The Digital Workspace: Where Do You Start The Journey?

Posted on Friday, November 30, 2018
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By Rob Coleman

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A key IT Priority highlighted by Softcat customers this year is to take a deeper look at the journey to Digital Workspace. A lot of our customers are asking for help to reduce their cost and management overheads in this area, and to provide an intelligent view of the future. With the move to Windows 10, taking a high level view of the options available is allowing our customers to design flexible and informed deployments, that work for their future IT strategies and minimise risk as well as cost overheads.

Where did the Intelligent Workspace begin?

The headline focus – for most of the market - is a move away from traditional, capital purchase of hardware for end-users, fully deployed and managed in-house by IT. Organisations are more concerned with bespoke packages that offer; flexible and easy to manage procurement and deployment options, predictable costs, tailored and dependable service options, and above all, intelligence and analytics to better manage their end users and guide future procurement decisions.

Although terms like DaaS and Hardware Lifecycle have been floating around the industry for years, the market has been slow to define what these actually look like and the benefits they could bring. In addition, historically, this hasn't been affordable, and there's been a lack of experience in the area, proving a key blocker to taking a more intelligent view. According to a recent survey by market research firm Quocirca, "While budget and resource constraints have previously held SMBs back from digital transformation, the need to improve efficiency and productivity is now driving them to explore deploying increasingly affordable 'as-a-service' digital workflow technologies to achieve their goals."

How are all things workspace changing?

The good news is we are increasingly finding that taking this type of conceptual approach is delivering more successful outcomes, and is reducing budgetary and time strains. We have been providing these types of services in silos for many years, and by merging them together the results we are seeing prove that now is the time, more than ever, to finally tackle the workspace in one go.

Bringing it intelligently together

The key components of this transformation are actually surprisingly simple on their own; the real substance here is bringing it all together in the right way.

Whether PCs, phones or printers, a few simple questions are the central building blocks:

  • How do you choose the equipment? What data do you have on how it is used? Do you have the time/capability to conduct analysis with the end users in terms of process and requirements?
  • What makes sense for you from a procurement perspective? An outright purchase? A monthly cost pinned to user or device? Lease or ownership?
  • How will you deploy the devices? How will you build and script images, and rollout delivery? What happens to the existing estate? How will you prepare users for the experiential change?
  • Once in place - who manages the break-fix, parts and supplies? What remote control do you have from a patching and security perspective? What analytics do you have in place on how the devices are actually used? How can you offload risk to your service partners, and how do you hold them accountable?
  • And finally, what happens to the devices at the end of their useful life, and how does everything above help guide you when the cycle refreshes again?

Our key focus has always been to get deeply embedded in the internal workings of our customers to understand their needs, and truly enable them, which puts us in a better position than most to valuably assist in these decisions. Through intelligent application of software toolsets, our variety of services, finance agreements, technology specialists, and partners we can truly help you understand the best device lifecycle for your business needs – from start to finish.

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Contact your Softcat Account Manager or get in touch with our MPS, DaaS and Lifecycle teams on details below if you'd like to start a conversation around the intelligence opportunities in the digital workplace.

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