How the Digital Workspace Changes the Way Work Gets Done

Noah Wasmer, Senior Vice President of Mobile Engineering and Product Management, End-User Computing at VMware

Noah Wasmer, Senior Vice President of Mobile Engineering and Product Management, End-User Computing at VMware

As I sit and write this, a stat from last year keeps popping into my mind. Forty-six percent of smartphone users told Pew Research that they “couldn’t live without” their smartphones. Considering that the same report cites that nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, our love affair with consumer technology grows deeper every year. In my daily work-life of helping businesses guide mobility strategy, I ask myself this question every day: Why do we love our technology in our personal lives and just deal with it in our professional worlds? And what can we do to bring that consumer love into our businesses?

Here’s the simple answer: We need to change the way work is done.

Bidding a Long Farewell to the Standard Operating Environment

Before the proliferation of consumer app stores and smartphones, the Internet of Things and cloud computing, business “productivity” was simple: a PC, Microsoft Office, a keyboard and mouse. But as we got our hands on tech innovations on the consumer side, IT was forced to make exceptions to this standard operating environment. Individuals and teams clamored for consumer tech that made their unique roles more productive and efficient.

Field service technicians needed rugged devices. Marketing leaders bought new line-of-business software. Retail stores implemented mobile points of sale devices. Home-care nurses needed tablets with unique applications. The list goes on and on. The way work got done changed gradually, before our very eyes, and the standard operating environment is now anything but standard. Welcome to the dynamic operating environment, or what we call the digital workspace.

But how, exactly, does a business balance an individual worker’s demand for a new app or device with IT’s heady responsibility of securing corporate data, mitigating risk, and managing a growing heterogeneous environment—all this (and much more) with increasingly tight budgets? What we’ve needed for years is a solution that changes what was once an IT-versus-end-user technology battle and fundamentally transforms the way work gets done.

Today, we launched VMware AirWatch 8.3 with two primary goals: bring the consumer-simple experience that we all love into the enterprise, and help IT securely and intelligently deliver a smarter digital workspace. We looked not only at the console or app, but at delivering a unified offering that advances beyond mobility and into the new era of the digital workspace. For end users, this is all about devices, apps, and trust.

Changing the Way Users Get Work Done

Bring the App Store to the Enterprise

We all love the ease of use and wide variety of choices offered by the consumer app store. If we want MobileDay or Waze or Minecraft, we just launch an app store and get it on our device. In the enterprise, however, that single location for all-things-business-apps did not exist, primarily because only 6 percent of business software is available on mobile. Until now.

AirWatch 8.3 will enable enterprises to bring the consumer-simple app store experience to its users through the VMware Workspace ONE application. Through this unified app catalog, users will be able to access any business application—native, web, or remote—on any device. And by enabling this ecosystem in a mobile application management container, IT will be able to finally deliver this business app ecosystem securely and simply with the added bonus of no passwords for end users.

Transparency and Privacy

With AirWatch 8.3, we also tackled one of the biggest barriers to end-user adoption: trust. Employees can be wary of allowing IT to access and manage their mobile devices, especially in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments. Mobile operating system providers have taken steps to create a wall between IT and the end user for areas such as text messaging, apps, and FaceTime. Through the AirWatch EMM console, we’ve taken even more steps to establish that privacy as a two-way dialogue between users and IT, helping both parties establish trust through education, transparency, and improved communication. Dive into how here.

Changing the Way IT Gets Work Done.

Delivering a Smart, Secure Digital Workspace

For the first time since I’ve been in end-user computing, we’ve made it possible for IT to get out of the business of speeds and feeds and into enabling a smarter, more secure way to work. We’ve done this with three really powerful innovations:

  1. In partnership with Apple and using anonymous aggregated data from more than 62,000 VMware End-User Computing customers, AirWatch 8.3 will introduce new Industry Templates into the EMM console. These intelligent, wizard-driven workflows will get rid of complicated app deployments and help boost adoption by delivering the right apps to the right users in just a few clicks.
  2. Long the unicorn for mobile teams everywhere, granting conditional, barrier-free access to business information will finally be a reality. It’s all made possible by VMware’s new digital workspace capabilities. Leveraging VMware Identity Manager, native OS controls, AirWatch, and new patent-pending SATS technology, IT can better secure corporate data and deliver a simplified experience to users by eliminating password barriers. Delve into this technology here.
  3. For too many years, mobility has been separately secured from the data center. Now, AirWatch and VMware NSX have come together even further to enable IT to dynamically manage security policies from a single console. By micro-segmenting the data center and mobile access simultaneously, IT secures the digital workspace’s data center connection through the mobile app footprint, data, devices, and networks.

Embracing the Consumer in Your Enterprise

The reason we love technology in our personal lives is simple, really. We use smartphones and apps to make things easier, shifting what was once a manual, difficult process into a faster, smarter, and more exciting digital experience. Instead of dealing with spreadsheets and account books, we use Mint for smarter budgeting. Instead of looking at printed directions, we use Waze to get us there faster. But most work tech is just too hard, and that’s why our love affair with technology hasn’t jumped the fence into our business worlds. But I believe new innovations such as the ones above are changing the very way work is done. We are finally entering a new era, where businesses embrace the consumer within the enterprise and develop secure digital workspaces that deliver powerful tools to transform the way work is done.

But the best part of it all? We’re now one tap away from a delightful, engaging, and productive experience that can help us fall back in love with work.