Gain the Workplace Services Edge with External-Provider Security and Expertise


By Rob Brothers, Program Vice President, Datacenter and Support Services, IDC

Adopting innovative business models, like a digital workplace, is at the forefront of the enterprise agenda. It is IDC's belief that most companies today should be focusing on how technology, and the users of, can advance their business. To achieve business transformation, companies need to modernize their workplace and, in particular, the way employees work. But implementing these complex initiatives can present significant challenges.

Managing a complex myriad of multi-vendor/OS devices is taxing for even the most sophisticated IT organizations. Technology teams should be spending time with line-of-business owners and the C-suite to drive innovation and new initiatives. IDC has been surveying enterprises for the past 10 years on how much time is spent on different IT tasks, and the answer is always the same: 80% on "mundane" day-to-day tasks (such as patch management, installation, monitoring, troubleshooting, and remediation), and only 20% on innovation.

In today's hypercompetitive environment, this 80:20-time allocation impedes the type of innovation that can lead to a sustainable competitive advantage.

Providing an experience with secure end-user device technology has become a competitive differentiator for organizations seeking to improve their employees' experiences and improve productivity. Creating an effective digital workplace requires investing in back-end technology to ensure secure and flexible support via any device, at any time of day, in any location.

For many organizations, the investment in automation and artificial intelligence required to create these seamless, consumer-like experiences with IT in the workplace is a challenge, but necessary. The tools, people, and process needed to properly create and manage an effortless digital workplace can be expensive—and making the wrong investment can be costly. When IDC asked who had the capabilities to provide ongoing services for PC's, most organizations stated, “an external services provider.” This was due to a few factors, a lack of IT talent in the marketplace being a major contributor, and the providers expertise being the other.

Security of these devices should be considered foundational "table stakes" within the digital workplace services domain. In a recent IDC study of 1,000 enterprises:

• Only 60% said their organization can securely deliver applications and devices to any location as needed
• Only 62% stated their organization is well prepared to secure company, customer, and employee data

Organizations are having difficulty staying on top of all the threats since they are expanding in nature and cyber criminals are finding new ways to attack daily. Cloud (whether public or private) has become so pervasive, and security threats so worrisome, that employers expect any solution will have cloud and security interwoven into every solution that’s provided.

Having cloud and security capabilities isn't a differentiating factor because employers see it as a must-have. However, not having cloud and security capabilities built into digital workplace solutions will result in the service provider not being invited to the RFP. To that end, IDC surveyed organizations and found that most enterprises turn to outside vendors for security and other services for three key reasons:

1. Vendors have the expertise required.
2. The service is more cost-effective.
3. The service improves the user experience and the quality of the deployment.

For more on how the digital workspace is transforming to improve employee experience and create a more productive, innovative workforce, download the IDC paper, “How IT Redefines Workplace Services,” sponsored by HP Services.