Yes it's doable: Digital workspace transformation for SMBs

Runners on a trail representing the forward momentum of digital workplace transformation


Digital workspace transformation or intelligent workspace transformation is a hot topic these days. People are working in multiple ways, including remotely, in-the-office, and via hybrid approaches. Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) need to support their employees in being productive and engaged, no matter where they work and what device they use.

That’s a complex endeavor for your IT support team, and the stakes could not be higher. If you get your digital workplace strategy wrong, not only will employees be less productive, but they may also leave you for organizations that provide a better digital workplace. Fortunately, a comprehensive solution exists to help achieve your digital workplace strategy.

What is a digital workplace?

An IDC InfoBrief sponsored by GoTo defines digital workplace as “an ecosystem of services that supports hybrid work — working anywhere, from any device, and using tools that transform work, from simple tasks to managing human-machine collaboration on a grand scale." The structure of a digital workspace is organized into 3 layers:

  1. Physical devices and spaces: the hardware employees need to get work done, like laptops, desktops, monitors, mobile devices, headsets, Wi-Fi routers, cameras, and conference call speakerphones.
  2. Critical workspace infrastructure: the behind-the-scenes technologies, systems, and networks that enable the digital workplace, like VPNs, VDIs, ITSM, remote access/support/management, and endpoint security. This is critical digital workspace infrastructure.
  3. Digital interfaces/experiences and apps: the screens teams interact with daily, like operating systems, messaging apps (MS Teams), meeting software, and office productivity apps. They need to be accessible, integrated, and easy to use/adopt.

What are the benefits of getting it right?

The benefits of getting your digital workplace transformation right are both diverse and mission-critical for your midsize business. An effective digital workspace:

  • Improves work productivity, giving your employees more choice/flexibility around where and how they work best
  • Introduces new, more agile ways of working via distributed teams
  • Provides data-informed insights an organization can leverage to respond to the needs of customers and employees 
  • Ultimately results in improvements in both employee retention and customer satisfaction

Getting from here to there

Any digital workplace transformation represents a big undertaking that large enterprises are investing lots of resources into. But how can you, as a midsize business with limited resources, manage the complexities of implementing a digital workplace strategy? You’ll need to tend to that middle layer mentioned above. The critical workspace infrastructure is the “glue” that enables advanced orchestration between devices and interfaces.

The need to consolidate IT support tools

Digital workplace transformation can’t be cobbled together as an aggregation of disjointed, misfit tools that force your IT team to constantly toggle back and forth. Instead of a “Franken-stack monster,” you need a comprehensive IT support solution purpose-built for your digital workplace needs.

Forward-thinking organizations are consolidating their IT support tools. According to IDC, 67% of midsize organizations are consolidating their IT tools, with an emphasis on the three most important functionalities:

Any effective digital workspace strategy must begin with these three capabilities, with remote IT support representing the clear top priority for midsize businesses.

Some important recommendations (i.e., next steps)

The IDC InfoBrief sponsored by GoTo offers half a dozen important recommendations for getting your digital workplace transformation right. Let’s explore two of the six recommendations:

  1. Make employee experience, self-service, choice, and flexibility the starting point of workspace transformation. Ultimately, you’re not supporting devices, software, and/or physical workspaces, but you’re supporting employees so they can be more productive and enjoy an enhanced employee experience no matter where they work. Delivering a solid digital workplace experience puts flexibility into the hands of your people, enabling them to decide how they can work best on any given day. That keeps them happy, productive, and committed to your mid-sized organization.
  2. Leverage platforms that are designed with security and where security is embedded at the platform level, so you can focus on features relevant to your digital workspace transformation needs. Cyberattacks have (unfortunately) been on the rise since the pandemic, and have gotten more sophisticated. Phishing is common, as is theft of user credentials. As an SMB seeking to keep your employees productive and engaged, you don’t need to sacrifice security for simplicity. Look for tools that blend enterprise-grade security and consumer-grade ease of use to keep your IT ecosystem safe. End-to-end encryption, SSO, MFA, and a zero-trust access controls are a few important safeguards.

To learn more about effectively driving digital workplace transformation at your organization and IDC’s top six recommendations for moving forward, read the IDC InfoBrief sponsored by GoTo.

For more about our consolidated IT support solution, visit GoTo Resolve.