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5 digital workspace components to look for

The ideal digital workspace should handle a variety of tasks. By focusing on these five digital workspace components, IT pros can find the right platform to meet their needs.

IT teams considering a digital workspace platform for their organization must consider its features -- otherwise, they could end up with a product that fails to meet the needs of both administrators and end users.

When admins evaluate digital workspace platforms, they should take into account five important capabilities: device management, application and service management, user management and access control, security and privacy and monitoring and analytics. Admins must look for digital workspace components that address these aspects to select an effective product.

Device management

The digital workspace should include unified endpoint management capabilities that support a wide range of device types and operating systems. Administrators must be able to manage Google Android, Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows devices while also supporting personal and corporately owned devices.

Decision makers should think about additional device compatibility when evaluating digital workspaces. Some organizations might also need to manage Mac OS, TV OS, Chrome OS, Raspberry Pi devices or even IoT devices.

An essential digital workspace component includes traditional mobile device management (MDM) functionality. Administrators should be able to update and patch device OSes, push configurations and profiles to devices, whether managing hundreds or thousands of devices. Centralized controls that support self-service and automation during the onboarding process make it easier to manage devices at scale.

Application and service management

IT teams must able to safely manage all applications that support user workflows, whether they are private business apps or public offerings. The applications might include mobile and web applications, legacy and modern Windows applications, software as a service (SaaS) applications or cloud-based services. Some organizations might also need to manage virtual desktops and virtual applications.

The digital workspace should be able to support all necessary applications, regardless of the users' location. To this end, decision makers must also take into account specific delivery requirements, such as needing to install proprietary connectors or reconfigure web proxy settings.

An effective digital workspace component is complete mobile application management (MAM). Administrators should be able to distribute, deploy, update, retire and manage their applications, including the ability to block unsanctioned applications or apply web filters. They must also be able to manage all related data, including email and user documents, while supporting content syncing and collaboration capabilities. 

User management and access control

Identity and access management is a critical component of any digital workspace. IT should be able to control user access through roles, group policies or access rules. Admins should be able to onboard new devices and reconfigure account settings without interrupting the user experience.

Administrators should also be able to implement conditional access based on defined criteria such as user location, device type, access time or network connectivity. In addition, administrators should have the ability to manage authentication mechanisms that control access to resources. For example, the platform should have support for single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication or even biometric authentication.

Administrators should also be able to control user profile data, integrate with third-party systems such as Active Directory, manage the certificates used to authenticate users and automate user management operations wherever possible.

Security and privacy

Security must be integrated into all aspects of device, application and user management in a digital workspace. The platform should provide security across every user's location, device and type of connection to corporate resources. The platform should also protect privacy and ensure compliance with applicable rules and regulations.

To protect resources, administrators must be able to implement data-loss prevention technologies such as network tunneling, proxy servers, application wrapping or VPNs. In addition, administrators should be able to encrypt both at-rest and in-motion data, using advanced standards like Advanced Encryption Standard 256-bit encryption.

Administrators should be able to apply watermarks to digital content or deliver hardened browsers to users. Additional functionality may include locating missing devices, remotely wiping or locking devices, blocking built-in features such as cameras, preventing user actions such as copy-and-paste or detecting rooted or jailbroken devices.

Monitoring and analytics

The digital workspace is not complete unless it provides a comprehensive monitoring and analytics platform that offers detailed insights into its components and operations. Administrators should be able to audit events related to all endpoints in order to understand usage patterns, uncover potential issues and ensure that all systems are secure and in compliance.

Administrators should also be able to access and manage system logs as well as control the logging process. In addition, the platform should provide automated notification services based on selected events such as security, system performance, user behavior, application licensing or other important metrics.

The platform should also incorporate machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies to correlate and analyze data in order to find patterns, reveal trends, uncover compliance issues, track security risks and details on workspace operations. Administrators should be able to easily generate reports based on collected data to provide quick and intelligent insights into system operations.

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