Life in the Digital Workspace

By Sean Washington

The Concept of “Work” is Changing

These days, rarely is the modern workplace a static location where employees go everyday to be productive. Brick and mortar, cubicles, and supply closets are being supplanted by secure, digital workspaces with an abundance of virtual tools.

What’s making this seismic shift in work possible is the unprecedented adoption and convergence of mobility, cloud, virtualization, and cyber security technologies. Digital workspaces are becoming powerful competitive differentiators in all industries. That’s because businesses are seeking new levels of agility in their processes and service delivery methods. They also want flexibility for their employees.

Why Go Digital

In the virtual work model, all the data, communications, and other resources that workers need are accessible with a few clicks. That helps workers resolve issues wherever they are and move on.

Most workers are on the go at least some of the time. Making them as effective as they would be in an office – if not more so – when in other locations has become an important strategy to:

  • Boost employee productivity
  • Enhance employee satisfaction, loyalty, and retention
  • Grow profits
  • Improve service delivery and customer satisfaction
  • Expand learning experiences in educational environments
  • Improve care and even save lives in healthcare situations

All this puts your organization ahead of the game.

The Digital Imperative

For competitive and personal reasons, most people in the modern workforce have grown beyond the 9-to-5 mentality. Virtual work lets them do what they need to do when and where it is most appropriate. This puts more flexibility into the worker’s schedule for life-work balance while benefitting the employer.

In fact, virtual work already is having a meaningful impact on the way employees do their jobs and deliver value to their organizations. Companies report improvements to employee capabilities in a broad range of areas including problem solving (69 percent), customer service (66 percent), stress management (65 percent), and collaboration (63 percent), according to Oxford Economics.

Secure anywhere, anytime access

Most of us know what it’s like to run parts of our lives digitally from our smartphones, tablets, and notebooks. We love being able to resolve our personal business on the spot. Giving those capabilities to workers is both empowering and satisfying to people such as:

Healthcare workers

Many spend their time at patients’ bedsides. There, they can consult instructions, administer medications, and update patient charts. More time with patients translates into improved healthcare and possibly lives saved. Similarly, clinicians can get secure remote access to patient data, and doctors on-call can view charts and X-rays from home. This saves precious time in helping patients who might need treatment right away.

Financial personnel

Advisors and traders can’t afford any delays when executing trades and other transactions on behalf of their clients. They gain faster, real-time connections to information and people to improve the quality of timely decisions for performance and asset management.


Teachers can enhance the classroom experience with digital learning, which increases interaction, conversation, problem- based lessons, and project-based learning. All to improve the quality of education.

Enhanced employee experience

  • Communication and employee engagement
  • Collaboration
  • Finding and sharing of information
  • Access to business applications
  • The ability to be productive anytime and place

IT and business capability

  • End user computing
  • Mobility management
  • Networking, including wireless networks

Security and access

  • Applications
  • Endpoints
  • Data
  • Hosting
  • Network

Unification eases management, boosts security

Unified management of apps, desktops, data and endpoints simplifies overall management for IT. Further, a centralized management approach provides secure remote access to the end user: data remains secure either in the datacenter, cloud or on the end point devices.

Mobility and unified endpoint management (UEM) play a large role in all this. It is a multifaceted discipline that was once fragmented and difficult to control. Enterprise Mobility Management now plays a greater role as a part of Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) which centralizes the management of mobile devices, traditional desktop and laptops, and IoT. UEM combined with workspace aggregation which includes virtual desktop, application and network security capabilities are the underlying architecture for a digital workspace.

The two big challenges

Managing the anywhere-office is solved by the secure digital workspace. But creating a digital workspace is not without other challenges.

  1. Seamless employee adoption— ensuring high-quality, consistent employee experiences that mirror what workers experience in their personal lives. If the tools they use to work mimic their experiences with personal devices, such as access to apps through an app store, users will eagerly adopt their digital tools and reap those productivity gains.
  2. Always-on security—making sure all your corporate data remains secure across clouds and mobile devices and networks. Both user experience and security are critical, and it’s a constant balancing act to succeed at both.

According to mobile researcher CCS Insight, many firms are simply paralyzed by the challenges of old technology plus the organizational change required to overhaul the future of work. But these issues are increasingly being addressed through secure digital workspaces.

Taming the security monster

Virtualizing apps and desktops can take care of a large part of the security concern. Because the apps, desktops and data are centralized in the datacenter or cloud, sensitive information does not reside on the physical device. Users can see and manipulate the data on their devices, but they are actually working on data that securely resides elsewhere.

App virtualization gives you a way to manage risk by storing and delivering your apps from a central data center or the cloud. The architecture is inherently secure because there’s no actual transfer of data. That means if a device is lost or stolen, there’s no local data to leak out to those who shouldn’t see it. The data stays secure and the company is not compromised.

In some, mobile cases users may also want to use native apps. However, without the right security solutions in place such as EMM, secure network gateways, and file sync and share, sensitive data stored on the device or in consumer cloud storage, social networks or unmanaged apps can fall prey to attacks.

How businesses are benefiting

Swiss insurer puts workplaces in employee pockets

Companies in traditional industries like insurance can sometimes struggle to attract millennials and other tech-savvy recruits. To shake things up, the Baloise Group, an insurance and pensions company in Basel, Switzerland, turned to flexible working. With the Citrix solutions, Baloise Group’s 7,500 employees can use their own mobile devices to work anywhere while still keeping their client details secure. Its IT team can roll out updates – which used to take 30 days – in a single night. “You have your workplace with you, in your pocket,” says Markus Marksteiner, Group CTO. “Even if you leave the office and shut down your session, you start working again on the train, and the cursor is in the same position as you left it in the office. This is the future. This is how it should work.”

Major League Baseball team mobilizes the fan experience

When the Miami Marlins were finishing construction on their state-of-the-art ballpark, they knew they needed an equally advanced IT infrastructure that would enable their 500-plus employees to be as agile and quick as their famous players.

Using the Citrix solutions, employees can work anytime, anywhere—inside or outside the stadium:

  • Scouts have a secure way to safely transmit sensitive information back to the team.
  • Mobile sales team can now show a 3D-stadium model to customers, letting them choose their seats. They can fulfill the order immediately, resulting in greater sales and customer satisfaction.
  • The Marlins can easily scale resources up during the height of the baseball season, quickly adding to its sales force and call center to improve customer support.

Banking on the Citrix Digital Workspace

With a secure, integrated digital workspace from Citrix, IT can help organizations provide better customer service, securely accommodate contract and mobile workers, and drive a competitive advantage. A Citrix digital workspace is the only single-vendor solution to offer all the key technologies necessary to securely deliver apps, desktops and data to users on any device.

The solution provides worker freedom to choose how, where, and when work happens, delivering:

  • Flexible access from anywhere with cloud-based options
  • Data protection regardless of where data is accessed and used
  • Seamless user experiences regardless of device, location or network conditions. Users access applications, desktops and data easily and securely from smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs, using the same familiar interface.

Citrix is re-imagining the future of work, unlocking creativity, productivity, and innovation to make the extraordinary possible. From healthcare to financial services to the manufacturing floor, people have real-time intelligence and are connected in ways that allow them to work faster and smarter to deliver greater outcomes for the business and customers alike.

*Original Content from Citrix

Tags: Virtual Desktop

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