The days of snail mail and memos are almost over, as email has transformed into the central communication tool for businesses around the world: in today’s work world, over 183 billion emails are sent each day, globally.
We are constantly typing, sending, forwarding, and replying. Email is also among the most widespread online activity, with 92 per cent of US adults reportedly using email to communicate. Our inbox now plays a central role in our lives whether we like it or not.
Dealing with email, however, can be associated with negative outcomes for well-being. Research indicates that people who handle more emails at work experience lower job satisfaction and perceive email as a greater source of stress, as it can disrupt the daily workflow. Employees in-turn feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, frustrated and stressed from work.
Adding to the stress of email is the broken link problem. When you’re traveling outside of the office and on another device, working out of your email can be extremely difficult when the links and files your co-workers send are broken. Companies who use Microsoft Office 365, a powerful and convenient cloud-based service, especially find it difficult to share files through email due to Windows Firewall, a network security system that controls the incoming and outgoing network of traffic to the datacenter and servers. For instance, one might share an Office 365 expense report, contract or presentation through the cloud, but it can’t be opened by the recipient because of the added protection of their device isn’t in the office or on a VPN. Working in your email becomes nearly impossible when you can’t even open the files your co-workers share with you.
Constantly emailing back and forth to obtain documents across multiple devices only adds to the stress of email. An unfortunate limitation of the human mind is that it cannot perform two demanding tasks simultaneously, so flipping back and forth between your desktop, laptop and phone to look at a document and communicate with your co-worker saps cognitive resources. As a result, one becomes less efficient in their tasks and provides an unending source of new tasks for their to-do lists.
Workspace as a Service (WaaS) provides a solution to your email and broken link problems, and the headaches of multi-device multi-tasking. WaaS is a platform that delivers company applications and data to any device, allowing employees to access important files around the world – it’s virtualisation for the mobile and multi-tasking world.
IDC analyst Brett Waldman predicts that despite many companies looking to outsource virtual desktops today, the rise in mobility is actually transforming the demand towards applications. It is this workspace that end users want to be able to access anywhere, anytime, anyplace — giving rise to Workspace as a Service. Furthermore, MarketsandMarkets predicts that the WaaS market will be worth $9.41 billion (£6.1bn) by 2019.
So how does WaaS work under the hood, and is it a secure collaboration platform for companies or some kind of cloud delivery solution? With WaaS, IT starts by connecting all the corporate and cloud applications securely into the platform, without moving the apps or data or transforming anything. All security stays in tact for IT. Employees and end users then access these applications via an all-in-one app on their mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. The app also provides access to important company documents, connecting securely through encryption and password protection.
What makes WaaS different than general cloud virtualisation solutions? WaaS platforms provide point-and-click installs with app stores for easy setup, eliminating the need for a proprietary infrastructure which can become costly. Furthermore, WaaS platforms often have built-in security policies and settings so that IT doesn’t have to manually create them, and maintenance/updates can be done automatically.
And unlike existing virtualisation solutions, not one single new bit of infrastructure has to be deployed either on premise or on a cloud. Providing services and permissions to end users becomes truly a click away.
WaaS doesn’t just fix the broken link problem, it does most of the heavy lifting for companies and their IT departments when it comes to a mobile workforce.