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[Infographic] What Is a Digital Workspace?

A new report from VMware reveals what’s empowering employees today: High accessibility to the apps they prefer and need to do their job. Empowered employees collaborate with teams 16% more, make 16% faster decisions and are almost five times more likely to improve their personal productivity.

The first step to empowering employees is empowering the digital workspace.

Why a Digital Workspace?

Work has completely changed. For starters, most of us now work on the move:

  • Mobile workers—telecommuters, business travelers, field workers—will make up nearly three-quarters of the U.S. workforce by 2020, predicted IDC.
  • Employees at the office now only spend 40-50% of their time at a desk, reports Global Workplace Analytics.
  • Instead, about 71% of employees spend two hours or more each week working on mobile devices, according to Fierce Mobile IT.

More importantly, our jobs—from doctors to bank tellers—increasingly depend less on traditional, inefficient paper processes. Industries are reinventing the way they do business with more efficient, digital processes:

Finally, we want to use the same technology we prefer in our personal lives for work purposes, too. This consumerization of IT has directly impacted the digital transformation of entire organizations.

“Consumerization is the specific impact that consumer-originated technologies can have on enterprises. It reflects how enterprises will be affected by, and can take advantage of, new technologies and models that originate and develop in the consumer space, rather than in the enterprise IT sector. Consumerization is not a strategy or something to be ‘adopted.’ Consumerization can be embraced and it must be dealt with, but it cannot be stopped.”
Gartner IT Glossary

As a result, organizations are rethinking the way they manage, secure and support mobile-minded, cloud-based users with apps, devices and data. So, what’s the solution? A digital workspace.

What Does a Digital Workspace Do?

More IT decision-makers think “mobile first.”

About 40% of companies make mobile-first experiences a priority for all business apps, not just for field service and sales teams—and for good reason. Half of employees now use enterprise apps on their phones and say they are 34% more productive working on smartphones, according to Samsung and Frost & Sullivan research.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps make up a growing share of enterprise apps, and IT still has to support and update legacy, native and web apps. Because of this wide variety of apps, inconsistencies in user experience can arise, maintaining security posture can be a challenge and support requirements can escalate costs.

With a digital workspace, IT quickly, securely and cost-effectively delivers all of these apps anywhere. Anytime, anywhere, any device availability helps streamline mobile workflows for productivity, field service, sales, HR and travel apps—mobile apps yielding the highest ROI. This enables IT not only to support modern workforces, but also to drive business innovation and rapidly respond to changing markets. For example:

Who Does a Digital Workspace Benefit?

IT gains enterprise security from a digital workspace, as well as a way to integrate all tools and services, deliver the best user experiences and contain the costs of Shadow IT. Meanwhile, end users gain consumer-simple mobile workflows, quick and seamless access to apps, consistent experiences across all device types and self-service functionality (which also drives down help desk tickets and service calls).

Ultimately, this enterprise-grade security and consumer simplicity saves both IT and end users time with:

  • Rapid Deployment: Organizations can onboard employees across devices within one hour.
  • Contextual Control: IT teams can establish access policies for any app in one place.
  • Mobile Access: Employees can complete transactional workflows in less than 72 seconds.
  • Remote Management: Businesses can provision a corporate laptop from anywhere within minutes.

How Does a Digital Workspace Accomplish That?

A digital workspace platform provides the necessary infrastructure to accomplish key IT initiatives, including technologies to:

  • app_access_managementSimplify App and Access Management: A digital workspace provides a single place for employees to access every app provisioned to them by IT with mobile single sign-on.
  • Unify Endpoint Management: From this single, integrated platform, IT securely manages every app and every device across the organization—PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets , smartphones, purpose-built devices, wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
  • Transform Windows Delivery: Organizations use a digital workspace to more efficiently provision and manage Windows 10 PCs with out-of-the-box experiences for end users and zero-touch processes for IT.

The technologies enabling each key IT initiative lay the foundation for digital innovation.

When VITAS Healthcare deployed over 2,200 mobile devices, the company was able to replace heavy, paper binders carried by nurses with digital content that automatically updates with the latest information.

United Airlines saved 16 million sheets of paper—and as a result, 326,000 gallons of jet fuel—per year by replacing 40-pound flight bags with electronic flight manuals on tablets.

Each component of a digital workspace helps IT deliver information to users when and where they need it.

Where Do You Start?

IT is in the best position to transform the business, because businesses transform when they provide great user experiences. The digital workspace is a defining, employee-centric model for end-user computing in the mobile-cloud era.

Explore ways to empower the digital workspace with VMware now, and learn more about how empowered employees drive business performance at Forbes.


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