The modern workplace (MWP) is evolving at a staggering pace with exciting developments and new ways of collaborating, allowing for significant increases in productivity and efficiency. Often, clients do not have a common or clear understanding of what makes up the MWP and the steps required to achieve a successful transformation. So, to bring some clarity, the MWP is typically broken down into five categories:
- Modern Desktop – Linux, Win10 & MacOS
- Modern Virtual – Citrix Cloud, Windows Virtual Desktop, VMWare Workspace, Server 2019
- Modern Productivity – Collaboration, Enterprise Voice
- Modern Management – Endpoint Management, Edge Operating Systems
- Modern Security – Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), Defender, App Proxy, Information Protection, Cloud App Security, Sentinel
1 – MODERN DESKTOP
One of the most significant changes to the desktop is the way the Operating System (OS) refresh cycle has evolved into an evergreen model, ensuring security is at the centre of all updates and continuously improving productivity and efficiency. The way the desktop OS is delivered can be automated, removing overheads and associated costs relating to physical updates, manual imaging, and fault resolution.
Simply order the device of your choice, connect to the network, log in with your credentials and validate your identity with a multi-factor challenge (a token or SMS sent to your mobile device) and the device is provisioned including required applications and access to data.
Also, Edge operating systems such as IGEL are emerging providing secure, lightweight operating systems to connect to the desktop in a virtual infrastructure. These new concepts are revolutionising desktop deployments by eliminating the need to refresh desktop hardware, securely enabling BYOD and facilitating disaster recovery.
2 – MODERN VIRTUAL
Historically, virtual infrastructure assisted in reducing the cost of ownership of physical infrastructure by allowing a high density of virtual machines to run within a group of hypervisor hosts. As with Modern Desktop, Virtualisation has evolved with Microsoft investing heavily in Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) as a step in their vision of having Windows be for the datacentre and not the desktop.
When coupled with the ability to run an edge OS (which when booting allows connection to a desktop experience hosted in the cloud) removing the need to manage operating systems on desktops, management is greatly simplified and allows for the administration of 1000’s of desktops within a single management experience with as little as one administrator. Innovation in Modern virtual infrastructure makes it easy to automate, be flexible, and of course, cloud enabled. Read more in my earlier blog.
3 – MODERN PRODUCTIVITY
As applications and business process change, so too must the way individuals and teams collaborate to become as effective as possible. Teamwork and collaboration, and productivity transformations are very easy to get wrong and should not be addressed as a point solution to solve a short-term pain. However, when done correctly, the results and an increase in productivity and efficiency can be amazing.
Many clients have purchased Office 365 – Australia, for instance, has one of the highest adoption rates of Office 365 anywhere in the world. Organisations are on their journey to adopt the Office 365 platform in their environment, but the 365-productivity suite is very broad. There’s OneNote, Teams, Yammer, Outlook, SharePoint, One Note, OneDrive and more.
Other than email, most of the toolsets prove to be quite challenging to deploy into an organisation. Frequently companies are thinking, “You know what, we really want to deploy Microsoft Teams or OneDrive, but we just don’t know how to enable our workforce to start using them.” Others have implemented Office 365 and come from a position of, “You know, I’m not sure if I’m getting the heavily-marketed productivity benefits from the platform. I don’t know if our team is sharing files and collaborating on those files. I don’t know how they’re using Teams to have meetings. I don’t know whether they’re using Teams to send a message to an individual as opposed to sending an email.” There are so many features and so many capabilities within Office 365, and our clients are unsure whether they’re being utilised. To drive up productivity, a productivity baseline needs to be established from where the organisation can drive adoption and enablement.
The foundation of modern productivity is people, so doing the correct due diligence defining the Who means the project to transform teamwork and productivity is an easier prospect, as the ‘who’ drives the outcomes you need to achieve.
4 – MODERN MANAGEMENT
Management of endpoints (corporate or BYOD) policies, applications, authentication and the security layer is something MWP should address. Modern Management enables businesses to reduce the overhead of management while maintaining security whilst improving efficiency.
Interoperability between systems has never been more robust, with API’s and integrations allowing multiple vendors to collaborate and give more coherent management options and even approaches a single pane of glass nirvana. Managing hundreds or thousands of various endpoints shouldn’t be a chore, and modern management aims to achieve this outcome.
5 – MODERN SECURITY
There are so many innovations in security, however, one of the biggest is the change from reactive, signature-based protection to interconnected automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based off the vast amount of interconnected data the cloud provides or, in modern security terms, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR).