One of the key tenets of digital transformation is the use of digital technologies to optimize the work being done by individuals and groups of employees. Optimizing their efforts directly impacts organizational success, as tasks are completed more quickly and resources are maximized. But one of the long-standing barriers to workplace productivity is the practice of forcing employees to use only specific software or applications, within only a prescribed environment. That isn’t useful in a digital organization. IT by fiat simply no longer works. With the consumerization of apps and devices, choice is mandatory. Without choice, IT will fare no better than the king who, as the parable goes, sits at the water’s edge and demands that the tide stay out.
Delivering digital workspaces that put users in command and support their workstyles is now the plan. This approach requires IT to support user choice in four critical areas:
- Devices – Of the four unique elements of choice, this is the most obvious. However, there are new trends impacting device support. For example, as the Internet of Things (IoT) emerges, organizations will have to support entirely new classes of devices with new software platforms beyond the big three (iOS, Android and Windows). They also have to support much older and what are often considered obsolete devices. Many workers do buy the latest devices, but a surprising number also have much older ones.
- Location and storage of documents – This is a particularly thorny issue. Often, data security is used as an excuse to limit choices in terms of where documents can be stored. A modern digital workspace provides a secure platform for document storage, regardless of location. Security is built in, not bolted on. And with it, security is consistently deployed and users can access their documents wherever they or the documents might be. Another benefit of a digital workspace is the ability to track usage of the various services users choose to provide better management of their documents.
- Management of apps on mobile devices – Precious little has been done to provide options for managing mobile apps. The key is to leave device management to a mobile device management (MDM) tool and use a better solution for app management. Users must be able to use any app in any setting, enhancing productivity. The app is wherever the user is. The key to ensuring that users have choices for application management is eliminating the need to take over portions of personally owned devices, which restricts options. Enabling users to choose their desired apps also extends to allowing a device to run apps that are not native to that device’s OS. With this technology, choice is now extended in a way not possible before, and everyone on the team can use the same apps, even if they are from another platform.
- Application hosting – Today, employees want to choose any cloud service or hypervisor. And many of these services have become entrenched in the business processes of specific groups or teams. To deny access would interrupt workflow, meaning substantial lost productivity. Further, many new and innovative cloud services are coming to market. Deploying a digital workspace solution designed to support current and future hosting choices is the right plan.
Best-in-class digital workspaces will remove the onus from IT to pick the right options and provide users with the ability to choose what they want. The current rate of change is so dynamic that IT organizations cannot succeed if they try to limit user options or restrict services. Utilizing a modern digital workspace that provides choice in these four areas not only reduces complaints, but enables workers to be far more productive.