9-to-5 at the desk in the office is a thing of the past. Work becomes mobile – and companies must be prepared for it. We introduce the so-called Workspace Aggregator as a pioneer for productive, mobile working:
What is a Workspace Aggregator?
The term Workspace Aggregator was coined in particular by the market research company Gartner and has so far only been able to establish itself to a limited extent in Germany. What’s behind it? A Workspace Aggregator is a solution that provides access to applications, data, and services across devices, operating systems, and regardless of location. This is because corporate resources and cloud services are “aggregated” into a digital work environment and accessible via a web browser or client app.
This enables IT to control and orchestrate the delivery of mobile apps, native and Web applications, as well as data to any device. This is done securely, transparently, and in a context-aware manner, using a workspace aggregator to drive enterprise digitisation goals.
Simply put, the Workspace Aggregator is at the forefront of endpoint management (managing the devices used in an enterprise’s IT environment). This combines the display, delivery, configuration and portability of the apps. At the same time, the Workspace Aggregator physically separates users from the internal network while giving employees access to the data and applications they need to do their jobs, or for which they have access rights. The portal-like user experience gives employees the impression that they are accessing the employer’s data centre directly.
Workspace Aggregator: Functional Areas
Gartner defines five functional areas for the Workspace Aggregator:
- Application Delivery, i.e. orchestrated provisioning and deprovisioning of mobile apps, native and web applications
- The secure provision of company data
- Management of workspaces including application lifecycle management, metering and monitoring
- Context-related safety functions
- Optimum usability (user experience) thanks to the uniform work environment
According to the market research company, a workspace aggregator embodies the early realisation of a vision of the unified workspace. However, usage by end-user organisations is still limited and is focused on specific, immediate value-added benefits, such as support for legacy applications or BYOD policies. According to Gartner, however, the full potential of a workspace aggregator’s contribution to value is hardly fully exploited.
Why Use a Workspace Aggregator?
Coby Gurr, CTO of Lenovo Software, points out that 77% of employees are more productive when they are mobile rather than working at their assigned workplace on the employer’s premises. Data and applications must be accessible from anywhere, even on the road. This should be done via uniform access and at the same time adapted to the display size of the respective terminal device used, whereby great importance is also attached to performance optimisation if, for example, only a 3G connection is available.
However, mobile working not only increases employee productivity, it is also the logical conclusion of a number of ongoing trends.
By 2020, an average worker will own four interconnected electronic devices. In addition, the speed at which users accept new devices is enormously high. For example, Google Chromebooks sold two million copies in the first quarter of 2016 – 13% faster than Apple’s Macs. Under the keyword BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) companies take up this development. Employees use their own equipment instead of hardware provided by the employer. This brings with it a number of advantages as well as new requirements for IT security and the IT architecture of companies. Since new devices are sometimes used by employees at their workplaces faster than the company’s IT can react, endpoint management must be proactive, for example using a workspace aggregator.
However, employees are not only innovative when it comes to end devices: of the between 300 and 400 cloud apps used in an average company, according to Lenovo Software, 90% were not introduced by the company’s own IT, but by its employees. This is why companies must also actively address the issue of shadow IT.
The Workspace Aggregator represents a groundbreaking step towards computer environments that are independent of the hardware used and increasingly independent of the operating system. They help companies use and manage their apps more intuitively. In addition, this technology enables the experience of a true digital workspace by combining multiple apps in a mobile dashboard and making them directly usable – from anywhere, anytime.
oneclick™ as a Sample Vendor for Unified Workspaces and Workspace Aggregator
Already since 2014 the basic idea of oneclick™ has been to connect applications from different environments and to aggregate them in a workspace. The oneclick™ platform, which has always been a pioneer in this field and is constantly being developed further with the focus on the end user, originated from this idea. In the Hype Cycle Report 2018, Gartner selected oneclick AG as a sample vendor for unified workspaces and workspace aggregators.
oneclick™ is a ready-to-use Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for the provision of digital workstations. Web apps, native applications, desktops and data are centralised in the platform and delivered securely to users via streaming. This works 100% web-based. Hybrid environments from on-premise and public clouds or private clouds can also be implemented and legacy applications can be equipped with the advantages of the cloud in no time at all. Thus oneclick™ covers all requirements to a Workspace Aggregator and increases with little expenditure the productivity, agility and mobility of enterprises.
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