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5 strategic planning assumptions that will make your digital workplace even better than normal

Bill Peterson

5-strategic-planning-assumptions-for-your-digital-workspace-1024x576 Remember 2020? We’re trying to forget it, too.

Thankfully, our friends at Gartner are doing their part to keep us all focused on what’s next. Specifically, their 2021 predictions for digital workplace infrastructure and operations (I&O).

In its report, Gartner lays out five key strategic planning assumptions (predictions), market implications, and recommendations that I&O leaders should consider when operationalizing technology that was deployed reactively during the initial pandemic response into permanent, strategic solutions.

Prediction #1 – Consolidation of endpoint management and security

“By 2024, more than half of organizations will consolidate to a unified console for endpoint management and security tasks, up from less than 5% in 2020." Per Gartner

We believe, in its report, Gartner found that many organizations are seeking ways to streamline collaboration between I&O and IT security to help coordinate actions to detect, investigate, and remediate security issues. In addition, based on 2020’s acquisitions, product announcements, and partnerships, Gartner anticipates that Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) and Unified Endpoint Security (UES) vendors will continue to integrate their capabilities.

We believe Gartner recommends that businesses evaluate UEM and UES tools based on top security and management requirements and prioritize integration capabilities or a unified platform to reduce costs and the overhead of managing multiple tools, contracts, and vendors. It also recommends that collaboration between I&O and IT security teams can be improved by creating shared goals to accelerate threat detection and remediation, as well as improving the user experience.

Prediction #2 – Desktop virtualization will fail to meet objectives

“Through 2023, more than 80% of desktop virtualization projects deployed primarily to save cost, rather than to improve security or business continuity, will fail to meet their objectives.” Per Gartner

Gartner finds that, when solely focused on IT costs, business cases for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) fail. This is because desktop virtualization solutions have a higher total cost of ownership (TCO) when compared to most physical desktop PC deployment scenarios. In 2020, Gartner found that most successful business cases for desktop virtualization were for business continuity.

We believe Gartner recommends segmenting the user base by using work settings such as job function and location to help identify candidate use cases for desktop virtualization and application virtualization. It also recommends winning buy-in for desktop virtualization by building a business case that includes business continuity and security.

Prediction #3 – Realization of automatic endpoint identification and remedy

“By 2024, endpoint analytics and automation will help digital workplace service staff shift 30% of time spent on endpoint support and repair to continuous engineering. “ Per Gartner 

According to the report, Gartner is seeing a resurgence in the desire to automatically identify and remedy endpoint problems. Traditional, stand-alone endpoint self-healing tools failed to deliver on that promise, but SaaS-based UEM or automation-enabled digital experience monitoring (DEM) tools are making it a reality by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

We believe, Gartner offers a range of recommendations, such as defining clear goals for improving end point management, leveraging a proof of concept so that vendors can deliver on promised capabilities in your environment and for your requirements, and starting with reviewing analytics reports to understand trends, then implement workflow-based remediations and slowly progress into automatic remediations.

Prediction #4 – End-user service organizations reporting directly to the CIO

“By 2024, 50% of digital workplace services leaders will be promoted from I&O to a CIO/chief digital officer (CDO) direct report, an increase from 5% in 2020.” Per Gartner

Gartner found that as technology became the primary connection to the workplace for a highly distributed workforce because of the pandemic, its impact was magnified on the overall employee experience. CIOs are partnering more with chief human resources officers (CHROs) to accelerate digital transformation and need an organization with the right mindset, skills, and processes to lead this work. End-user or digital workplace service (DWS) leaders are well-positioned for this role.

We believe, to prepare, Gartner recommends that DWS leaders increase engagement with strategic technology partners and stakeholders to solve business challenges, drive improvements in user experience by assuming the role of chief end-user advocate, and improve workforce satisfaction by partnering with HR to ensure that the workforce technology experience supports a positive overall employee experience.

Prediction #5 – Reduction in time to manage Windows applications

“By 2025, organizations that transform Windows application delivery through MSIX and application virtualization will eliminate over 50% of the time spent managing those applications.” Per Gartner

According to Gartner, the number of applications in the average enterprise will increase by 25% through 2025, and Microsoft Windows will remain the dominant enterprise platform—even for OS-neutral applications such as web applications. The report states that application delivery transformation through MSIX will help modernize application readiness processes by enabling new levels of compatibility while deploying new analytics and automation tooling to support application assessment, packaging, testing, and delivery.

We believe, Gartner recommends collaborating with application leaders to develop clear forecasts of the future volume and blend of applications, the likely delivery infrastructure, and the processes to deal with an increased update cadence. It also suggests using modern Windows application formats like MSIX alongside analytics and automation tools to minimize the effort required to life cycle manage applications and improve the speed at which applications are ready when updates are required.

Yes – there are plenty of reasons to forget 2020, but kickstarting and making the most of a digital workspace is not one of them. Learn more by downloading the entire “Gartner Predicts 2021: Digital Workplace Infrastructure and Operations” report here.
Gartner Predicts 2021: Digital Workplace Infrastructure and Operations, Stuart Downes, Dan Wilson, Nathan Hill, Michael Silver, Chris Silva,7th December 2020.

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Bill Peterson

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