The Digital Workspace: A Platform for Engagement

Aug 22, 2017 1:40 PM ET

The metrics are clear: employee engagement is the key to success in the workplace of the future. And a digital workspace focused on the needs of employees is the platform that will drive that employee engagement.

Prioritizing the Employee Experience
With so much at stake for an organization’s success, and with the data validating the value of improving employee engagement, enterprises are starting to prioritize the needs of their employee experience. Inevitably, that strategy leads to IT.

“IT is best positioned to provide enablement for the workforce,” says Sumit Dhawan, VMware’s senior vice president and general manager, End-User Computing. “Only IT can provide the flexibility and choice the workforce needs, unencumbered by the complexity of setting it up.”

For the enterprise, the challenge becomes understanding employee expectations for improving engagement and the employee experience. Here, again, the data is clear:

  • Employees want the ability to work anytime, anywhere, from any device.
  • They want the same freedom and flexibility in their workspace technology that they enjoy with their consumer technology.
  • They are demanding workplace technology that is designed to put their needs first.

A Common Platform
“We have to change our thinking from mere service delivery to delivering intelligence that helps employees adapt to change,” says Dhawan, “using technology to improve the effectiveness of every employee in many little ways, and some big transformational ways.”

To respond to rising employee demands, the enterprise needs to establish a vehicle that prioritizes employee needs while enabling IT management and control across their end-user computing environment, including devices and apps. The most efficient and cost-effective way to execute this strategy is to provide a single platform that satisfies the needs of both these objectives simultaneously. The digital workspace provides that single platform.

The digital workspace answers the enterprise need for management and control by providing a single platform for governance and security with the elasticity needed to easily manage a diverse, mobile, and transient workforce. At the same time, says Dhawan, “It offers the speed and agility needed for the workforce” to embrace shadow IT: the applications or services that have been added by lines of business (LOBs) independent of IT involvement.

The digital workspace recognizes that end-user computing is “not just another app,” as Dhawan says, but rather the key to elevating employee engagement. “It provides the ‘intelligent enabler,’” says Dhawan, “for users and organizations to do more—and to do things that are not possible today.”

Employee Engagement and Bottom Line
Gallup has been tracking employee engagement in the United States, and though there has been some slight deviation, the one constant is that less than one-third of U.S. employees say they are engaged in their workplaces.The digital workspace offers a solution by focusing the tools needed to encourage employee engagement on the employee experience itself. “The digital workspace provides a consolidated experience across all the apps, from any device, with single identity,” says Dhawan. “But most importantly, it does so in a single platform that can address all user segments, whether it’s bring your own or corporate-owned devices, with the right level of control for the business.”

Another fundamental benefit to the business, says Dhawan, is that “the journey to a digital workspace will transform the business itself.” The journey will see organizations increasingly moving away from managing individual devices, images, and applications. “Businesses will instead invest in efforts that increase value, improve innovation and productivity, and emphasize quality and security,” states Dhawan.

Organizations that implement a single platform digital workspace solution, like VMware Workspace ONE™, are finding that they are enjoying a range of benefits that extend from facilitating higher customer satisfaction to greatly improved productivity and  employee retention. Perhaps most important, companies that report higher employee engagement see the biggest financial gains in their sales growth and shareholder return.

“The digital workspace is the defining model for end-user computing in the mobile cloud era,” concludes Dhawan. “By focusing on the needs of employees first, the digital workspace creates business transformation by empowering the workforce with the consumer-simple, enterprise-secure technology they need—and want—to remain inspired, engaged, and more productive.”