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Digital Workspace: Employee Experience Is Crucial

The consumerization, ubiquity and mobility of technology in our personal lives has created a deep expectation of an ever-improving technology experience in our work environments. Companies of all sizes are becoming more aware of this evolution and are adapting the digital experiences they deliver to their employees and customers to remain remain competitive and resilient.

June 11, 2020 5 minute read

Traditional enterprise IT of the past — the centralized, device-centric, command & control infrastructure almost entirely driven by bottom-line cost efficiencies — excelled with on-premise Windows-based systems where end users were issued one device to do all their work. Of course, this makes perfect sense where employees all work in similar environments, all have similar cultures and all have the same work styles — or as close as possible as to not make a large difference in work routine. 

Employees bring consumer expectations to work

Knowledge workers, customer service representatives, corporate executives, assembly line administrators, QA, etc., were all basically interchangeable from a workload/device requirement aspect.  In some cases, a small subset of users — such as CAD/CAM. Engineers were issued much different devices that were managed outside of the typical enterprise IT device management system. Based on this ubiquity of device characteristics, it was natural for enterprise IT organizations  to evolve a device-centric command & control infrastructure to most effectively and efficiently manage the end-user technology estate.

Flash forward to today and we see employees bringing consumer expectations to the workplace: instant access to apps, wireless access everywhere, desire for the newest devices and the ability to switch between them. Ubiquity, mobility and choice. The impacts for modern IT? 

  • Technology refresh cycles shorten from years to quarters to months.
  • Less tolerance for wait times, inefficient technology and processes.
  • Poor digital employee experiences that directly and negatively influence the bottom line.

Enterprise IT has evolved

As technology has become more ubiquitous — and ingrained — in society as a whole, a tectonic shift in how technology is consumed and utilized by enterprises is occurring at an increasingly rapid pace. Specifically, enterprises are moving from the traditional, command and control, device-centric model of technology management to an employee experience model that is no longer tied to a specific device. 

Today we look to empower employees to meet their heightened expectations, increase productivity and employee satisfaction. We impact the bottom line with more efficient IT staff and workers, reduce turnover and generate higher revenue per employee.  

Employees are asking for technology that works for them — anticipating their needs, proactively delivering experiences and allowing them to efficiently move through their activities with the least amount of friction — as they do in the outside world. Consequently, enterprise IT is shifting to meet these new demands. Some call it modern management, modern device management and even Windows10 modern management. 

Whatever catch phrase you use, it should put end users first, with a framework for enablement that anticipates the users’ needs, proactively delivers upon expectations and allows employees to get work done from anywhere.

When you look beyond devices and at the entire digital employee experience, you create a vision for digital workspace, one in which technology is designed for end users, not simply "end-user technology." There's a difference.

Start inside the end-user computing practice

End-user computing (EUC)teams are IT's front line to address these new requirements. Even post-pandemic when organizations are scrutinizing every dollar, it makes business sense to prioritize digital employee experience. It is an efficiency and cost optimization move that continues to return on its investment, as a company expands, shrinks or redistributes workers.  

A key priority might be a modern device management/unified endpoint management (MDM/UEM) strategy, which is an excellent starting ground. Modern device management is a fundamental shift away from lengthy migration projects toward establishing ongoing operational processes that deliver frequent upgrades. 

Adopting a transitional MDM/UEM approach that supports end users through a service-centric philosophy, focusing on optimizing each aspect of the end-to-end services that deliver evolving capabilities, allows businesses to extend device and user management in order to more effectively reach all devices, regardless of type: mobile, laptop, tablet, workstation, etc. 

Further, with a unified platform like Workspace One and devices delivered by WWT's Integration Centers, we can deliver a self-provisioning tablets, laptops, rugged devices or desktops that deliver an excellent, automated out-of-the-box experience for all employees, and enable them to be productive from anywhere.

When organizations embrace MDM, they report time and cost savings with simplified management along with better auditing and compliance. See our article Top 5 Reasons for Modern Management and download the white paper with real-world perspectives from two IT leaders: one who migrated from Microsoft's SCCM, and another who had no endpoint management in place. 

In short, there are a few things you can expect as immediate benefits: 

  • Leverage technology refresh cycles in order to deliver ever greater digital employee experiences.
  • Create business environments that are progressively tolerant of new technologies and processes.
  • Directly and positively influence the bottom line with IT efficiency.

MDM is one element of an EUC strategy that should leverage internal principles such as enterprise architecture and a holistic vision for the digital workspace as the decision-making framework. These design principles should influence and drive future technology direction and operational workflows. 

Identify the next steps

Often it is not possible to make the great leap forward without a partner to help evaluate and prioritize competing technologies, platforms and clearly define the desired end state. WWT is a leader in end-user computing with deep expertise in Citrix, Microsoft and VMware technologies. 

For collaboration, we're Cisco's architectural partner of the year and can design and integrate technology from dozens of other collab technologies like Teem, Poly, Jabra, Microsoft Teams and Zoom. For calling, we help organizations test and evaluate a range of IP phone handsets and soft phone clients and determine whether they continue to host on-premise or migrate to cloud calling.  

We are truly vendor-independent. Still, before we ever talk technology, we start with your desired end state and focus on your business outcomes. Idea to outcome — it's what we do. We're ready to help you. Connect with an expert in a free one-hour briefing.

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