The end of the traditional workplace where employees operate from a single, fixed PC supported by device-centric IT infrastructure is fast approaching. A new model driven by the rampant consumerization of IT is leading to a unique merging of the home and work digital experience.
In this evolving workplace of the future, employees are no longer tied to desks with their computer bonded to the enterprise hardware and operating systems. They are using the latest technology devices to manage both work and play. This explosion of new digital devices is changing the old model forever by allowing the delivery of multiple applications to multiple devices and people. It's a world where cloud, security, big data and mobility all converge in comprehensive solutions to better connect with end users providing a demanding digital experience.
The implications for businesses and governments are significant. But to capitalize on the opportunities made possible by this transition, organizations must start integrating a far more flexible and user-centric IT model into their long-term business strategies. They need to provide a seamless, unified user experience that is focused on usability, collaboration and mobility - and it must be available anywhere, anytime, any device.
Mapping a smooth road to mobility
An expectation of instant connection to information is driving a shift to a new business-led style of IT which supports organizational goals. It's a style which is efficient, open, flexible, scalable and collaborative - and where each component is independent and the user is the central driver. In the workplace of tomorrow the mobile workforce will operate a range of devices - smartphones, tablets and laptops - which will be used for both work and leisure.
But there are challenges.
Without careful planning, it will be difficult and time consuming to identify, as well as manage computing issues when each device has its own individual load set. This is further complicated by the fact that many employees want to use their own devices for work. An ideal solution is required that does not lead to an increase in IT spending and tie up working capital, put security and regulatory compliance at risk, and decrease consistency and agility.
Achieving the desired outcome will ultimately involve a compromise between an inflexible "one-size-fits-all" solution to the other extreme where multiple profiles have to be supported.
Another major challenge involves the lifecycle management of various applications running on all these different devices. Early compatibility testing is essential to prevent delays or failures and alternative approaches need to be considered for applications that are not compatible.
The importance of cloud
The transition to a new style of IT is also being driven by cloud computing which is transforming the IT value chain. This is affecting everything from buying and assembling technology to the role of procurement and brokerage of IT-based services in a hybrid delivery model.
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