Preparing for the workspace of the future
Thu 22 Feb 2018
The workspace of today looks different compared to ten years ago, and in ten years it will look different to how it does today. No longer tied to offices, desks or even devices.
Work environments in the future will bring together all the resources that people need to do their job, whether they’re cloud-based or physical, and they’ll be unified in a more secure and contextual way than they are today.
Cloud-based SaaS applications are increasingly common as the tool of choice for today’s modern worker, meaning that work, in general, is shifting away from the device and into the cloud.
However, the inherent problem with this is that workers now operate in an increasingly disparate environment, making it significantly harder for IT to ensure they are secure. Compared to previous infrastructures, there is reduced control, insight and governance.
How we got here
Fragmented access reduces productivity and also encourages bad password practices
It used to be that an office worker would come into work, find their seat and log into their device. Their computer gave them access to the necessary programs, the company server, confidential documents and so on. The result is that network security was easily managed.
Businesses’ confidence in the security of individual SaaS applications and ever-improving offerings mean that these are quickly becoming the norm, rather than an exception.
A recent study showed that 75% of enterprise workloads now run in the cloud. As a result, many workers now find themselves in a situation where, for instance, their organisation might use one app for payroll, one for sales, and another still for project management. This number of cloud service providers creates a disparate IT structure.
As well as this, users expect to be able to be productive in any environment with an internet connection. They want to be able to use their preferred device – whether that’s a laptop, tablet or smartphone, and have access to documents wherever they are. This raises further problems for IT teams.
Challenges of the modern workforce
With a raft of applications required for their daily routine, workers have to contend with the login process for each of these. This fragmented access reduces productivity and also encourages bad password practices, such as using the same details for multiple apps or writing passwords down.
The tendency towards using different applications for different jobs means that workflows are not properly integrated, which in turn reduces productivity. For instance, a finance department might find themselves using one application for expenses but another for reimbursement.
A lack of productivity is not the only concern. For IT teams that have their own unique security and compliance policies, the corresponding policies, as well as data management and access management processes of individual SaaS applications, present a major problem. IT security teams find themselves operating within multiple security perimeters and styles, which becomes extremely difficult to govern.
It is also crucial that businesses protect their key assets, including data. When multiple cloud applications, IT cannot know or audit how data is being managed or even where it is being stored.
IT teams can embrace the shift towards a cloud-based world, through a secure digital workspace environment
These challenges, then, mean that productivity is negatively affected, as is security and data management. But it’s not only the job of IT teams to fight fires, they’re there to improve processes too.
Due to disconnected or even non-existent analytics, across multiple apps, IT administrators aren’t able to gain actionable insights into the people and processes in their organisation. They also aren’t able to manage data, improve or automate across apps.
It would be easy for IT management to err towards saying ‘no’ and creating a culture of negativity within its organisation, when faced with a seemingly overwhelming level of complexity.
However, there is a better approach. Rather than reducing the freedom of users, apps and networks, IT teams can embrace the shift towards a cloud-based world, through a secure digital workspace environment.
Through a plethora of features, solutions and advantages, a secure digital workspace can solve the challenges associated with cloud and SaaS adoption, while keeping all the benefits.
- Simple sign-on – this lets users log in once, and have access to all of their cloud applications. This also helps IT grant and revoke access during onboarding or termination.
- Integrated workflows – providing logical integration between applications.
- Consistent user experience – the same experience regardless of which application is paired with which device.
- Contextual security controls – a ‘software-defined perimeter’ that is applied in a contextual way depending on devices, networks, locations and user behaviour.
- Contextual access – because IT has more granular insight into their whole network, they’re able to grant (full or partial) access with more confidence to approved devices and locations.
- Centralised analytics – there is no need to pull data from across all applications and then attempt to make insights on the basis of different metrics. Instead, IT teams get consolidated information.
- Easier governance across all applications– making it easier to manage data.
Citrix’s secure digital workspace approach gives organisations and their employees reliable access to both apps and data, as well as a seamless user experience, regardless of device.
It also gives IT teams the ability to configure, monitor and govern all activity, through a single control plane. Major benefits include an adaptive experience; the ability to apply context using security and behaviour analytics, and a unified hybrid cloud service delivery.
The reduction of complexity and risk that comes about as a result of this means that organisations are able to completely embrace cloud-based services with trust.
Click here to read Citrix’s eBook on preparing for the workspace of the future.
Come and meet with the Citrix team on stand C1750 at Cloud Expo Europe 2018, London’s ExCeL 21 – 22 March. Register for your free ticket today.