A majority of companies have implemented or plan to implement a hybrid work model moving forward.(1) However, supporting a hybrid work model creates new speedbumps for IT. VMware today outlined how autonomous workspaces powered by data science will ease this burden. It also unveiled innovations across its Anywhere Workspace platform that will inject automation into organizations’ end-user computing environments, enabling IT teams to do more with less.
“The reality of hybrid work is each employee, and each device is a front door into the organization and its resources. IT must not only make that front door secure, but also welcoming as employees access apps from anywhere. The only way IT teams will be able to support hybrid work is by implementing simplified, unified, and automated processes,” said Shankar Iyer, senior vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, VMware. “Autonomous Workspaces represent the next evolution of managing digital workspaces, and VMware is once again pioneering the path forward for organizations.”
Journey to Autonomous Workspaces
According to Gartner®, “By 2027, unified endpoint management and digital employee experience tools will converge to drive autonomous endpoint management, reducing human effort by at least 40%.”(2) At VMware Explore 2022 US, VMware will outline the journey of digital workspace from being manual and task-centric to an outcomes-driven autonomous workspace. The future of hybrid work will drive an evolution of the digital workspace – one that injects data science and proactive automations across endpoint management, security and end-user experience. This will enable a context-aware autonomous workspace that delivers a few primary outcomes:
- Self-configuring: Workspaces are configured to a desired state instead of constantly monitoring for changes and enforcing reactive policies.
- Self-healing: The solution intelligently detect and isolate end-user experience incidents, accelerate change management, and automatically remediate issues to normal working state.
- Self-securing: The solution can take proactive actions to better secure workspace access, quarantine apps or devices, and remediate anomalies to enable a return to desired posture.
Innovations Across Anywhere Workspace
VMware Anywhere Workspace will include all tools needed to deliver autonomous workspaces.
Today at VMware Explore, VMware unveiled how it is advancing self-configuring, self-healing and self-securing outcomes across four key technology areas that are delivered by the Anywhere Workspace platform:
- VDI and DaaS
- Digital Employee Experience
- Unified Endpoint Management
VDI and DaaS
Hybrid work is driving demand for multi-cloud VDI. VMware is introducing a next generation of VMware Horizon Cloud that will enable multi-cloud agility and flexibility. This new release represents a major update to Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure that can dramatically simplify the infrastructure that needs to be deployed inside customer environments, reducing infrastructure costs in some cases by over 70% while increasing scalability and reliability of VMware’s DaaS platform.(3)
The new “Thin Edge” infrastructure continues to leverage the Horizon Control plane–a VMware-managed service that includes hybrid support and features like app management, universal brokering, image management, monitoring, and more. Plus, this next-gen Horizon Cloud is API-driven, so customers, partners, and ISVs will be able to build tools, services, and automations. Customers with Horizon subscription licenses are entitled to the new and improved Horizon Cloud at no additional charge.
VMware will also introduce VMware Horizon Managed Desktop – a flexible, cloud-hosted service that delivers fully-managed virtual desktops and apps with choice of deployment options: on-premises, hybrid or public cloud. This will better enable secure access for a distributed workforce for wherever work takes them. The solution relieves IT teams from time-consuming operations, provides cost-management with predictable OpEx spending, speeds deployments for faster time to value, and rapidly scales to meet changing workforce demands.
Additionally, Google and VMware are collaborating to bring access to any app on any device for the hybrid workforce. Organizations will be able to use hundreds of certified endpoints to connect to Horizon virtual desktops and apps. And now, with Google Chromebook as a validated endpoint, industries like healthcare can benefit from delivering a great user experience for more secure access to corporate resources.
“We rely on VMware Horizon to support access to corporate resources for our employees,” said Yehoshua Israel, IT director, Aperion Care, Inc. “In conversation with the Google product team, we learned that ChromeOS is a good fit to connect to Horizon for our environment, and our time from unboxing to ready for deployment is about three minutes. Using a managed guest session, the ChromeOS system is simple to use, locked down, HIPAA-compliant, and inexpensive. The transition from Windows-based laptops to Chromebooks with Horizon has been seamless.”
Digital Employee Experience
VMware is broadening the coverage of its Digital Employee Experience solutions beyond Workspace ONE UEM managed devices to now include VMware Horizon and third-party managed and unmanaged devices. This will result in increased support of remote, hybrid and frontline personas.
And, to support the rising number of devices used by frontline employees, VMware is introducing a Digital Employee Experience Management (DEEM) solutions pack for customers with frontline deployments. These out-of-the box dashboards span ROI, shared-device usage, device loss, critical application performance, and more, to measure and improve mission-critical deployments.
Finally, VMware Workspace ONE is introducing DEEM Guided Root Cause Analysis capabilities. With the increase in hybrid work, organizations have struggled to scale the helpdesk to support more devices, apps, and networks. With this new feature, machine learning algorithms will help IT correlate all the relevant data points to recommend possible causes with probability assigned; enabling IT to solve issues more quickly, create automations to prevent other users from experiencing the issue, and restore productivity for impacted employees.
Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)
VMware continues to roll out advanced UEM capabilities now supporting multi-platform automation and orchestration with the expansion of Workspace ONE Freestyle Orchestrator to mobile devices and third-party apps. Freestyle Orchestrator – a modern, no-/low-code automation framework in UEM – provides support for Windows and Mac desktop operating systems. Since its launch, the tool has seen a significant adoption with more than 26 million automation runs that are designed to help IT teams eliminate complex and manual configurations tasks. Freestyle Orchestrator continues to offer administrators the flexibility to create these automation workflows to fit specific process requirements for their organization, and now with the extended platform support, expected to further increase IT efficiency and productivity.
VMware is also driving innovation by adding platform breadth of support and depth of management in its industry-recognized UEM solution. Additional UEM enhancements now include availability of multi-user mode for Windows OS – a use case that has seen significant adoption in both frontline shared use and in-office device loaner or hoteling scenarios as employees return to work. VMware is also announcing availability in this quarter of a distribution-agnostic Linux endpoint solution, XR Hub for AR/VR devices; and Tech Previews of its next-gen Windows Update management, support for new Chrome OS APIs for Education, work profile on Android AMAPI, and a dynamic, data-driven UI for iOS and Windows day-1 new policy support.
Earlier this year, VMware announced a key innovation in the form of Workspace ONE Mobile Threat Defense [read press release]. Today’s mobile threat landscape is diverse, and mobile workstyles call for specialized protection from phishing and application, device, and rogue network originated threats. VMware Workspace ONE Mobile Threat Defense, an add-on to the Workspace ONE UEM platform, takes mobile protection to the next level. Specifically, the solution addresses application-based threats, Web and content vulnerabilities, Zero-day threats and device vulnerabilities, and more.