VMware report finds holistic approach to mobility pays off


Organizations that adopt a “digital workspace” plan, which encompasses a single set of user experiences, access controls and management tools across a range of devices and locations, report much more business, operational and financial benefits than those with less holistic mobility programs.

That’s according to a new report published today by VMware Inc., whose State of the Digital Workspace Report is based on a global survey of 1,263 information technology and business decision-makers. It finds that 41 percent of respondents have seen improvements in total management costs after implementing a digital workspace.

Return on investment from business mobility efforts overall average 150 percent, but those organizations that have successfully executed digital workplace initiatives report a 200 percent ROI. VMware defines digital workspace as an end-user computing model that “securely delivers anytime, anywhere access to any application on any device including desktops, smartphones and tablets.”

The more mobility projects an organization fields, the better the results, the survey finds. Fifty-two percent of companies that have executed more than 10 business mobility initiatives saw revenue improvements, while only 38 percent of those with five or fewer initiatives had similar results.

To be sure, VMware has a vested interest in promoting mobility programs. Its Workspace ONE platform is designed to enable enterprises to support applications on any device with integrated identity, app and mobility management.

Mobile initiatives are everywhere

Nearly eight in 10 respondents say they are either actively implementing a mobile initiative or have completed one successfully. Top projects cited by an equal 36 percent of respondents are:

  • Increasing “digitization” of the enterprise;
  • Shifting to new desktop architectures;
  • Upgrading infrastructure for mobility;
  • Rebuilding mission-critical apps for mobile access; and/or
  • Working to provide seamless access from any device.

Other top initiatives include building new mobile apps and leveraging the cloud for file-sharing.

The top payoffs executives report included increased workforce productivity (42 percent), streamlined business processes (32 percent) and reduced costs (30 percent). However, nearly equal percentages also report concerns about security, cost and complexity, and risk of data loss.

Nearly half of executives say that a comprehensive digital workplace strategy that includes security and compliance tools, mobile device management and identity management are sufficient to address compliance and security risks. But that still means that more than half don’t view those components as sufficient.

The top use cases for business mobility efforts are online file sharing and collaboration (39 percent), support of different types of users to improve efficiency (37 percent) and enabling the workspace to follow the user (37 percent).

Asia most aggressive

Organizations in the Asia-Pacific region are most active in moving to a mobile-friendly infrastructure, followed by those in North America. However, respondents from Europe, the Middle East and Africa report the highest overall ROI. Those companies are also the most active in deploying identity management software, which is probably a reflection of stricter government regulations in that region.

Financial services companies are the most aggressive in deploying mobile management initiatives, followed by technology companies. Manufacturing and public sector companies lag far behind. Although less aggressive than their peers in financial and technology industries, healthcare companies report the biggest payoff.

VMware offered the following four guidelines for digital workplace success:

  • Invest in user education before implementing software.
  • Weigh strategic gains more than cost savings.
  • Establish a business mobility center of excellence.
  • Factor in time to assess and properly deploy.
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