Shankar Iyer, senior vice president and general manager of end-user computing at VMware, speaks at VMware Explore 2022.

Sep 01 2022
Digital Workspace

VMware Explore 2022: Multicloud Enables Innovation That Supports Hybrid Work

How and where we work has changed dramatically in the past few years, and that evolution continues largely due to the flexibility of the cloud.

It’s been thoroughly noted by now that the pandemic spurred two major technological shifts across nearly every industry: rapid cloud migration and implementation of remote work policies. And now that employees have become accustomed to these changes, they’ve learned to expect the kind of flexibility hybrid work affords them.

According to McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey, 35 percent of jobholders can work from home full time, and 23 percent can do so part time. The survey said that 58 percent of employed respondents “report having the option to work from home for all or part of the week. After more than two years of observing remote work and predicting that flexible working would endure after the acute phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, we view these data as a confirmation that there has been a major shift in the working world and in society itself.”

Going forward, it’s incumbent upon companies and their IT teams to ensure they implement the technology to meet these demands. In a keynote session at VMware Explore 2022, Shankar Iyer, senior vice president and general manager of end-user computing at VMware, talked realistically about the move to hybrid work.

“While this journey has been exhilarating, it hasn't been without its challenges,” Iyer said. VMware customers experienced difficulties with both connectivity and security at the beginning of the pandemic due to the increase in remote work, he said, “and you know, those technology challenges haven't been resolved. But more so, it's also led to human challenges. We've seen sort of the rise of people bringing mental health to the fore, lack of social interaction and many, many things, right? So we have to use technology to conquer this problem and set ourselves up for this new world of tomorrow.”

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Hybrid Work Demands Attention Be Paid to Resilience

“Organizations have to build resilience, more so from a psychological, mental fortitude standpoint, but they also have to build tremendous technology resilience, right? And to do that, you need a technology platform, you need the right set of technologies that enables that organizational transformation into this resilient workplace culture.” Iyer said.

The second thing that organizations must accept, he said, is that they have end users, especially younger workers, who want freedom of choice. His statement is borne out by McKinsey’s research, which notes, “When people have the chance to work flexibly, 87 percent of them take it. This dynamic is widespread across demographics, occupations, and geographies. The flexible working world was born of a frenzied reaction to a sudden crisis but has remained as a desirable job feature for millions.”

Iyer noted one more consideration for organizations seeking to support hybrid work. “Finally, it's important for them to preserve this creative culture. Many, many organizations thrive on innovation, creativity, and they have to not only preserve it, they have to enhance it in this new world.”

WATCH: Learn why it’s necessary to accommodate differing work styles in hybrid settings.

How Technology Can Help Build Resilient Hybrid Workplaces

Iyer believes that technology has the power to create more agile and flexible workspaces that will enable a work-from-anywhere environment, noting that 84 percent of customers deploying VMware workspaces are increasing their investments in automation. And while VMware workspaces already include some automation, Iyer said the company is looking ahead to the next generation, which it envisions as an autonomous workspace.

He explained that VMware thinks autonomous workspaces should incorporate data science, machine learning and classic AI technologies and must have three important characteristics:

  1. Self-Configuring: “The system uses a lot of context, a lot of data in the current state — whether that’s which users are using it, which apps, which devices — and automatically configures the workspace. “
  2. Self-Healing: “When there is a problem, like an app crashing, not only does it automate things, but it can actually do the remediation. By looking at conditions and looking at triggers, it can actually change some of the system conditions to heal that employee experience, problems such as potentially patching the app.”
  3. Self-Securing: “Depending on the context, you can apply the right policies to disable access, and it can do things that increase the security posture of that particular situation, depending again on the current context.”
Shankar Iyer
Many, many organizations thrive on innovation, creativity, and they have to not only preserve it, they have to enhance it in this new world.”

Shankar Iyer Senior Vice President and General Manager of End-User Computing, VMware

VMware Enhances Its VMware Anywhere Workspace

At the outset of the event, VMware announced new enhancements to its VMware Anywhere Workspace offering that leverage the characteristics listed above. According to the company’s press release, these advancements cover four key technology areas delivered by the hybrid work platform: VDI and Desktop as a Service, digital employee experience, unified endpoint management and security.

With regard to virtual desktops, the company announced a new management service. “VMware will also introduce VMware Horizon Managed Desktop — a flexible, cloud-hosted service that delivers fully managed virtual desktops and apps with a choice of deployment options: on-premises, hybrid or public cloud.”      

“Additionally, Google and VMware are collaborating to bring access to any app on any device for the hybrid workforce. Organizations will be able to use hundreds of certified endpoints to connect to Horizon virtual desktops and apps. And now, with Google Chromebook as a validated endpoint, industries like healthcare can benefit from delivering a great user experience for more secure access to corporate resources. “

In addition, the platform introduces a new security function to protect users no matter where they’re working. VMware Workspace ONE Mobile Threat Defense is a new add-on designed to safeguard users in an expanding threat landscape by addressing application-based threats, and web and content vulnerabilities, as well as providing root access detection capabilities.

Keep this page bookmarked for articles from the event, and follow us on Twitter at @BizTechMagazine and the official conference Twitter feed, @VMwareExplore.

Photography by Joe Kuehne

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