In my previous blog, What’s a Workspace?, I helped put some structure around workspaces and highlighted the key attributes. Now that we have a better understanding of what goes into a workspace and provisioning based on identity, we turn our focus to creating a workspace.
The first thing we need to understand is that there is no single technology for creating a workspace. Rather, it is a combination of technologies that enable IT to seek improved control and deliver an uncompromised experience for the end-user to succeed in a dynamic and mobile world. Secondly, a successful transformation to a workspace includes activity across people, process, and technology. We will focus primarily on the technology in this blog, but it’s worth noting that ESG is witnessing companies achieve their workspace goals when they have an internal advocate that can glue business application usage and process together with any IT investments.
The initial steps, in priority order, include the three As:
Access – Develop an IAM (identity and access management) strategy that includes a common framework that can federate usernames, password, and policy across corporate-hosted, cloud-hosted, and SaaS applications.
Applications – Identify the employee role and the applications associated with her responsibilities. This often begins with tackling e-mail, calendar, and contacts, but quickly rolls into identifying what applications (or really what business processes) can benefit from consuming (and ideally thinking ahead to producing) information on mobile devices.
Assemble – After securing access and identifying applications, it’s time to create a corporate portal (or what we are seeing more commonly referred to as a corporate app store). IT will also have to leverage existing application and desktop delivery models to broadcast applications. This includes the centralized management of user data and applications that are on-premises and cloud hosted.
Without checking off these three steps, a business may be able to deliver an application or a data set to an end-user, but the value of having a workspace associated with an employee that can be leveraged across multiple devices and networks will be diminished. Additionally, IT will wrestle with tactical deployments and potentially delay the business’s strategic mobility initiatives.
IT organizations have some significant heavy lifting to do here. They likely have some SaaS applications, but not single sign-on across SaaS and non-SaaS applications. Some IT organizations invested in EMM (enterprise mobility management) solutions, but either turn the endpoint device into a black box or use it in a very restrictive manner for a limited set of employees. Other businesses have gone ahead and developed new mobile applications or enhanced HTML applications for a mobile platform, but here again they have point solutions hanging out on their own and not becoming a part of an integrated workspace.
I will explore this further in following blogs that look into how IT organizations may be able to leverage Supporting Enterprise Mobility: Cloud Assembled Workspaces and Supporting Enterprise Mobility: How IT Vendors Are Helping Create Workspaces.