Why the Future of the Digital Workspace Hinges on Identity Management

Jun 29, 2016
Kevin Strohmeyer

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Kevin is VMware End-User Computing (EUC) senior director of product management, workspace services.

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Just months ago, I introduced our much-anticipated digital workspace solution, VMware Workspace ONE. I’m happy to say that our customers love the ability to manage applications and enterprise mobility from a single enterprise platform. They’re extremely eager to leverage the identity management features integrated into Workspace ONE, including the new VMware Verify two-factor authentication service.

VMware Identity Manager brings a true one-touch mobile single sign-on (SSO) experience to the enterprise, a capability that is now a must-have in every enterprise IT organization. In recent years, identity and access control have emerged as key criteria by which independent analyst firms evaluate the enterprise mobility management (EMM) market. In a recent report on the global market for EMM, VDC Research called identity management “a key battleground going forward.”

But identity management—and SSO technology in particular—isn’t entirely new. It’s actually been around quite a while. So why is everyone talking about it now?

[Related: The Next Frontiers for EMM: Identity, Windows Apps & the Digital Workspace]

Securing the Future of Work

For IT, it’s never really mattered how cool a new technology is. If they’re uneasy about security, the tech isn’t implemented—regardless of end-user demands. For employees, if the tech IT gives them doesn’t make work easier, no one’s going to use it.

And we get it. IT is tired of resetting the many passwords end users have to juggle and terrified about getting fired over a security breach. Users, meanwhile, simply cannot miss out on opportunities to be productive because of clunky, burdensome login processes.

logging in

With identity management, we’re finally achieving what we thought was impossible and solving the biggest frustrations of both groups. Win-win-win.

[Related: VMware Identity Manager – A BYOD Solution Everyone Can Agree On]

The Future of Work Is Here—in the Cloud and on Mobile

As I look at the current state of IT, the workplace finally reflects the “future of work” trends experts predicted. For example, we’re no longer talking about working on multiple devices. That’s a reality. To make this a secure reality, IT needs sophisticated, contextual identity management to ensure the right devices and apps have access to corporate networks.

That mobile reality also means work no longer happens just on the corporate network. IT can’t just put a firewall in front of the data center. Companies need to build a new security perimeter around the user to remove the obstacles to working any time and any place.

mobile work apps

App-centric work is already a reality for many companies. Now that companies provide software to employees in some type of app form, “logging in” happens not just once, but many times throughout the workday. We need faster, easier and more secure ways for users to move through the many applications they need to do their jobs.

Finally, it comes back to something we’ve been talking about here at VMware: Enabling mobile moments. Our expectations for work productivity in the mobile-cloud era are not the same as they were in the PC era. Today, businesses expect work to happen in mere seconds, not minutes. Identity enables workers to pull out a device—laptop, desktop, mobile or “thing”—and quickly get into a secure app at any time and any place.

 [Related: What It Means to Be Productive in the Mobile-Cloud Era]

IoT’s Future Depends on Next-Gen Identity

Identity is also critical—and still evolving—to secure the next big trend in the future of work: Internet of Things (IoT). Industry experts predict IoT devices will officially join the workplace within years, rapidly increasing device ecosystems and opening up enterprises to new threats. Identity will help IT decide whether an employee can access work on a wearable and transfer data from devices in the field into the corporate network.

[Related: 5 Examples of IoT in Business]

We knew identity management would be crucial to these visions of the future of work. We’ve been able to provide innovative identity management solutions to meet today’s IT and user needs by getting started early. While everyone else was talking about these trends, we delivered a new identity-defined managed workspace to make it all possible today.

Watch my on-demand webinar now to learn more about the newest capabilities in Workspace ONE.

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