This is an interview by DSA Editor with Alex Loh, Country Manager of VMware Malaysia.
1. Many people may not be entirely sure what digital workspace means. Can you describe what VMware means when you say digital workspace?
Malaysia is gearing up to be amongst the fastest growing mobile markets in the region. With high penetration and mobile access, employees (who are also consumers at heart) expect businesses to provide the same mobility at work. At VMware, we see digital workspace as a connection between people, organization and tools.
Simply put, the digital workspace is anywhere, anytime access from any device. Whether users are on site or remote, the digital workspace enables them to work from anywhere in the world. The ability to offer this anytime anywhere experience requires a strategic shift in how businesses can deliver end-user services to an increasingly mobile workforce. Digital workspace provides the necessary infrastructure to securely deliver the apps and data employees need across any device, whenever and wherever they choose to work. It is a tool to connect and transform business processes to drive efficiency, innovation and revenue.
2. In what way does the digital workspace improve business outcomes?
With the fast-paced work environment today, it is essential for employees to work faster and collaborate more effectively to get their jobs done and meet deadlines. Intranets have been very successful in this particular area but in terms of mobility and flexibility, digital workspaces are part of the pathway to achieving digital transformation. The digital workspaces that we provide are consumer simple, enterprise secure. Overall, it gives our customers unified experience regardless of the device; giving their workforce the ability to access all of their applications from one place with one identity in a single consumer-like experience and enterprise-like security.
A digital workspace platform enables companies to improve their business outcomes through efficiency, scalability and innovation. Based on this, VMware’s Digital Workspace offers solutions to simplify app and access management; unify endpoint management, and transform windows delivery.
All in all, a digital workspace drives productivity for the end user. Everything now in the consumerization of IT is about speed and simplicity. So if you can ensure that these applications can be delivered very fast and simple as opposed to complex enterprise infrastructure and log-in, you have met the needs of the users. This is all about empowering your end users to make decisions quickly and to be more productive, which will unleash the end users to think, imagine, and vision all the things that facilitate growth and productivity.
It is important for businesses to realise that digital workspace can support a diverse and ever- changing work pattern while keeping personal and professional data separated from one another.
3. What are some of the biggest challenges faced by companies that are trying to digitise and how does VMware help make the process simpler and more cost effective for them?
In the mobile-cloud era, employees, devices, applications and data increasingly live beyond the physical walls of the workplace, the data centre, or the network. Today’s workforce wants the flexibility, convenience, and productivity of mobile solutions and the freedom to work from anywhere on the devices and apps they choose. Digital enterprises are struggling to balance such preferences with enterprise security due to disjointed technology and teams. Technology solutions are often adopted in an ad-hoc, piecemeal basis which hinders companies from delivering a unified workspace that employees can be productive in.
From an end-user’s standpoint, the biggest challenge to digital workspaces is usually the loss of control. Users have a sense of ownership over their physical desktops, and they may not like the idea of surrendering their ownership to a virtual desktop environment.
Looking at a companies’ standpoint, their main challenge is implementing a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program that supports device diversity, ability to offer superior information security while keeping business and personal data separate. The main drawbacks here involve security and manageability issues. With the use of personal devices within a corporation, security concerns include the risk of corporate assets getting mixed up with personal data, or even worse, unsafe and unauthorized application downloads that could compromise the integrity of company data.
According to our VMware Digital Workspace Study, which surveyed 2,000 professionals across Southeast Asia on their BYOD habits, revealed that eighty-one percent of Malaysian employees said they encounter difficulties when using work applications. Some of the main constraints cited were “having too many passwords to remember” (42 percent); “different interface experiences” (39 percent); and “apps that do not sync up perfectly across devices” (31 percent). To overcome these challenges, employees use the same password across devices and applications (29 percent) or save them as notes on their mobile devices (29 percent).
To tackle these shadow IT issues, companies in MY need to break down technology silos by standardizing processes onto a digital workspace platform. The mobile workforce needs a simple, single log-in environment to access all of their apps and services across devices while keeping personal and professional data separate. Our solution to a simple and secure digital workplace is the Workspace One where a user may use various devices running on different platforms (Android, IOS, Win 10, etc.), equipped with productivity applications with built-in security. Our vision is to provide enterprises with unified end-point management so that mobile workers are able to securely consume or access applications from any device with a consistent look and feel.
Digital workspace platforms available to businesses offer a seamless option combining identity and enterprise mobility management on a single integrated platform to help organizations securely deploy all business applications and services with an improved end-user experience.
4. What is VMware’s digital transformation strategy for Malaysia?
VMware is committed to enabling businesses in Malaysia with the right technologies and skill sets designed to help Malaysia benefit from emerging market opportunities and plan for future growth. Through innovations VMware stays committed to innovations, industry partnerships and focus on customer centric approaches.
As part of our efforts to support digital transformation, we have partnered with industry players to provide solutions tailored to the local market needs. VMware is proudly collaborating with VADS Berhad, Malaysia's leading Integrated Managed ICT/BPO Service Provider, to provide businesses the agility to deliver end user computing services quickly and easily without the complexity of deploying and managing infrastructure.
Moving parallel with Malaysia’s national agenda to build a digital economy, VMware has provided virtualization and cloud training for students in Malaysia. Last year, we announced our collaboration with Malaysia's premier Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU). This is part of our efforts in talent development to help meet the demands of the rapidly changing trends of technology in the industry and nation.
VMware is further supporting the advancement of digital transformation with customer centric technology such as the recently launched Workspace ONE. This is a new platform for delivering secure digital workspaces for flexible workstyles and allows for BYOD. A first of its kind, the digital platform will bring together identity, device management and application delivery on a single integrated platform.
5. IDC Malaysia reported that 73% of SMEs in Malaysia still lag in ICT adoption, what are VMware’s plans or initiatives to encourage more local enterprises to embrace the digital transformation?
Malaysia is a key market for VMware, and we remain committed to enabling businesses in their digital transformation journey.
Our aim with SMEs is to accelerate business agility and innovation, while giving employees exceptional mobile experiences. We will be directing our focus towards technology and more specifically catering products and solutions for SMEs.
Through our solutions, VMware is committed to enable businesses in Malaysia to transform IT by enhancing mobility and security through a software-defined and customer centric approach. We will continue to actively seek out, industrial-institutional partnerships and to work closely with local governing bodies aligned with national agendas. Our Workspace ONE solutions will provide local businesses with better enterprise mobility and security capabilities.