Future work environments will no longer tether employees to their desks, offices, or even devices. Rather, they will unify all cloud-based and physical resources that people need to do their jobs—and do so in a more secure and contextual manner than anything available today.
In the past, you began your day on a physical device that was dedicated just to you. Your data, applications, and login were all contained in a single space. But now, the center of work is shifting away from the device to the cloud. Indeed, many of your frequently used applications (and even productivity tools) are now cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) apps. But as SaaS application offerings help to quickly address these new needs, you suddenly find yourself with multiple logins, data sources, and security risks that are growing at a dangerously rapid rate. As a result, enterprise IT is even more concerned over reduced control, insight, and governance over the SaaS apps that employees are using; the state of sensitive data in those apps; and the way to integrate those SaaS apps into the fabric of the company
The Evolution of the Workspace
To really understand the problems organizations face when embracing this new work environment, we have to understand how we’ve gotten to this point.
Workers traditionally started their days at their desks, in front of their desktops. Logging into their computers gave them access to everything they needed to complete their tasks: connecting them to programs, the company server, important documents, and more. Network security was often limited to the business’ premises and proprietary network, and it could easily be managed by IT teams.
SaaS applications have created today’s work-fromanywhere culture, giving workers the ability to access their workspaces from almost any device. With fewer ties to a physical location, employees can:
- Be productive from anywhere with an internet connection.
- Use their favorite devices, whether desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
- Pull up key documents in important meetings, no matter where they’re held.
Current Workspace Challenges
While incredibly beneficial, the way we currently work also brings a number of unintended consequences. With so many sanctioned (and unsanctioned) SaaS applications, network complexity and security risks are unavoidable.
Multiple logins, fragmented access: Employees can’t simply start their day. With multiple applications comes multiple logins, interrupted workflows and stifled productivity. And with so many usernames and passwords to remember, it encourages bad password habits such as using the same login for multiple accounts or writing them down. And multiple logins mean that IT can’t simply create or remove global access easily.
Non-contextual access: A lack of oversight across applications prevents IT’s ability to limit or allow access to sensitive data based on unsecure devices, locations, or networks.
No integrated workflows: With employees completing multiple processes in different applications, workflows are fragmented and processes are often redundant. Finance might use one application for expenses and another for reimbursements—but without a process and workflow to keep the two in sync.
Inconsistent security: Individual SaaS applications often come with individual security and compliance policies, data management, and access management. The results are multiple security perimeters and styles, which is difficult, if not impossible, for IT to fully govern.
Different end-user experiences: Cloud applications are often optimized for different browsers, devices, or operating systems, leaving employees with disparate user experiences. And with little to no oversight capabilities, IT teams can’t solve for a variety of issues. This also often limits the range of devices that employees can use for unique or special-purpose applications.
No holistic insight and analytics: Disconnected (or nonexistent) analytics for individual apps don’t give IT administrators the full view of usage, compliance, and security profiles. IT is ultimately unable to gain actionable insights to manage or control the user environment.
No master data management: With multiple cloud applications, there’s no way for IT to know or audit where data is stored or how it is being managed.
Broken IT governance: Without a single place to configure and monitor SaaS applications, IT can’t properly manage data across an organization, leaving them unable to improve or automate process across apps.
The Solution: A Secure Digital Workspace
Seemingly overwhelming, these challenges can create a culture that forces IT management to say no. Rather than locking down users, apps, and networks, an alternative approach is to fully embrace this shift to a cloud-centric, SaaS-centric world. A secure digital workspace environment solves these issues, while helping facilitate all the benefits of adopting external cloud and SaaS applications.
- Single sign-on: SSO lets users log in once to access all of their cloud applications. It also permits IT to grant and revoke global employee access during onboarding/termination.
- Integrated workflows: Provide logical integration between applications, as well as a stateful application environment for employees to work.
- Consistent user experience: Ensure that, no matter what application is paired with what device, the experience is consistent, the performance is near-native, and the application functionality is automatically adapted to device features.
- Contextual security controls: An adaptive approach to creating a “software-defined perimeter,” security and rights are applied in a contextual manner, based on devices, networks, locations, and user behavior.
Start Your Cloud Journey Where It Suits You Best
Enabling an adaptive experience: A unified cloud platform enables a workspace experience for the enterprise user that optimizes their day-to-day productivity and enriches the experience of both knowledge workers and task workers. In addition to delivering rich productivity apps to enterprise desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, it enhances the user experience with tightly integrated apps and enables collaboration with secure document management and IoT-enabled workflows.
Collecting, analyzing, and applying intelligent context using security and behavior analytics: By contextually delivering apps and data based on user and entity behavior, end-point, and network environments—as well as by providing always-on proactive insights from data in motion/at rest/ in use—the platform ensures optimal application performance and mitigates the risk of threats to infrastructure, data, and apps.
Unify Cloud Services with Citrix
As mobility continues to evolve the way we work, companies need to address all the associated complexities and risks head-on. Securely unifying your cloud services will empower your employees to work from anywhere, while giving IT additional control, governance, and peace of mind.