A recently launched Digital Workspace Alliance Ecosystem consortium is promising to make it simpler for IT organizations to navigate the inevitable challenges that will arise as more employees now work from anywhere.
In the immediate wake of the COVID-19 pandemic organization of all sizes were instantly forced to enable employees to work from home. In general, those efforts amounted to little more than provided access to a mobile computing device that had been configured with virtual private network (VPN) software.
As COVID-19 vaccinations become more widely distributed more employees will be returning more frequently to the office. However, it’s unlikely most of those employees will be working full-time in an office. A much greater percentage of employees will now be working regularly from both home, the office, and everywhere in between.
Enabling that level of flexibility will require IT organizations to provide employees with digital workspaces that can be accessed from anywhere. Those digital workspaces will provide employees with a consistent application experience regardless of where they happen to be located that is simpler for IT teams to centrally manage.
Defining the Digital Workspace
The initial sponsors of the Digital Workspace Alliance Ecosystem include Cameyo, appCURE, deviceTRUST, directprint.io, Fortinium, IGEL, Login VSI, PolicyPak, Tehama, and Tricerat. The goal is to educate IT teams what combination of technologies will be required to create digital workspaces that can be securely accessed from anywhere, says Robb Henshaw, chief marketing officer for Cameyo, a provider of virtual desktop software.
Despite the efforts of some IT vendors to position their offerings as a turnkey digital workspace, Henshaw said there is no such thing. A complete digital workspace includes all the networking and security technologies required to access it. The Digital Workspace Alliance Ecosystem consortium has published an assessment guide that identifies all the technologies an IT team needs to master to create, deploy, and manage a digital workspace environment.
“At this point there are already tens of thousands of vendors using the phrase,” says Henshaw.
At its core a digital workspace surfaces a portal through which an end user is able to access the application they have been given unique access to regardless of whether they run in an on-premises IT environment or in the cloud.
That approach makes it possible for IT teams to retain control over application environments in a way that provides end users with a more consistent user experience. It also helps combat a shadow IT phenomenon that has led to end users employing a wider range of applications that have not been approved by the organizations that employ them.
Also read: Best ITAM Software for 2021
Digital Workspaces Find Purpose
The concept of digital workspace was already starting to emerge before the pandemic arrived. However, as organizations begin to grapple with making it possible for all employees to work from anywhere, the expectation is that digital workspaces may be an idea whose time has finally come.
In the meantime, the Digital Workspace Alliance Ecosystem consortium promises even in the absence of support from major players such as Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix to provide objective vendor-neutral content that will facilitate transitions to digital workspaces in an era where many IT organizations are currently experiencing an acute lack of control over the endpoints they are supposed to manage.