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Modern Day Work Goes Virtual

01 Apr 2012

It’s no secret the way we work is changing. As little as five or ten years ago, work was thought of as somewhere we went; now it is something that we do. As organisations look to maximise business agility and productivity while ensuring they can attract and retain the best possible talent, the adoption of workshifting continues to rise. Workshifting is essentially a type of mobile workstyle in which work is moved to more optimal times, locations and resources. For people, this means moving work to a place where they find inspiration and can be their most productive.  For organisations, it means reducing business and IT costs while providing flexibility to allow people to work anywhere, anytime and on any device. In yesterday’s PC era, workshifters were the exception to an overwhelmingly office-centric workforce, where technology was built for a wired world. In today’s cloud era, they are becoming the assumption. Workplace trends, including the consumerisation of IT, and increasing adoption of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, continue to drive workshifting adoption. According to the Citrix Workshifting Index released in March 2012, which analyses feedback from 1,100 senior IT decision makes worldwide, 93 per cent of organisations will have implemented workshifting polices by 2013. Blurring the lines between work and play The pressure for users to be able to work on the devices of their choosing is growing with the widening range and availability of enterprise-friendly consumer mobile devices. BYOD is a business model that empowers employees to bring the device – laptop, smartphone or tablet – that best suits their virtual work style into the workplace and to use it on corporate networks. By choosing their device, employees can use one tool to access both personal and corporate information and gain the ability to work from any location. This approach greatly increases user satisfaction by giving employees the freedom to choose the exact mix of options, features and styles that match their personality and individual computing needs. In order to fully appreciate the benefits of workshifting and BYOD, it is useful to understand the role of the technology that makes it possible – desktop virtualisation. Enablement through desktop virtualisation Workshifting and BYOD share a natural relationship with desktop virtualisation. Desktop virtualisation provides a secure and flexible IT environment. It means that all data, and applications remain centralised, giving IT secure control to enterprise applications and data. Users access an immersive, personalised experience indistinguishable from traditional computing with a  rich high fidelity  experience. Desktop virtualisation frees users from their tradition desktop device and allows them to access their Windows desktop and applications from any device. This also frees IT from having to directly work on each end user device, reducing the overall IT costs of desktop management. From a workshifting perspective, this is further complemented by giving users access from any network, whether working from home, a customer location or on the road via a Wi-Fi connection. The end result for users is better productivity, while maintaining a work-life balance. With desktop virtualisation we enable a new world, known as the desktop cloud. It is about giving users freedom when working, and offering access to Windows desktops and applications as a service. Desktop virtualisation is the key component that makes this possible.