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[Whitepaper] 8 Recommendations for a Secure Digital Workspace

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This is the third blog in a series for The Digital Workspace Checklist, a new whitepaper from industry analyst Ovum. Read the first and second blogs here. Access the full checklist here.

The digital workspace is the next evolution in end-user computing, but what does it look like? What should you look for in a secure digital workspace?

Find out in this preview of a chapter from The Digital Workspace Checklist.

A workspace that preserves the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of corporate data and information

The general ambivalence of the workforce toward centralized information management systems, combined with the continued increase in enterprise mobility and remote working patterns, has led to a situation where an increasing amount of business information is located at the edge of the corporate network, stored on laptops, smartphones, tablets, employee-owned devices, and the ubiquitous “cloud drive.” Indeed, the number of ways in which corporate data can be exposed and leaked is increasing every day. Because this information is often produced and acquired by customer- or partner-facing employees, it tends to be high in commercial value and can be sensitive in nature. The business impact of this can be seen in Figure 4: Important IT trends, with the management of security, identity, and privacy ranking near the top of Ovum’s ICT Enterprise Insights survey.

Employees and business managers generally appreciate the need for information security management systems, especially when they are clearly linked with the protection and preservation of sensitive corporate data. But this appreciation can start to wane when the implementation of policies results in cumbersome processes, additional burden on the business, and a poor IT experience for the employee. When it comes to end-user computing, Ovum surveys suggest that more than half of enterprises are demanding more than the IT department is currently able to deliver.

Experienced security professionals know that this is the point when organizations become vulnerable, because it is human nature to look for the path of least resistance and optimum performance. Thus, a modern digital workspace must seek to embrace popular storage and collaboration solutions, enhancing manageability and auditability where possible, or replacing the functionality that such solutions provide with something equally as useful, if not more so.

Executives are constantly on the lookout for opportunities that can help them grow their businesses. From an IT perspective, this desire manifests itself in the constant search for trustworthy partners that can shoulder some of the burden associated with the provision, operation, and automation of enterprise IT. And nowhere is this desire felt more strongly than in the search for affordable, practical services that help address the issues and challenges associated with end-user information security management. Other examples high on the list include accelerated business transformation, enterprise mobility, and on-premise/cloud hybridization.

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Source: Ovum’s ICT Enterprise Insights program*

A feature of the modern digital workspace has to be its ability to adapt to changing business requirements while maintaining an appropriate threat protection posture. Enterprise mobility management is clearly part of the solution, integrating the management of multiple different devices, along with the applications and data associated with them. But a fully managed digital workspace solution has to go one step further: it has to free business leaders so they can better focus on identifying new business opportunities; it has to free employees so they can better focus on serving customers; and it has to free IT departments so they can better focus on adding value to the business. Service outsourcers, managed service providers, and systems integrators can help to create this freedom, and can also add value to lines of business with specific expertise and industry knowledge.

The modern digital workspace also has to accommodate specific industry, corporate, and geological data protection requirements. This means that solutions and their implementations must be appropriately certified and audited. Recent changes in the US-EU Safe Harbor agreement serve to highlight the kind of issue that can arise almost without warning, and that enterprises and government departments must be ready to respond to.

Free Checklist for a Secure Digital Workspace

digital-workspace-checklist-vmware-ovumAccording to analyst firm Ovum, a modern digital workspace should meet eight essential requirements, such as compliance, flexibility, productivity and more. Click here for the entire checklist.

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