The Digital Workspace represents a total change in the way IT distributes services to end users, which allows companies to distribute the applications and data that employees need to work on any device. Taking advantage of current cloud-based management technologies, Digital Workspace solutions offer a ready-to-use self-service User Experience that can be extended to any platform, location and model of device ownership.
From the union of new work spaces and communication technologies comes the concept of Digital Workplace, defined by Gartner as
“a business strategy that makes innovative and more effective ways of working possible, which improves the involvement and agility of employees , and that uses consumer-oriented technologies and models”
The strategic and long-term aspect becomes more evident when looking at the numbers. This is a trend that now regards a large part of the companies, in particular the large ones, among which 36% have already launched structured projects (they were 30% in 2016), and one out of two has started or is about to start a Digital Workplace project (Digital Innovation Observatories 2017 data). But it's not just a question of numbers. The pioneer companies have realized the potential of the Digital Workplace and it is evident that the combination of technologies and quality work spaces stimulate creativity and commitment among collaborators.
Which are the key elements?
The Digital Workspace requires the presence of five key features. To begin with, it must put the User Experience first, as both the app and the methods of use must be simple and oriented as much as possible to the user, with a user experience that essentially reflects that of the consumer world. It must also comply with the Accessibility criteria: the apps that make up the Digital Workspace must be accessible "anytime and anywhere" not only from computers but also and above all from smartphones and tablets, precisely to offer maximum flexibility to work anywhere.
The third requirement is closely related to the second, and it also requires importance to be given to Device Management, ie the management of all the different types of devices that people can use to access their Digital Workspace. The fourth fundamental requirement is that of Security, which must cover both the network and all endpoints (here all the details on the safe management of endpoints by VMware), while automation is placed fifth: given the presence of a number With increasing numbers of devices, apps and even threats, the Digital Workspace can reach remarkable degrees of complexity. And the most automated possible management of the various aspects that make it up can certainly contribute to minimizing both costs and risks.
Five basic requirements for the Digital Workspace
- Design focused on employee user experience
- Application distribution anytime, anywhere
- Modern device management
- User experience and security management
- Automation as a key to success
Which are the advantages of a digital workspace?
The reasons for the growing interest in Digital Workspace must be found in the advantages offered by the diffusion of technologies that make remote collaboration possible: it is not just a question of notebooks, tablets or smartphones, but above all of platforms and sharing tools that really perform, which often they are also useful for the collaboration between people physically present in the same place, as happens in the traditional office, or that they are in distant offices. Thanks to the technologies that enable the Digital Workspace, document flows can be managed in an automated manner, or protected virtual spaces can be created in which documents and files are securely exchanged. All this regardless of where you are and what device you are using, be it the classic PC or notebook or a tablet or smartphone. Finally, in the digital workspace even external resources such as customers, suppliers or consultants can be more actively involved in different projects or in business life.
So, why should I get a Digital Workspace?
The choice to adopt the Digital Workplace leads to a win-win situation, in which both the worker and the company can benefit from it. The advantages for companies can be many, some of them quantifiable, others intangible:
- productivity linked to a more effective use of technological tools available to employees and rapid access to relevant information;
- awareness of how to use work spaces according to work activities;
- encouraging working methods based on collaboration and not only on hierarchy and bureaucracy, thanks to a more transparent sharing of information and greater simplicity of communication beyond the geographical boundaries of offices, offices and countries;
- to foster innovation through physical spaces in which to communicate and exchange ideas between colleagues, creating communities of people with different skills;
- attractiveness for talents, thanks to adequate offices and modern and collaborative working methods, which guarantee the involvement of workers, both young and more experienced;
The digital transformation of the work environment is only at the beginning and will have an impact not only on companies and collaborators, but also on construction companies, architects, technology suppliers and society as a whole. The offices will not go out of style, as Cairncross theorized in the 1990s, but the technology will revitalize and transform them. It doesn't really matter "to go beyond the concept of distance" as much as to build a new proximity, which allows individuals to collaborate together by meeting each other in physical and virtual spaces, pleasing, easy to use, open.