Modernizing the Digital Workplace
March 30, 2022
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The rapid migration to work-from-home (WFH) during the COVID-19 pandemic made it harder, more complex and costly to deliver, support and secure digital workspaces, while at the same time creating new opportunities to turn disruption into transformation, today and in the future, according to a study authored by Freeform Dynamics, sponsored by Liquidware and IGEL.

Key findings from the report, Modernizing the Digital Workplace, confirm that the short-term success of the switch to WFH came with longer-term costs — technical and governance debts that must now be repaid. Yet, IT departments that choose to adopt modern desktop delivery models and platforms are more likely to see better outcomes in areas such as user satisfaction, cost of ownership, manageability, and security.

Need to Act Quickly Drove Most WFH Transitions

According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic created a ground swirl of activity for enabling WFH that was significantly influenced by the following factors:

■ The need to act very quickly to keep the business running — 80%

■ Pressure to keep additional costs and overheads to a minimum — 73%

■ Supplier shortages of equipment limiting options — 72%

■ Need to minimize end user training requirements — 72%

■ Keep things as simple and supportable as possible — 70%

■ Short-term pragmatics trumping long-term strategy — 68%

Organizations Are Adopting or Planning Modern Desktop Delivery Solutions

The report also explores the different ways organizations delivered digital workspaces to users and what stands in the way of progress today, including technical debt, employee resistance to change and senior managers priorities lying elsewhere.

The vast majority of respondents (>65%) are either considering or are implementing the following tactics to move their end user computing environment forward:

■ Reduce dependency on "fat-client" computing model

■ Automate more of their delivery, monitoring and management activities

■ Adopt platforms designed to support modern desktop/application delivery

"Our research confirms that the rapid shift to hybrid working has left IT teams — and especially desktop admin teams — more over-worked and stressed than ever," stated Bryan Betts, Principal Analyst at Freeform Dynamics. "It also shows that if you carry on trying to do desktop delivery the old way, but in a hybrid world, there are clear risks that you'll see higher costs, increased security challenges, decreased flexibility and agility, and ultimately lower user satisfaction. Fortunately, when we dug into the data, our research also suggests a potential solution: use the hybrid transition and the need to pay back technical debt as an inflection point — as the opportunity to transform and modernize the desktop delivery process. There's a whole raft of ways to do this, such as thinner desktops and automated user management, but essentially they boil down to using modern technologies to build in greater consistency, flexibility, and security."

Methodology: The global online survey of 257 senior IT professionals from a range of industries in Germany, the UK and the United States was sponsored by Liquidware and IGEL and conducted by industry analyst firm Freeform Dynamics.

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