Workspace standardization is a process of organizing workspace resources (apps, policies, etc) and IT infrastructure itself to follow a standard tailored to your organization’s strategy and security policy.
In a standardized workspace, one can expect to see consistency in applications, UX, device performance, security permissions, and policy based on roles within the organization. In the context of a modern, decentralized remote or hybrid workforce, standardizing IT and employee experience across devices and locations is increasingly important.
Benefits of Workspace Standardization
- Improved Security Standards
IT security benefits a lot from standardization. From a practical sense, instead of needing specialized policies and permissions for different each device type or operating system, IT departments only need to worry about a single set of policies and settings for their whole environment. This leads to two benefits, expertise in this specific device/operating system and less weakness in overall IT policy that could occur if it had to take multiple systems into account.
- Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Immediately, a major cost benefit is the potential for pricing at a larger scale, rather than purchasing a number of different devices at a standard premium, most vendors will provide cheaper pricing for larger volumes. Aside from this, however, organizations also save costs when it comes to employee time and especially around IT efficiency. IT teams are simply more efficient when their workspaces are standardized.
- Reduced IT Workload
IT departments can drastically reduce their workload by standardizing their IT deployments. Integrations, deployments, and even support will all be made easier through standardization simply because it provides the entire IT team a single technology to work with, rather than multiple disparate solutions that all have their own management system that must be learned or integrated into a larger management system.
- Increased Employee Productivity
Standardization has a substantial impact on the productivity of employees, especially in work from anywhere environments. This is because all employees are engaging with a familiar UX irrespective of device or location.
Barriers to Workspace Standardization
So with these benefits in mind, why don’t all organizations attempt to standardize their IT?
To a small degree they do, often organizations will attempt to roll out their employee environments through virtual machines, and not worry about the devices being used to access these workspaces.
However, this is in no way a safe way of thinking and most organizations are taking a deeper look at how they can ensure the devices being used to access their corporate resources are consistently secure.
But companies struggle when it comes to making these changes on a large scale, as often it requires them to audit what their current strategy is and implement costly changes in order to standardize their IT infrastructure (one of the most common examples is the purchase of a single brand of device and deploying this brand across your infrastructure. It is almost always easier to start with standardization in mind than to try and implement it after the fact.
These challenges include:
Cost of implementing any form of workspace standardization can be substantial, as the devices needed must all be purchased and then secured by the IT team. In work-from-anywhere environments, organizations must also worry about the logistical costs – needing to send these new devices to multiple remote locations.
- Vendor lock-in
The problem with standardizing your hardware is largely being stuck with a single hardware vendor. Organizations should research the vendor they are considering very carefully, as not only will it be costly to replace all of your devices after the fact (see above) but, often there could be contractual obligations (due to the scale of purchase) that should be considered.
- Time commitment
The time it takes to implement a project like this can vary depending on scale, however, generally, these projects can take a substantial amount of time – due to the need to ensure compatibility of LOB apps and hardware with the new standardized workspace. IT must also support employees throughout this process, as some will not be used to the new UX, this also applies to the support team, inevitably there will be some learning on the IT side to troubleshoot the new system.
How to Simplify and Speed up Your Workspace Standardization Process
With ThinScale, organizations can easily implement standardization in existing infrastructure, while avoiding the challenges previously mentioned. How can ThinScale help any organization standardize its workspaces?
- Software-based lockdown solutions
ThinScale provides software-based solutions that enforce IT-curated security and UX onto any Windows-based device. This means that hardware is not a factor for workspace standardization with ThinScale deployments.
- Fast deployment and integration
ThinScale solutions are all centrally managed and can be deployed across the entire endpoint estate very quickly with a few clicks. ThinScale solutions are also Windows-based and maintain compatibility with any piece of Windows software or hardware. This makes the process of standardization much quicker and more convenient for both the IT team and the end-user.
- Low TCO and utilize existing infrastructure & BYOD
ThinScale solutions are much more cost-effective than purchasing and shipping brand-new devices. IT teams can leverage both existing infrastructure as well as employee-owned devices and quickly integrate them into their standardized workspace environment.