The Demise of the Workstation

We’re living and working in an era of transformation. The way most people work has changed significantly from how we worked a few years ago. Capabilities like mobility and enterprise collaboration are responsible for changing how, where and when employees work, impacting lines of business, HR and IT alike. In fact, our own research on the consumerization of IT shows that 88 percent of executives report employees are using their personal computing technologies for business purposes today.

Years ago, when I received my first corporate Blackberry, I was warned that I had been given a leash which would keep me tethered to the workplace. Today, in contrast, I am empowered by the constant access to corporate email, unified communications and other corporate mobile-enabled resources provided by my Windows phone.  I am not tied to work because I bring that device to my daughter’s soccer games — I feel like I am able to go to my daughter’s soccer games because I have that access.

We’re working on tablets from remote locations; submitting timesheets and expense reports via our mobile devices; and, we’re seeing retail sales associates stepping out from behind the registers to meet us at the product to pay for an item. The borderless work environment is in full-swing and businesses are being challenged to update and even create new business processes to meet changing employee expectations.

The traditional workstation is going away. It is no longer an accurate description of where we complete our work or how we spend our days. The walls are coming down between various devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone) and there is a convergence of capabilities between them. In fact, we’ve come to find that distinction is irrelevant – it’s more about access to business information and applications regardless of device. To meet this change, Avanade is updating all of its internal policies to remove ‘workstation’ and replace it with ‘device’.

And, there are exciting new technologies coming onto the scene that make this transition even easier. Notably, with the launch of Windows 8, we will have an enterprise-level security platform that will be more appealing for IT to embrace. recently outlined the “vastly improved protection” of Windows 8 and noted the numerous security capabilities of the soon-to-be-released OS.

Each business and industry will have varying levels of adoption of technologies like these that promote a more flexible work style. At Avanade, we are embracing changing expectations for how work gets done in the modern enterprise and updating policies to match those expectations. We encourage companies to think about ways to accommodate their worker’s flexible needs with new security guidelines and policies rather than looking for ways to restrict employees and limit access on devices that are widely used by employees and have the power to further transform our work.

One Response to The Demise of the Workstation

  1. Great news that “Avanade is updating all of its internal policies to remove ‘workstation’ and replace it with ‘device”’. Keen to listen more.

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