The way users view technology has changed over the years. In the past, many workers faced the arrival of new devices or solutions with trepidation, worried about having to learn new features and deal with changing procedures and requirements.
Now, users embrace technology and even demand the latest solutions.
These workers — especially millennials — increasingly want employers to provide them with tools that offer both increased flexibility and productivity. According to a report from global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, millennials value personal development and flexible work environments over financial rewards.
Of course, enabling productivity outside of the office has benefits for the enterprise, as well. When users have mobile access to their work tools, they can check inventory in real time, submit sales orders from the field, respond to client requests on the fly and collaborate with their colleagues from anywhere in the world.
So, if providing mobile workspaces helps both employees and employers, why isn’t every organization doing it? Because it’s not always easy. Deploying and supporting a vast array of mobile apps and devices can create substantial management and security challenges for an organization.
Enter Workspace as a Service. This new model — which combines the security, application delivery and desktop delivery features of mobile workspace solutions with Device as a Service support — provides everything users need to collaborate and be productive on the go, in a single bundle.
“It’s a cloud-delivered mobile workspace, along with devices and management, with the hardware and software bundled together at one price,” explains David Garcia, mobility inside solutions architect at CDW, which began offering Workspace as a Service in 2016. “It simplifies procurement and management. You take a capital expense and make it an operating expense model, and as the suite changes, you always have the best and latest version, so you can stay current with updates.”
Mobile workspace solutions from vendors such as VMware and Citrix give users access to applications and desktops on any device, deliver a consistent experience across multiple devices and operating systems, allow IT staff to centrally manage mobile deployments and accommodate bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives.
Dan Cote, a product marketing director at Citrix, says that mobile workflows have become so important to users that many will find their own workarounds if organizations don’t provide a top-notch mobile experience.
“If IT doesn’t deliver a solution that is easy to use, people will just go ahead and start storing files in their personal Dropbox accounts,” Cote says. “You’ll have intellectual property files that are out in the cloud in a way that isn’t endorsed or secured by IT.”
Citrix’s mobile workspace solution, Citrix Workspace Suite, brings together virtualization tools, XenApp and XenDesktop, the XenMobile enterprise mobility management (EMM) suite, file synchronization, productivity apps and a remote access solution.
Similarly, VMware’s Workspace ONE combines the AirWatch EMM solution with VMware’s identity management tool and a cloud management program that delivers virtual desktops while customizing the user experience for different devices and operating systems.
Both solutions aim to simplify mobile deployments by giving users seamless, single sign-on access to all of the mobile apps they need to do their jobs.
Kevin Strohmeyer, a senior product marketing director for VMware, says that businesses are increasingly seeing the value of simplifying mobility for their workers. “There are so many failed IT projects, because the usability is so poor that the adoption is never there,” he says.
“First and foremost, you have to design for adoption," he says. "It’s got to be as simple as what people are used to in their consumer experiences.”
For more on how the changing nature of the digital workplace and how your organization can respond, visit CDW.com/digitalworkspace.