Presented by VMware
Employees often choose their own technologies. The challenge is around supporting this choice within the right platform framework so that businesses can innovate more quickly.
Organizations become truly digital when their workforces fully utilize available technology resources to operate more efficiently and innovate more quickly. Indeed, today’s leading-edge businesses are creating digital workspaces, an evolving model with modern IT services and a working environment that forms the underpinning of how business responds to changing user demands and requirements.
IT alone is no longer responsible for all the technologies that the workforce uses, but it does need to provide the overall framework within which the workforce operates. The digital workspace is a platform that enables and empowers businesses to leverage technology innovations for their industries — and to meet growth objectives.
The digital workspace is found at the office, in the factory, or at the store — and within the virtual work-environments in which so many workers now find themselves. The digital workspace is based on pathways of simple interactions and choice that’s familiar to workers in their home and consumer settings.
Competition and the pressure to innovate quickly
It’s not just about delivering new styles of working, but also the pace and pressure to innovate new business models with the technologies that are available in the market today and evolving in the future.
The digital workspace requires companies to provide a platform and an experience where users can bring their own tools and business solution processes into the work environment. New technologies must be easy to adopt and access, secure to manage, and provide seamless interactions with business resources. Companies need both visibility into and the ability to control access while providing anytime, anywhere access to information and resources.
The need for flawless access to information isn’t new. Everyone wants the experience to be as easy as tapping the download button in a public app store. What’s new is the pressure to respond ever more quickly to competitors and disruptive market forces. Even customers themselves now operate with a digital mindset.
Companies at the forefront
Take the example of Autodesk, a multinational software company that pioneered desktop PC tools for designers, engineers, visual artists, and others. The company is undergoing a transformation to become a cloud services company. According to Prakash Kota, VP of IT at Autodesk, the company’s current IT focus is to make its global workforce more productive. Autodesk employees need to operate in an always-on, always-ready environment, with access to resources at any time in a secure setting so that they can be at the forefront of delivering innovative solutions to customers.
Lufthansa Cargo, a subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, is an international air cargo company serving 45 destinations around the world. According to the company, they are eliminating in-cockpit electronics and replacing them with modern, Apple iPad-based mobile electronic flight bag (EFB). As the National Aviation Business Association describes, “in its simplest form, an EFB can perform basic flight planning calculations and display a variety of digital documentation, including navigational charts, operations manuals, and aircraft checklists. The most advanced EFBs are fully certified as part of the aircraft avionics system.”
As a result, Lufthansa Cargo flies with less weight in the cockpit, benefits from increased fuel efficiency, and experiences faster approval cycles for the technologies that leverage the new flight bags.
The Autodesk and Lufthansa Cargo stories demonstrate the digital workspace in action. In both case, IT provided a secure infrastructure with an accessible experience on a digital workspace platform for their most strategic asset: their workforces. The result: higher levels of productivity, better service to customers and employees, and increased accuracy and reliability.
The characteristics of the digital workspace
To create a digital workspace, a business should start with a modern technology platform that can communicate with the breadth of new devices entering the enterprise — mobile, desktop, and the enterprise IoT devices that will come in the future. Modern platforms like iOS, Androidm and Windows 10 are all designed with cloud-based APIs, and a single platform can communicate with them in a unified fashion. The platform should be able to manage the entire end point if it is owned by the business or just manage and secure the corporate information on the end point if it is owned by the employee.
While the digital workspace empowers the workforce with choice, the company needs control and visibility for compliance and governance. As a result, it must provide a comprehensive set of identity and access tools to be sure that the right user has access to the right information and resources based on the context under which they are trying to access the resources. The context itself is a combination of user’s identity and rich information you can get from the end point via the platform, including network, geo location, device and more.
IT binds the core of the enterprise (corporate information) to people and resources at the edge of its network. And IT needs to be sure that the employee — and the organization as a whole — is secure from threats and confident that systems follow governance requirements.
Since the digital workspace provides employees and the business the freedom to innovate with appropriate controls, IT can use the platform to make both traditional and new services available to the workforce. The platform needs to enable IT to spend less time and effort on traditional applications so they can embrace the new services and support the workforce easily.
In addition, the digital workspace helps both employees and the business at large transcend the silos — both technology and culture — that inhibit innovation. It provides the kind of flexibility, simplicity of experience, and agility that allows workers to innovate more quickly and at a lower cost. And that promotes both business growth and improved employee engagement.
The digital workspace becomes the platform for business innovation, security, connectivity, and workforce efficiency. It redefines how — and how well — we work.
Sumit Dhawan is a senior vice-president and general manager of the End-User Computing team at VMware. The VMware Workspace ONE solution integrates application and access management, unified endpoint management, and virtual application delivery to help organizations evolve silo-ed cloud and mobile investments, enabling all employees, devices and things across the organization to accelerate their digital transformation journey with a platform-based approach.
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