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Productivity everywhere: Mobility and Workplace of the Future

By James (Coop) Cooper

Chief Technologist Mobility and Workplace, HP Distinguished Technologist

 

What does the future of mobility and workplace hold? If the past few years are of any indication, we are experiencing the equivalent of the “big bang” for the digital ecosystem. Every week we see new devices, new applications, new operating systems, or variants thereof. We are now seeing the acceleration in “personal” Internet of Things or what is frequently called wearables.

 

Of course, Hollywood piques our interest. Take Tony Stark in the Iron Man movies, who is able to interact with a sophisticated avatar on projected displays by simply using gestures. (To explore this further, you might be interested to know that HP Labs is working on portable Holographic projectors.)

 

slate.jpgThe “big bang” of the digital ecosystem

With the “big bang” of the digital ecosystem, why is it increasingly difficult to manage your end-user compute environment from end-to-end? The traditional approach of managing the end-user compute environment started with, “You can choose any notebook as long as it is this one,” testing every single application, enforcing policies that prevent users from changing configurations, and limiting the applications your users have access to. Unfortunately, this approach is rapidly reaching the end-of-life for all but those situations where there is a legal requirement to audit machines. Your users, especially those who are entering the workforce, want to be set free of the controls that have been put in place over the past 20 years.

 

An ideal world where employees can use any device to complete their “joblet”

Actually, most IT budgets do not have sufficient funds to support every new gadget, operating system, and application introduced to the market in the universe of this expanding digital ecosystem. So changing to a new methodology is required. To define a new approach, we need to think about the journey to the future—and specifically what is important to the business—creating value by optimizing the performance of employees, meeting legal obligations, and protecting intellectual property.

 

If we think in terms of individuals using any device to complete their “joblet” (tasks the business has assigned, and expects their employees to complete, to generate value for the company). Then we can begin to focus on improving the employee experience, and we can identify areas in which the CIO should invest. The immediate focus should be on creating effective controls to protect applications and data. In the ideal world, we would simply say all applications and data live in the data center and then provide access to a range of devices.

 

But the real world has limitations that preclude most businesses from absolutes. For example, in 2014 we do not have ubiquitous, over-the-air access to networks. This may impact where some employees work, and prevent them for accessing data-center hosted services. Should we then shift to an “all local” application experience to simply accommodate those who do not have connectivity? No. The belief that a single standard optimizes costs has been the standard for the past two decades, and in reality does not satisfy employee desire to become more efficient.

 

Let’s embrace new technologies while those in Hollywood become reality

A better approach for the future is to focus on what is important for each group of users, along with the minimum set of controls required to meet legal requirements and protect intellectual property. By doing this we can adapt to the expanding ecosystem of digital devices that will allow businesses to embrace mobility and the workplace of the future, allowing employees to be productive everywhere with their preferred tools. In fact, this approach will allow businesses to embrace those new technologies as those in the imagination of Hollywood producers become reality.

 

 

A better approach for the future is to focus on what is important for each group of users, along with the minimum set of controls required to meet legal requirements and protect intellectual property. By doing this we can adapt to the expanding ecosystem of digital devices that will allow businesses to embrace mobility and the workplace of the future, allowing employees to be productive everywhere with their preferred tools. In fact, this approach will allow businesses to embrace those new technologies as those in the imagination of Hollywood producers become reality.

 

For another perspective, watch this video on Mobility and the Workplace of the Future: Productivity everywhere, featuring Marc Wilkinson and James (Coop) Cooper.

 

 

j_cooper.jpgAbout the author

James “Coop” Cooper is a Distinguished Technologist in the HP Enterprise Services Chief Technology Office. Prior to his current role as Chief Technologist, Mobility and Workplace Global Practice, Coop focused on emerging services, including research with HP Labs on consumerization of the workplace—how it will impact users’ interaction with business applications and corporations’ compliance with security policies.

 

Previous blogs by James (Coop) Cooper:

 

Other videos featuring James (Coop) Cooper

 

 

Related links

 

Labels: hp| mobility| Workplace
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