Defining the digital workspace

What on earth is a digital workspace?

Us IT people love our buzz words: cloud, blockchain, SaaS, big data, IoT… But even some IT people are unsure about exactly what another buzz word encompasses: digital workspace. So what is a digital workspace – and why is it something you need to keep in mind? Let’s dig in.

What is the definition of a digital workspace?

The term digital workspace has been used by everyone to describe virtually everything – from SharePoint sites, to virtual desktops, to workflow solutions, to app catalogues… The list goes on!

So who’s right? Well, all of them.

You see, your digital workspace is made up of all the digital tools that your people need to be productive. If you all need is a SharePoint site, then that’s YOUR digital workspace. However, another company might scoff at that – because their digital workspace needs to encompass everything from SalesForce and Microsoft Office 365 through to custom apps delivered by RDS or Citrix.

When working with clients, we’re creating hugely varied digital workspaces – from ones made up of only Microsoft tools for management of devices, apps, and configurations to others that combine VMware with Citrix virtual desktops. No one size fits all, and for many it’s a case of mix and match to find the unique fit for your organisation and your people.

While a digital workspace is simply the digital tools that your people need to be productive, there are core tenants that make a digital workspace successful. We’ve covered those in a previous blog, so check it out if you haven’t done so already.

How does it fit into the modern workplace?

There’s also a lot of talk about the modern workplace – another buzz phrase that’s mostly hung about thanks to Microsoft and its efforts to show what’s possible by adopting Microsoft 365.

However, there’s so much more to the modern workplace than just Office 365. The modern workplace encompasses everything about how employees work in today’s work environment – from the tools they use, to the culture created, to the physical environment. The constant changes in the modern workplace are creating huge pressure on organisations to adapt, and IT departments are under the most pressure of all.

With all the digital transformation occurring, people rely even more on access to the apps and data they need to be productive. From multiple devices to BYOD to cloud and SaaS apps – employees now expect to work from anywhere, at any time, and IT have to make that happen while keeping data protected.

What’s more, organisations are looking for a competitive advantage – a way to attract and retain the best people; a way to improve employee experience.

That’s where a digital workspace comes in. When done well, a digital workspace solves the problems IT are facing due to the demands of the modern workspace. It enables employees’ need to be able to work from anywhere, at any time – increasing productivity and improving employee engagement. It’s a vital tool in supporting the modern workplace – and one your organisation absolutely needs to be strategic about.

Creating the right digital workspace for your organisation

So what does your own digital workspace look like? Only you and your organisation can figure that one out.

Ask yourself – do you know what your people really need? If not, you probably don’t know what your ideal digital workspace looks like.

If you haven’t already created a digital workspace vision and strategy, now would be a good time to develop one. As you work through the process of defining your vision and strategy, it will become clear what your unique digital workspace looks and feels like – especially if you’re honest about what your people really need. Even more importantly, it should make it easy to identify what technology will enable you to allow your people to be productive and secure from anywhere – instead of wasting time, energy, and budget on tools that aren’t right for you and your teams.

In a future blog, we’ll walk through the steps we use to develop a digital workspace vision and strategy with our customers. Until then, feel free to get in touch to discuss how we can help you shape your digital workspace.

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