Two Reasons to Manage a User’s Workspace in the Office

There are many reasons to manage a user’s workspace. Following is a look at two: (i) ensuring company security; and (ii) increasing employee productivity.

Managing a User’s Workspace to Protect Company Data

Employees are most company’s most valued asset. But, as the 1970s R&B hit by The Persuaders touted, “There’s a thin line between love and hate.” A most valued employee today can be a firm’s biggest enemy tomorrow.

Corporate espionage costs companies hundreds of millions of dollars per year. One of the most famous cases happened at DuPont in 2005 when one of its scientists stole $400 million in intellectual property. How did he do it? By accessing sensitive scientific information from the server which contained the firm’s electronic data library.

Although most employees are loyal, hardworking and trustworthy, it’s cases like this that highlight the need for companies to manage user workspaces by monitoring and controlling who has access to what and when.

As one executive said in an article in SC Magazine, a publication for IT security professionals:

“There are people who when it comes down to securing their critical information assets, their strategy is hope . . . hope is not a strategy. You have got to have very clear policy, you’ve got to implement controls [i.e., manage user workspaces] on that policy and then you’ve got to audit usage.”

Managing a User’s Workspace to Increase Productivity

Corporate espionage aside, a more common reason many companies manage user workspaces is to help them to do their jobs better. This has become increasingly difficult in today’s environment. System upgrades, the ability to share desktops and remote application infrastructures are just some of the reasons it’s difficult.

But companies realize the need to allow employees to personalize their workspace. How Employee A works may be different from Employee B, who is different from Employee C.

To overcome this, many companies use technology that allow them to manage a user’s desktop to a certain degree, while still allowing employees the autonomy to independently craft their user settings to meet their personal workflow needs.

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