Blog > July 2018 > An End-User Environment Focused on Productivity

An End-User Environment Focused on Productivity

In a Harvard Business Review article from two years ago, Michael Mankins of Bain Consulting asked a question that should drive every technology procurement decision: Is Technology Really Helping Us Get More Done? Twenty-five years ago, the answer was clear. The introduction of personal computing, electronic messaging and individual productivity tools helped foster changes that left us wondering how we ever managed to get things done “back in the day.” Layer those advances onto the tsunami of the internet, the web and cloud computing, and modern businesses were launched into a brave, new and ever-changing digital world.

But there’s a point where “more” or “new” is not the same as “better.” Despite these advances, white collar productivity has not kept pace with technology investments – it has not even kept pace with inflation – over the last 10 years. The HBR article points a finger at the fact that we have too many connections, too many messages, too many meetings to be productive. We’re too distracted, and our behavior – both personal and in business contexts – is prone to interruption.

The number of network connections is not the issue – it’s the technology portfolios most enterprises have in place. According to LeanIX, an enterprise with $1B in revenues likely has a portfolio spanning 650 different applications, and the largest companies (those in the top 10 percent) may have as many as 3,400 applications in their IT portfolio. We’re awash with technology – and there’s no sign of slowing the sprawl. It’s far too easy for individuals in a business unit to subscribe to a new online application or download some software tool. Business users are off and running, adding to the IT mix – or perhaps better said, the IT mess.

business-3370832-1920.jpgOrganizations that want the best, most productive workforce must accommodate a new work model. How can an enterprise rein in the proliferation and ensure that technology is delivering business value in the most productive way? They should start with a tool that preserves IT governance and security policies, while allowing workers to have some control over how they work. 

Organizations have already embraced virtualization techniques to deliver agility and scalability that eliminate server-side hardware dependencies. Digital workspaces provide the benefits of virtualization to the client side. End users benefits from platform flexibility (access to the environment regardless of device type or location) and delivery of the enterprise resources needed to perform their jobs.

Despite misconceptions, digital workspaces are more than mere portals. Portals embrace a one-to-one interaction model – with one user accessing a single application, as facilitated by an intranet or a website – even when several different applications are aggregated into a dashboard. This Web 1.0 approach is only slightly different from 50 years ago when users might access an application via an IBM 3270, 5250 terminal, or a terminal emulator of those devices. Portals extend the access with web protocols, but the user model has not progressed.

Modern organizations want more than that. They want workforce engagement that fosters collaboration and peer-to-peer communication. This Web 2.0 model is the goal of digital workspaces. A digital workspace should provide access to different applications and information sources and integrate them within an environment that also provides the services that support engagement with other parts of the workforce. This focuses on fostering productivity, not merely access. Ultimately the most sophisticated digital workspace will deliver access to resources, the integration of those resources and the automation of tasks all within an environment that is both platform- and location-agnostic.

Consider the range of enterprise resources that comprise your IT mixture. Then imagine how to provide access to those resources to accelerate workforce productivity – provisioning your employees with a laptop and a connection does not lay out a pathway to the resources they need. Digital workspaces are a way to take charge and manage productivity proactively.

Posted: 7/26/2018 10:00:08 AM by Chris Martins
Filed under :digital, IT, portal, portfolio, productivity, workplace, workspaces