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2015 Prediction: The Emergence of Workspace Management-as-a-Service Platform

Mitch Parker of Citrix believes the platform "will offer APIs to connect to all of the on-premises datacenter elements seamlessly."

Editor's Note: This is one in a series of 2015 predictions for virtualization and cloud computing. It comes courtesy of Mitch Parker, vice president and GM, Cloud Services Group, Citrix Systems Inc.

In 2015, Workspace Management-as-a-Service (WMaaS) platforms will emerge as a powerful and elegant new way to deploy and manage end-user desktops, applications and mobile workspaces.

This new cloud-based service will streamline how services providers, solution providers and enterprises deliver virtual desktops and applications for mobile workspaces. Providers and enterprises will benefit from the ability to choose their preferred IT infrastructures, OSes, applications, and user management and entitlement systems, while streamlining the process of mobile workspace delivery.

In today's business environment, providers and enterprise IT organizations face an increasing demand for greater access to applications and resources from a broad choice of devices from any location, without compromising security.

Current options for meeting this demand include a range of application and desktop virtualization systems and enterprise mobility management solutions, which require in-depth technical expertise to deploy. Furthermore, end users demand that their experience be equal to or better than their native device experience or IT organizations risk a user revolt that can sink the entire project.

This WMaaS will be delivered from a cloud-based platform that will provide a greater degree of simplicity for administrators. Plus, the best systems will allow administrators to not only choose the best workspace management service, but also be able to deploy it to the best infrastructure cloud for their business –- rather than lock them into a single cloud provider. On top of the platform, providers will specialize in meeting market-specific and personal-workspace requirements, ensuring each workspace is business-ready and optimized for each customer.

For providers and enterprises who want to host their workspaces on cloud-based infrastructures, the platform will let them choose from every major public cloud infrastructure available including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or other Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environments. For meeting policy or compliance requirements that mandate keeping all key resources on-premises, the platform will offer APIs to connect to all of the on-premises datacenter elements seamlessly.

For organizations that must locally store directories and end-user data, preferences and credentials, the platform connections will deploy secure workspaces without directly accessing that information, avoiding outside exposure and ensuring compliance with security policies and regulatory requirements.

The best workspace management platforms will provide the most responsive and flexible UX, as well –- allowing the end user to select his device of choice, and also choose from approved options that offer control over his personal workspace, while protecting resources and information.

With this platform, services providers and solution providers have an incredible opportunity to optimize the OS and applications for each workspace to fit specific vertical market requirements and individual preferences.

By enabling providers and enterprises to choose best-of-breed services at every layer of the stack –- infrastructure, workspace management, OS, application and user management -– they will be able to deliver the elegant, seamless UX required for business-ready workspaces to be successful.

By streamlining the mobile workspace-delivery process, this platform will empower providers and enterprises to boost user satisfaction, while accelerating the business mobility transformation.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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