What is a Digital Workspace?

Chances are you’ve begun hearing the phrase digital workspace. Maybe you’ve heard, too, of the digital workplace. But what exactly do these terms mean and do they even have any real impact on your business or the way you work?

Digital Workspace vs. Digital Workplace

While the technology industry is typically consistent regarding the meaning and interpretation of various acronyms and terms, that’s unfortunately not the case when it comes to referencing the digital workspace and digital workplace. The industry frequently uses these terms interchangeably while noting each phrase means something different. Worse, different sites and sources don’t always agree on each term’s meaning.

ClearPeople, a Microsoft Partner offering a digital workspace platform, describes digital workspace as “an evolving collection of tools that enables employees to be more productive by providing their daily working tools from any device and anywhere in the world.” The company further clarifies that “a workplace is a place where you go to work. It is a space where you go to get work done, like your office, the lobby, a meeting pod, etc.”

To simplify, maybe think of a digital workspace as the interconnected applications, systems and solutions employees use to do their jobs, regardless of the device they’re using or their location. Then think of a digital workplace as the location from which a digital workspace is accessed and employed.

What are digital workspace and workplace benefits?

A digital workspace provides an interconnected collection of technology solutions that centralize a company’s software programs, data and information within a single administrative and management capacity, while extending employees’ abilities to fulfill their job functions using a variety of devices from different locations. This digital workspace approach simplifies information technology management and administration while providing employees with the freedom to work from where they wish using the smartphones, computers and tablets they prefer.

And such freedom and flexibility is particularly important, now. According to Gartner’s Predicts 2022: Digital Workplace Is Foundational for Employee Experience report, “by 2025, massive generational shifts will force 75 percent of organizations to adapt their hybrid work strategies to include demands for radical flexibility.” The technology consulting firm says there is, subsequently, an unprecedented opportunity to guide future workflows by aligning technology solutions with employees’ aptitude, knowledge and expertise.

Because digital workspace technologies are integrated solutions offering such flexibility, but they are also more easily be managed and administered, multiple compelling benefits arise for organizations and their users. Digital workspaces can leverage single sign-on platforms to improve identity authentication, employ virtual desktops—also known as Desktop as a Service (DAAS)—to simplify administration, strengthen cybersecurity controls to bolster an organization’s cyber defenses, improve productivity (in part by assisting employees seeking to work remotely or from home when they’d normally take a sick day), enhance communication and collaboration and even boost employee retention rates due to the resulting benefits and freedoms. Reduced technology costs are but another advantage.

Still more digital workspace tools deliver additional advantages. Other digital workspace solutions include cloud services that empower secure but flexible file sharing, enterprise mobility and mobile device management systems that improve technology administration while lowering corresponding costs, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms that streamline application deployment and maintenance and advanced analytics, monitoring, dashboard and business intelligence programs and capabilities that assist organizations and their personnel in making better and more informed decisions.

Why is there confusion with these concepts?

If industry participants don’t always agree on the differences between a digital workspace and a digital workplace, it’s likely unnecessary you must learn all the corresponding nuances. But because these phrases refer to growing trends that are impacting and improving the way companies’ employees work and interact, it’s important to understand the technologies, digital strategies and advantages fueling the corresponding digital initiatives’ energy and momentum.

Rather than risk additional confusion exploring the various and sometimes conflicting definitions provided for a digital workspace, it’s likely best to emphasize a definition that helps solidify the difference between a digital workspace and workplace in a meaningful way. As global technology solutions provider World Wide Technology states, “the digital workspace comprises the technology employees use to work effectively.” The company then defines and differentiates the digital workplace as the solutions that “include the digital technology in the physical location that people do their work from.”

How can a digital workspace benefit your organization?

As ClearPeople notes, a digital workspace is “a collection of evolving technologies designed around user’s needs that will give them the space and freedom to work securely anywhere and on any device.” It stands to reason, then, that the sooner an organization determines how the initiative applies to its employees and operations and introduces digital workspace technologies, the sooner the corresponding benefits—as described and reviewed earlier—can be realized.

For help learning how both concepts could apply within your organization and improve employees’ tools and the ways they fulfill professional responsibilities and collaborate, contact Louisville Geek. You can reach a technology professional at 502-897-7577 or by emailing [email protected].