Workspace Aggregators and the Future of IT Management

Coby Gurr, Director of Product Management, Lenovo Software

Why Future Proof IT Management?

To answer this question, let's take a look at some numbers: 

  • By 2020 (three short years away!) the average person will own four connected devices
  • Studies show that 77% of employees are more productive when working remotely, an indication that more people are accessing company data on mobile devices while working in coffee shops and home offices
  • Today’s typical organization uses between 300 and 400 cloud applications, with a staggering 90% of them brought in not by IT, but rather end users themselves 

Meanwhile, new devices are being adopted at mind-blowing rates. Google Chromebook sales reached nearly two million just in the first quarter of 2016, outselling Apple’s range of Macs by more than 13%. Apple sells 395 iPhones every minute, and the number of U.S. Android users reached 107.7 million in 2016—a 23% increase from 2014. Even with its exploding smartphones PR disaster, Samsung closed out the third quarter of 2016 with stronger-than-expected profit margins. 

This lightning-fast growth means that each new device makes its way to the workplace at a rate that’s far faster than IT’s ability to adapt to it. While mobile device management (MDM) solutions have helped a little, few employees are thrilled at the thought of IT oversight on personal devices. 

What's a company to do? 

Enter the aggregated workspace. This term, coined by Gartner, drastically simplifies IT management of mobile technology—or any workspace technology, for that matter. Rather than frantically reacting to the introduction of each new device, IT can proactively prepare for new innovations as they’re introduced. 

Gartner: Aggregated Workspaces Are the Answer

Put simply, a workspace aggregator is a solution that sits on top of endpoint management tools to unify the presentation, delivery, configuration and portability of apps. They are architected to physically separate end users from internal network resources while simultaneously enabling them to access the content they need to be productive. Due to the portal-like experience workspace aggregators provide, employees often think they’re connecting directly to the company’s data center when in fact they’re being kept at arm’s length. 

When it comes to future-proofing IT management, Gartner has this to say about aggregated workspaces:

“Strictly speaking, workspace aggregators are not necessary to achieve unified workspaces...However, many organizations will find an accelerated time to value in the employment of these tools.”

Has your company used a workspace aggregator? Do you agree that it’s the best way to future-proof IT management? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Did you know? Lenovo Unified Workspace enables organizations to securely enable access to apps and content on any device. And, for the average organization, there’s no on-premise hardware or extra IT staffing required. Learn more at lenovosoftware.com/unified-workspace.