Modern Management is the next evolution of workspace management that companies are aspiring to achieve over the coming years.

The goal is to be able to manage ubiquitously a user regardless of device and operating system. To architect and deliver the ultimate Digital Workspace experience, which is driven by the experience we have today  as consumers from the likes of Apple and Google ecosystems.

By delivering a seamless and unified Digital Workspace, customers in return expect a high level of employee satisfaction, retention and productivity.

They expect to attract the best talent, to be able to engage with them pre-start date, to onboard them into the business efficiently, and enable them to contribute from day 1.

On the flip side, employee expectations of their business and IT are higher than ever. Demanding the ability in most cases to work from any location, on any device, any time. The slogan we see within End User Computing is typically “Any, Any, Any”.

In their hasty quest for achieving what is today considered EUC nirvana, businesses are building their Digital Workspace on the equivalent of a bed of sand, in the rush to be first to deliver modern management to the masses.

As IT departments, start shifting their tooling from delivering in a traditional silo’d manner (EMM for Mobile, Desktop delivery for physical and whatever your flavour of virtual), they are leaving gaps in their base and core infrastructure that ultimately hinders their ability to truly deliver modern management.

The outcome of this, is a Frankenstein-esq end product, where they end up delivering a traditional desktop with a modern management tool like VMware Workspace One.

Where the management experience is improved, but the user experience is marginally improved, typically by improve the enrolment of devices and delivering applications and services via single intelligent portal or hub.

Before customers embark on getting to Modern Management, they really need to have a few key things in place or understood to make any initiative a success.

  1. Have the right people

Sounds simple, but this really is key. Don’t give your Modern Management project to the EMM team to deliver. Why? Because more than likely they are missing years worth of experience and suffering delivering Windows desktops, not just VDI instances. 

Remember while Windows 10 is sort of new and shiny, it’s underlying base is still built on 20 years worth of Windows operating systems. People with experience will know the nuances, and be able to guide the project through them far better than someone who is solely from an EMM background, or even potentially only versed in delivering Windows desktops via VDI. 

Delivering a Windows desktop successfully can be a war of attrition. 

Same goes for getting the desktop or VDI team to deliver the project, working with mobile devices and other OS’s like MacOS and now ChromeOS as well requires people to have experience in delivering EMM, understand the backend services like APNS etc.  And more often than not an appreciation for certificate management and deployment.

When it comes to getting a team together for the project, make sure you have the best elements of your Desktop, Virtual and EMM teams working together. Ultimately that is what Modern Management is about, merging the silo’d end point and device management into a single pane of glass delivery.

  • Get your network into shape.

Modern Management is pinned on the ability to shift from different networks seamlessly and to access applications and services when desired and the context is right.

It also requires a high level of bandwidth for just delivering the enrolment. So if your network requires 20 hops to get out to the wide world of the inter web, has latency beyond 100ms worst case and is generally unsuitable for anything other than sending ping packets, then stop what you are doing and fix it. A bad network will hamstring a modern managed project and provide false negatives.

  • File and Print Services. Make the unsexy, sexy.

It’s a tough one to get right, but if your users cannot access files, edit them, save them and collaborate then you are dead in the water.

Yes you can VPN back and use things like folder redirection in Windows and offline folders etc. But what’s the point, you’re providing a 20 year old user experience to modern day desktop!

Work with your server and security team to ensure they have a strategy to deliver files from the DC securely to any enrolled device to any user. OneDrive allows us to shift the users own working area into the cloud, but there is still the need for accessing existing file shares. There are a host of 3rd party tools out there to help deliver this securely and seamlessly to the user, ensure the experience is up to that of a modern managed device, regardless what you are using.

Print is pretty much the same now, if I’m not using my own printer at home which I should be able to install myself, then I should be looking to leverage global printing solutions. A single print queue to rule them all! Please don’t make your users map to multiple printer from a print server, be kind!

  • Sign on once, access all

Single Sign on is key to providing a seamless experience in accessing all applications and content  be it web, virtual or whatever. Make sure you have this in place, that your certificates and CA’s are in order and this will provide the ultimate in delivering a modern managed experience.

  • Be the partnering team in IT.

Modern management success hinges as already mentioned on the bedrock of your infrastructure. If it’s sandy then it will crumble into expensive wasted oblivion. Therefore ensure you are being transparent with the other teams in your IT org. Take the network guys to coffee, bring back convention freebies for the security guys and hug the PKI team. 

These teams are key to your success, so being transparent, communicative and wanting to bring them in early will ensure they are ready to support you as you test, rollout and scale.

In conclusion, this isn’t actually anything new, its the same paradigm applied to a different technology solution.

Years ago we had the desktop people trying to configure and deliver Terminal Services (RDSH) out in companies with various steep learning curves and levels of success.

Then we had the Desktop and the RDSH / VDI teams come together. They were then tasked with delivering the early stages of EMM with various successes.

Now we are in the modern management era, we need the EMM teams and the Desktop / RDSH teams to combine into a Digital Workspace team, with skill and experience across a broad section of operating systems, policy models and application delivery methods.

That is where you will find your success.

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