Present day technology has really transformed the way organizational workloads are executed. Every organization, big or small, wants to get its hands on the latest technology to gain a competitive edge. However, most companies tend to ignore their actual needs and end up paying more but deriving lesser value.
What is a Digital Workspace?
Broadly speaking, a Digital Workplace encompasses all the individual pieces of technology any business employs to execute its processes, both efficiently and effectively. As the size and operational scope of an organization increases, its need for applications and software will also generally increase.
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This situation results in the creation of a highly complex environment which is so inter woven and dependent on the individual elements that it becomes impossible to tweak the system. Even the slightest changes here will go on affect several other processes, prompting a pro status quo approach.
Digitally Integrated Workplace
Instead of orchestrating a digital workplace that is created by mix and match of disparate resources, a digital workplace should function as a cohesive whole. What this means is that the addition or removal of a productivity app should not affect the functionality of the remaining system in any way.
Secondly, the work flow is highly systematic in any digitally integrated workplace. There is no over lap between individual functions so that any slack in one aspect does not go on to jeopardize the delivery cycle of the entire process. Overall, any such platform should facilitate collaboration and close coordination for task execution.
Adaptive Digital Workplace
Business environment is increasingly becoming dynamic in which organizational needs are changing at a very rapid pace. A well planned digital work environment should be geared more towards adaptability and flexibility rather than mere efficiency.
Now, let’s outline some defining characteristics of a well conceived digital workplace and how will it help in achieving organizational goals effectively.
Ease of Access
The modern workplace needs have become independent of the concept of physical time and space. Employees should be able to connect to work without even physically having to show up at the workplace. This ease should not stop here and also incorporate the facility of supporting multiple device platforms and operating systems.
Once access related barriers are removed in the digital workplace, the next key facet is that of functionality. As every additional functionality adds to the complexity of the environment, this area needs a deep thought. The rule of thumb here is to include all required functionality and do away with unrequired features.
This will keep the footprint of your digital workplace well in check and also drive down licensing costs as your entity will not be paying for any functionality that is not required in the first place. For the end users, this will imply less functions to contend with and this is good for organizational efficiency.
When prospecting and deploying a digital workplace, its user friendliness should be a major factor. Consider your employees as a customer of the digital workplace and work on how you can make their lives easier. Further, the learning curve for employees to familiarize themselves with the system should not be steep.
This in turn will keep employees motivated as they would be able to witness the fruits of their efforts firsthand. Such a digital workplace will also reduce the time it takes any new employee of the company to fully start performing the tasks associated with the relevant appointment or organizational role.
Each organization has a set of core data that it considers as key to executing the various organizational processes. Most importantly, this data will ultimately have to be integrated seamlessly into the new digital workplace. The success of any such solution will hinge on how well has organizational data integrated in the new system.
Why a Hosted Digital Workplace?
Once a principal decision has been made towards transitioning to a digital workplace, the next critical question to answer is the type of architecture over which to build this environment. Any organization can choose among the following two most basic alternatives.
Physical / End Point Architecture
In this deployment model, the elements of digital workplace will be installed over each and every physical device that is part of the organizational network. This option not only requires the procurement of costly IT hardware, it will also demand a large IT workforce to manage so many end point devices.
Upgrading and patching the components of such a workplace will have to be undertaken over each end point individually, which will not only increase the complexity but also curtail the agility of an organization that opts for this deployment architecture.
Lastly, the security of so many end point devices will also be an administrative nightmare as any vulnerability in even a single end point device can potentially expose the entire organizational network to internal and external threats. This model is also likely to impose access and productivity related barriers for employees.
Hosted or Cloud Powered Workplace
In this deployment model, the elements of your digital workplace will remain converged over a central point called a data center. Depending on each individual scenario, this data center may be set up in house on the organization’s premise or sourced from third party Cloud Service Providers (CSP).
Both the above models have their pros and cons. If you deploy the virtualization architecture on premise, a large capital investment will be required to set up the data center and other support hardware. This elaborate hardware will also require constant maintenance and upgrading to extract optimal performance.
If the architecture for your digital workplace is sourced from a CSP, it will save the organization both capital and administrative costs as all the hardware will be the responsibility of the CSP. In exchange, the organization will pay a variable usage fee to the CSP based on the utilization of IT resources.
How Will a Virtualized Digital Workplace Work?
Regardless of whether you go for on premise or CSP sourced deployment model, your digital workplace will be converged at a central data center. End users or employees will securely log into the work environment through one of many supported device platforms and execute work thereon.
This model in independent of the concept of time and space. Your employees will be able to access the digital workplace via smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop using either the internet or a secure intranet. This removes the need for physically showing up at the workplace.
A virtualized digital workplace will open new avenues for productivity on the go that is also secure. From a security standpoint, it is much more feasible to secure a central data repository as compared to countless end point devices. Any changes, patches or updates will also have to be performed over a centralized location.
Workplace digitization will soon become a necessity for organizations rather than a choice, especially if they want to remain competitive in this technology driven environment. The choice of deployment model will vary with the unique preferences and circumstances of each individual entity.