with new legislation, without having to purchase the latest devices, or update each workstation individually. Given businesses spend on average $1,900 to own, run, and upgrade each PC in the office this can be a crucial factor in business success. What’s more, updating each device one by one is a laborious task that prevents you from focusing on your main business objectives.

To explain how and why this works, all devices used across your business access a centralised online IT environment. This central and reliable system hosts all business applications, servers and information in a virtual environment, meaning that when an update is required it only needs to be implemented in this one place, rather than across each device. This delivers significant time-savings, ensures staff have access to the same IT capabilities, and empowers you to efficiently take advantage of the latest IT innovations.

Reduced Real-Estate Costs - With the freelance economy building momentum, businesses are scrutinising their costs and looking to reduce some of their hard costs. With real-estate traditionally being one of SMB’s biggest outgoing, it’s useful to consider that WaaS allows you to create a virtual workspace helping you to cut costs in this space.

Improve employee productivityEmpowering employees to use the devices they choose at the time they choose is fast becoming an expectation, not a request. Taking a WaaS approach helps make this a reality. Employees simply need to log on to the virtual workspace via a device of their choosing, at times suiting them, where they can access all the services they need. Similarly, it means your business is not restricted by boundaries when recruiting new employees, which is great for expansion.

Enhanced security – Just because you’re giving employees control on any device, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on security. By using a centralised IT environment, you can efficiently apply the relevant security protocols. For example without WaaS, employees may be saving sensitive business data to their personal devices – that do not always offer the necessary security requirements – so that they can work on the go, which compromises your business security. Furthermore, if a work device is lost or stolen all sensitive data can be easily wiped clean as it is saved in the virtual environment, rather than the device itself.

Rapidly scale to meet demand – Having temporary workers or new joiners can be an IT headache, as can managing peaks and troughs in your business operations. Embracing WaaS allows you to rapidly scale the size of your IT environment to address these demands in a cost-effective manner. For example, new staff can be added to the virtual network in a matter of minutes rather than hours. Similarly, if you need to expand your IT environment to react to seasonal demand, you can easily scale up to accommodate it, before reducing it once the event is over.

We hope this insight into WaaS shows you how it gives you the freedom to experiment and grow without the upfront fixed costs and limitations of a traditional IT deployment. The benefits of WaaS for SMBs are relevant and real, and we can’t wait to see you take advantage of them.


David Nicol

Director, Workspace Product Sales at Citrix

David leads the Workspace business for Citrix in Australia and New Zealand which includes application and desktop virtualisation and enterprise mobile management. David has almost 20 years of IT industry experience, specialising in end-user-computing. David also has considerable experience designing technology solutions specific to small businesses – and leveraging the capabilities of system integrators and service providers that address the SMB market.


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