The state of workspace tools and where they're headed

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Which organizations don't need to deliver virtual workspaces?

Virtual workspace products make employees' desktops, applications and data available to them in the office or remotely. But not every company is well-suited to reap benefits from workspace products.

Workspace products are designed to be the central point where users access the resources they need for work, but many organizations are either too big or too small to use these products effectively.

Virtual workspaces contain all the resources associated with specific users, which includes virtual desktop, applications, data and registered mobile devices. Vendors such as Citrix and VMware offer cloud-based and on-premises workspace management products, and they sound like a great way to gain unified control over employees' resources, but virtual workspaces aren't right for every company.

If some assets are inside the workspace but others aren't, this can create confusion among users, and it defeats the purpose of the workspace. If resources aren't centralized, IT must still manage multiple platforms. Instead, smaller organizations could use a combination of cloud applications and services that IT can manage just as effectively -- and most often at a lower price point -- using enterprise mobility management and other related products.

Enterprises often have legacy applications that don't virtualize well and become more challenging to use. These legacy apps may have a lot of dependencies, rely on external devices or run on antiquated platforms. Sometimes the only way to deploy these products is through a virtual desktop, but large organizations often have many different user populations. In that case, persona management and licensing can become barriers to implementing virtual desktops and applications through workspaces.

Virtual workspaces contain all the resources associated with specific users, which includes virtual desktop, applications, data and registered mobile devices.

Plus, companies often have legacy workspace components that they may not be ready to part with, such as custom Intranets and SharePoint sites. IT could deploy these tools through virtual workspaces, but that isn't a very clean design. Enterprises may find that virtual workspaces only work for a portion of their user base, such as a branch office or a new business line, and may not be worth the effort or expense.

Additionally, many startups bypass virtual workspaces and instead focus more on mobile application management. They often have limited funding, so they subscribe to the cloud services that meet their needs rather than spend money on servers and software. Most startups have very little -- if any -- local infrastructure. The apps they use are often cloud-based, and most have both a Web version and a mobile app.

As a result, many startups don't need a product that recreates desktops in a mobile format, and they don't have disparate platforms that need aggregation. Generally, startups' organizational objective is to take the cloud applications they subscribe to and centralize their delivery and management to mobile devices. Mobile application or device management platforms have already cornered the market on that.

Next Steps

Learn about VMware's Workspace One platform

An overview of Citrix Workspace Cloud

Using Citrix Workspace Suite to improve management

Dig Deeper on Virtual desktop management