From a user’s perspective, a workspace is a window into an environment that includes all the necessary tools and information for performing her job. In some sense, this is akin to the consumer view of an app store, but there is more to the story in a business setting. We covered the details of Supporting Enterprise Mobility: How to Create a Workspace in a previous blog and discussed the options IT has to create Supporting Enterprise Mobility: Cloud Assembled Workspaces. Let’s cover two of the key ingredients that a user should expect:
Single Sign-on: SSO is a must-have for a user as he interfaces with his assigned workspace. A user is assigned a single username and password that enables access to her workspace and it travels with her regardless of operating system, application (think SaaS apps), and location. The IT organization owns the identity, but the user also needs the ability to request password resets and it must follow corporate password policies. Also note that this will include MFA (multi-factor authentication) for greater trust and authenticity.
Portal: This is a single location that is reflected to the employee after he is prompted for his login credentials. It may be an HTML link or a locally installed application used to broker the connection. The access portal will vary greatly based on the maturity of the mobility implementation. In its simplest form, a user will see and be granted access to a set of applications based on device type and location, which is typically tied to identifying the network. More mature implementations will include access to files, collaboration and communication tools, and self-help capabilities.
The nirvana situation for businesses is to arm all employees with an SSO portal that enables access to a dynamic workspace that not only improves access to the tools they need, but also enhances productivity and job satisfaction. A user can turn corporate-owned and personal devices into productivity machines without the aid of IT staff and workflow delays.
Simplicity is critical from the end-user’s perspective as businesses make the transition to managing workspaces for end-users. Once granted initial logon credentials, the employee should be able to quickly see, access, and use the applications, data, and communication tools she needs without the help of an IT staff member. Application and data access may have a different view based on location and device type, but the user should still be able to consume information and be productive with as little outside assistance as possible.
This transition is upon us and it is changing the way employees interact with applications and with their peers. Expect traditional desktop and application management tools to coexist with workspaces for the near term, but anticipate the workspace becoming the standard for all employees.