Like everyone else in business, I just want things to work, including when I’m on my tablet. Recent evolutions have helped by bringing more business apps to the tablet. Yes, some are new mobile versions and a lot are simply web or SaaS apps these days. Those are easy. But there are an awful lot of Windows apps we still rely on for business, and although they continue to dwindle in numbers, the expectation is that they won’t go away entirely for a long time. A number of companies are providing access to virtualized Windows desktops and apps, so although usability on touch devices still has a way to go, app access improving.
Of course many of these Windows applications are useless without the files I need to do my job. Some of my files are on premises at work in Windows file shares, while many others are in various cloud file share services. Things were simpler when everyone worked on connected PCs in the office, and files were all contained either on the PC or in networked storage. But as proliferation of devices and flexible work styles have evolved, this simple world has become the exception, not the rule. This has led to emailing documents to myself, and using consumer-oriented cloud file shares, just to get access from multiple devices. Frequent tablet use, cellular (non-VPN) connectivity, and a wide array of simple-to-use cloud file storage are complicating file access even more.
So how can IT allow me to continue to work intuitively on my mobile devices, while making it transparent where my files are? As you know, trying to navigate a Windows file share on a tablet is a nightmare. The two were not designed to be compatible. However, if Windows file shares were as easy to access and use on a tablet as, say, DropBox, I could be encouraged to actually move my work files back into the company’s secure and controlled environment, making IT happier.
The best solution for files that accomplishes all of this is the same as that for delivering disparate applications – workspaces. It’s the same aggregation approach for accessing native applications on tablets that can also bring files from various sources together in a seamless manner.
There is a lot of confusing discussion these days about workspaces – what they are and what they should be able to do. But NComputing’s oneSpace product, built on the award-winning vSpace platform, is the most evolved and most closely matches Gartner’s description of the space, specifically solving both the app and file aggregation in a single solution. Once business users have simple and ubiquitous access to all of their critical files on any device they may be using, wherever they are, businesses can again regain control over these important assets, and users will no longer feel like they have to compromise their own productivity to comply.