Supporting Enterprise Mobility: Cloud Assembled Workspaces

cloud_workspaces-1The demands of mobile are driving change at an incredible pace inside businesses. As a result, IT organizations are tasked to deliver applications securely and without compromising the end-user experience. It’s also extremely likely that all the applications are not neatly lined up in a row inside the data center, ready to be broadcast out to a variety of devices. The reality is that applications are going to be hosted and executed from a variety of locations—some corporate-owned and some publically hosted. This very real scenario creates a bit of a dilemma for IT.

The challenge for businesses is that applications are diversifying outside the corporate walls and IT needs to assemble the delivery of these workspaces as a comprehensive, corporate-managed work environment as I described in my previous blogs What’s a Workspace? and Supporting Enterprise Mobility: How to Create a Workspace. Currently, IT takes a single threaded approach that typically takes an application-by-application approach, but this isn’t going to meet demands of mobility. IT requires a platform that can:

Assemble: Compile the user information, applications, data, operating system knowledge, device type, and network access into a workspace designed for the user’s role and responsibilities.

Publish: Display and provide access to a workspace that can be explored and presented to the end-user.

Deliver: Optimize the connection between the workspace (independent of location) and user access across multiple devices for an optimal experience

The platform in theory could be executed, managed, and maintained in a variety of places, but it is my strong belief that it needs to have cloud-like point and click consumption characteristics to drive end-user adoption. It also needs to create access and administration controls beyond the core IT admin roll. Applications, desktops, and data can still reside in a variety of locations, but the pieces that complete a workspace—the federation of identity and policies associated with the end-user—have massive potential when aggregated onto a common platform. Also keep in mind that a cloud assembled workspace is more about how workspaces are consumed and less about where the platform resides. The public cloud, hosted private cloud, and on-premises (or some combination of the three) may all be viable options depending on the businesses.

Creating a cloud assembled workspace is not a trivial task and IT has been met with infrastructure and connectivity complexity that has held them back from aggregating multiple desktop and application delivery models onto a single platform. It’s relatively simple for an IT vendor to display a markettecture similar to the design goal we shared in the ESG market summary report, Workplace Delivery: Desktop, Application, and Mobility Platforms for Hybrid End-user Computing Environments, but either owning all the technology or partnering to pull together all the critical pieces can be a complex operational and partnering model inside these organizations

We will explore what IT vendors have accomplished to date with cloud assembled workspaces and what’s required to activate the workspaces, and highlight some potential market differentiators in my next blog Supporting Enterprise Mobility: How IT Vendors Are Helping Create Workspaces.


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