There are many important topics the global pandemic of COVID-19 has brought into clear focus. One of those important topics is how organizations deliver applications, data, and remote desktops to remote employees. Even before the pandemic, organizations had seen the benefits of creating a digital workspace that brings technology tools together in a seamless way.
Now, with the transition to largely remote workers, and businesses migrating into “phase 2” of the transition to long term remote configurations, creating and using a digital workspace provides many benefits.
What is a digital workspace? What are the key characteristics of a powerful digital workspace that provides the tools needed for your business? What factors should you consider when evaluating the scalability of a digital workspace solution?
What is a Digital Workspace?
A digital workspace defines a solution that allows bringing the apps, desktops, and technology resources together to empower employees with the tools they need to carry out their most important business tasks efficiently. Further, it allows them to access technology tools across various device platforms. The digital workspace is implemented differently with different solutions, however, generally speaking, it allows for the following advantages:
- It allows the employee experience to be fluid and seamless between the apps, desktops, and technology they need to carry out business critical processes
- It helps to increase business agility by empowering employees with innovative technology tools they need to carry out their daily tasks while at the same time, allowing them to be productive
- It makes accessing and using technology tools much easier and more secure for the remote end user
- Employees can access technology tools across device platforms and regardless of their location
You can no doubt detect a theme with the above description of a digital workspace. It is not simply about “working remotely.” It is about being able to be highly productive while working remotely with seamless workflows between all the technology tools that you may need to not only do your job, but be innovative, effective, and efficient.
Key Characteristics of a Digital Workspace
There are many different solutions and platforms today that provide what is marketed as a digital workspace for your business. However, it is important to consider the key features of an effective digital workspace for your business. These include:
- Simplifies business productivity
- It should offer mobility of applications across devices
- It should easily scale with your business
- Ease of access should be central to the design
- It should provide seamless access to business productivity tools
Let’s examine each of these areas further and see why they are important to the success of a digital workspace deployment.
Simplifies business productivity
One of the main reasons that your organization will deploy a digital workspace is to simplify business productivity. As described earlier, a digital workspace should simplify the workflows for accomplishing business tasks for your employees.
If a so-called digital workspace does not simplify processes and access to technology tools, apps, and data, you should look elsewhere. If accessing and using it is not accomplished in a simple and seamless manner, employees will not only shy away from the solution altogether, and it can actually hinder productivity and innovation.
It should offer mobility of applications across devices
There is no question that we live in a world of technology that is driven by mobile and other electronic devices. Running all business-critical apps solely from a desktop workstation in an office setting is simply no longer feasible. Today’s business employees need to be able to access tools, applications, and data from any device or any location. Choosing a digital workspace platform that embraces mobility is absolutely critical.
Especially since the onset of the global pandemic, employees are now decoupled from the confines of the traditional office setting. It underscores the importance of employees being able to access what they need from any type of device. This also helps to foster flexibility in the way today’s employees work and innovate.
It should easily scale with your business
Scalability is an aspect of digital workspace solutions that is often overlooked, only to cause challenges later. Effective and beneficial digital workspace solutions should provide the ability to easily scale the solution as business needs grow and change.
There is one guarantee in business – expect change. An effective digital workspace solution should allow easily growing the solution to include new apps, new integrations, new data, and also have the ability to easily increase the number of users that are serviced by the solution.
Any gains in employee productivity from implementing a digital workspace can quickly be offset and even surpassed by the following:
- Huge administrative burden to provision
- Scaling the solution requires a major overhaul of the underlying infrastructure
- Ongoing management of the solution is difficult and time consuming for IT operations
Look for a digital workspace solution for your business that provides built-in scalability and elasticity to easily satisfy the needs of your business. It can be complex, time-consuming, and challenging to provide ongoing management of digital workspace solutions that do not easily scale.
As a case in point, businesses had to shift to a primarily remote workforce earlier this year, seemingly overnight. It helps to illustrate the point of how quickly your business needs to be prepared to support a large change in providing services to employees. An effective digital workspace allows easily scaling from ten users up to tens of thousands of users without major IT interaction, management, or provisioning a large amount of new infrastructure.
As an example of a highly scalable and seamless solution, Cameyo scales to provide access to thousands of apps. It also makes use of efficient app virtualization with it’s virtual application delivery approach, enabling IT to publish unlimited numbers of applications to users regardless of what type of device they are using by making those apps available in the browser. And it does it all in a way that eliminates the infrastructure and management that plagues traditional virtual desktop technologies This means it can scale from one user to hundreds of thousands of users without requiring major changes in your infrastructure.
Cameyo app virtualization provides a highly scalable solution
Ease of access should be central to the design
Access to a digital workspace should be easy and seamless. Today’s modern digital workspaces allow end-users to access the solution via a web browser. This allows easily accessing your apps and services from virtually any device. If a digital workspace is not easily accessible, employee productivity will certainly suffer.
Any requirement for a special “fat” client would defeat the purpose of solutions that are easily accessible. Additionally, aside from the way the solution is accessed, how about authentication? Authenticating users should be seamless as well without requiring the end-user to jump through hoops to access the solution.
This will most likely include a combination of domain authentication and cloud authentication. However, solutions that are the most seamless provide Single Sign-On (SSO) functionality. This allows an end-user to authenticate to multiple applications, services, and websites by only logging in once.
Network complexities are handled automatically
Network connectivity, especially to on-premises resources behind the corporate firewall, can be challenging. At the end of the day, apps and resources presented by the digital workspace exist on a network in a datacenter at some location. This may be housed in an on-premises data center location that requires special network connectivity to access such as the internal corporate network mentioned earlier.
An example of a resource that is typical to many environments is a company intranet site. In most cases, this is a web resource that is not presented or accessible to the outside world and that provides internal, company-specific information.
An effective digital workspace will handle the complexities of network connections behind the scenes so that end-user productivity is not stifled or hindered with connectivity issues. In traditional or legacy configurations, VPNs are often needed to establish secure connectivity to internal resources.
Modern digital workspace solutions are able to handle the complexities of network connectivity behind the scenes so that end users would simply be able to access resources regardless of where those resources exist and without special network connections using VPN – all while increasing security.
With businesses looking to support remote workers in a flexible and seamless way, a digital workspace provides employees with the tools and apps they need for enhanced productivity. There are several key features that you need to look for when settling on a digital workspace solution.
Not all digital workspaces are created equal. Leveraging a workspace that provides simplicity, productivity, and especially scalability ensures that the solution will not only provide what your business needs today, but also tomorrow, and in the long term.