Definition

digital workspace

Contributor(s): Corinne Bernstein

A digital workspace is an integrated technology framework that centralizes the management of applications, data and endpoints and provides users with self-service, out-of-the-box experiences that scale across platforms, locations and device ownership models. Sometimes referred to as virtual workspaces, digital workspaces bring all of a user's resources, such as operating systems (OS), files and apps, into one place and deliver a cloud-based console that allows IT professionals to manage all those resources under one roof.

Designed to provide a unified and secure experience for IT professionals and end users, digital workspaces simplify and centralize the overall management of tools, applications and devices. Digital workspaces also provide secure remote access to the end user because data remains secure either in the data center, cloud or on the endpoint devices.

Additionally, the delivery of resources through a workspace environment means the endpoints workers use to access resources matter less, which makes for a more consistent user experience. Plus, these platforms help IT teams provide capabilities such as single sign-on (SSO) for identity authentication and secure file-sharing across an organization's endpoints.

Evolution of the digital workspace

The concept of a digital workspace is not new. As companies continue to go through a digital transformation, the idea of a workplace perimeter continues to disappear. While modern desktop transformation has IT departments decoupling user data and applications from the OS and its device, users want these workspace components wherever and whenever they need them. Freeing data from the underlying platform provides workers with the flexibility they need to be more productive and collaborate more effectively.

Digital workspace tools

A crucial part of the underlying architecture for a digital workspace is unified endpoint management (UEM), a centralized approach to securing and controlling desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets in a connected, cohesive manner from a single console. A comprehensive digital workspace solution can include:

  • App and desktop virtualization.
  • File sharing and content collaboration.
  • Enterprise mobility management (EMM).
  • Mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM).
  • Secure access to software as a service (SaaS) apps and secure browsing.
  • Single sign-on features.
  • Advanced analytics and monitoring.

Workspace software options such as VMware Workspace One and Citrix Cloud enable IT professionals to deliver and manage flexible workstations that can function, whether the user is local or remote, on any device. These options promise complete desktop delivery, seamless abstracted applications and aggregated third-party cloud resources and are designed to provide a single framework where users and IT administrators can access all these resources. This centralizes management and makes the user's life easier.

This was last updated in June 2019

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