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Powering Digital Transformation with Software Defined Workspaces

Powering Digital Transformation with Software Defined Workspaces
September 07, 2017

Digital trends have long benchmarked our experience & expectations in the consumer world, the same have now swept into enterprises, which though being a clear opportunity to differentiate also poses a very real challenge: “Infuse digital into your DNA, or face the very real challenge of perishing”. This digital wave has not just disrupted business models, but also the way workforce and consumers interact, communicate and collaborate for work, making workplace digital transformation one of the primary building blocks of any digital transformation initiative.

Human-centricity- The ‘Real Differentiator’

Business leaders, leading analysts, and IT service providers concur on an understanding that by 2020, the greatest source of competitive advantage for all organizations will come from the workforce's ability to creatively exploit digital technologies and the fact that most organizations will include employee engagement improvement as a shared performance objective for HR and IT groups.

The successful digital workplace transformations will henceforth be marked by an acute focus on the human-experience, beyond the obvious goal of successful implementation of digital technology trends, tools and processes. A workplace assessed on this benchmark translates into as much a HR initiative allowing attraction and retention of a talented, engaged and a millennial workforce that can foster innovation, enhanced productivity, and an agile and responsive business with faster times-to-market. A human-centric approach to digital workspace transformation would be unachievable without addressing the workforce’s demands of ‘liberation’, from the shackles of device, location and ‘personalization’ as per business & for personas within the business.

As per IDC research, the mobile worker population is expected to grow to 105.4 million by 2020.

The Enterprise response- Buy Technology

Workplaces of today have evolved beyond traditional realms, whether or not IT approves, blurred boundaries between what is personal and what is professional exposes corporate resources to risk. With conflicting goals of end user liberation and IT’s need to control; IT leaders have long sought to address this problem with silo’ed investments into enterprise initiatives such as mobility management, workplace virtualization, follow-me data solutions, efforts to simplify access management. While the results were tactical wins such as protected corporate data on smart devices or applications access on any device, the real goal of fostering an engaged workforce that delivers on innovation remained elusive.

Software Defined Workplace- Deliver “Human-Centricity”

It is interesting to observe how the enterprise data-centre and network world adopted ‘software-defined’ paradigm to unlock value of platform, making technology efficient and delivering an agile IT.

The same ‘software defined’ principles when incorporated into workplace strategy go beyond making technology efficient, rather it promises to unlock employee potential by abstracting user experience from any underlying technology, liberate users from tyranny of location and deliver a workplace that is profile-adaptive, business-enabling & secure.

Individual technologies mentioned earlier are apt but part responses to the challenge of digital workspace strategy that enables access to all that constitutes a user’s workplace technology from any device anywhere.

A mature digital workspace is one where all technologies come together and work cohesively to engage and enable a globally distributed, cross-cultural workforce.

HCL LibreSpace, powered by VMware Workspace One technology and HCL Kaleidoscope (a business and persona aligned digital dexterity consultation) helps enterprises realize this software-defined ideal and deliver on the ability to provision digital workspaces for their employees by adopting the following tenets:

  • design of consistent, seamless, and intuitive experiences that are micro-personalized, and context-aware
  • uncompromised security that enforce contextual and granular controls on resources access and consumption
  • unleash mobility, and embrace utmost flexibility across application access and IT enablement models

Road Ahead: The Technology-Dexterity Balance

A journey with a mature partner into the software-defined workplace delivery should enable organizations to incorporate not just best of the breed technology but also high a degree of dexterity in their digital workspace initiatives, that in essence is the ability to unlock value in their investments in unique and innovative ways.

This demands taking a design-thinking based multi-disciplinary approach to digital workspaces, spanning business, IT, workforce, and HR teams. The ramifications of this can be as simple as liberating users to access their workspace on-the-go, to as transformative as revamping the way business operates key touch points with their consumers or impact workforce experience to open up newer avenues for businesses. Only such a software defined & a digitally dexterous approach to workspaces has the power to unlock employee potential and disrupt business models in a forward-looking and dynamic manner.