Workspace as a Service (WaaS)


Natalie Lambert at Citrix wrote a blog today announcing the concept of a mobile workspace. Chris Wolf at VMware had written a blog talking about the concept of a unified workspace. I agree with both Citrix and VMW about the importance of a workspace in a world of Bring Your Own Devices. It is a critical and important concept to solve the problem of enterprise mobility. MDM is not a solution for the vast majority of end user owned devices, because end users don’t want IT to lock down their devices. On the other hand, IT wants control over enterprise assets on the device. A mobile workspace balances the requirements of an end user and IT.

What is a workspace? A workspace is an area on the device where end users can get quick access to their corporate assets – intranet applications, network drives, SharePoint, etc. A workspace simplifies the end user experience by delivering a high degree of single sign-on across VPN and enterprise SSO solutions. For IT, all assets inside a workspace are under their control and they have visibility into activity within the workspace.

The closest cousin to a workspace in the enterprise today is a Windows desktop. A Windows desktop can be delivered physically onto a PC, or virtually through VDI, or as a Service using DaaS.  In some scenarios (remote access, off-shore workers, etc.) a virtual desktop as an on premise or as a Service solution is the best answer. But on mobile devices, a Windows desktop is over-kill. A workspace may even make sense on a personal Windows PC or Mac because the total cost of ownership of VDI/DaaS cannot be justified.

We believe that a workspace is a better quality experience on mobile devices and has a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). There are two delivery mechanisms for any solution these days: on-premise or as a service.

For large regulated industries and on-premise solution for Workspace may be the best option. But for customers without regulatory requirements, or who are looking for a simpler solution with lower TCO, a Workspace as a Service solution is ideal. It provides the best quality end user experience for the lowest TCO on all devices.  Gunnar Berger at Gartner recently tweeted about this new category: WaaS (Workspace as a Service).

by Amitabh Sinha
Mar 20, 2014

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