Marten Bütow
20. October 2017 0

The king of the workplace – on the way out?

The desktop is dead! You’ve probably heard that before, haven’t you? Very forward-looking users with their sharp, visionary eye like to propound that and similar hypotheses (“mobile first is too little – mobile is the one and only!”).

The desktop PC is a match for mobile devices

As much as I like using my smartphone or a tablet, the moment I want to concentrate on work, it’s time to get serious. Perhaps I’m also a little too old in that respect. But for developing a concept, designing a presentation or writing a text, I prefer to use a large keyboard and – now and then– a large monitor. Colleagues of mine even use several. That user experience is difficult to replicate on a mobile device with a touchscreen.

Revolutionary simplicity vs. mature security

But let’s be fair. The simplicity of apps & co. is naturally revolutionary for the business arena, which admittedly has attained a high degree of user functionality over the decades under the auspices of Windows – perhaps even an excessive degree at times. And a pile of administration and security features that sometimes make the applications a little unwieldy –  but that guarantee a business-level performance.

In contrast, mobile apps are young. They’ve only been around a few years. They’re shaking up work with their fresh approach. Yet they still have a bit to learn when it comes to security, service availability, support and host of functions. And integration. Because the success of the app is down to its encapsulation. That also means familiar programs from the desktop world are not easy to provide as a mobile app. Just recall how long Microsoft needed to bring out Office for iOS and Android. The software had to be reprogrammed from scratch. The dream of an app-only world has its (virtual) obstacles.

The mix is what counts – and it has to be managed.

As a result, the perfect workplace will become context-sensitive. The right device for the situation and requirements at hand will be a part of it. The smartphone for on the road, the tablet perhaps for presentations or discussions, and the good old PC/laptop for extensive work in peace and quiet – something we can’t do without, even in fast-moving times.

Ronaldo may be worth an entire team, but a good squad is made up of several players – each serving a purpose. I believe that’s also true at the workplace. Every device or software product for its purpose – but together delivering an ideal working environment. Of course, that blend also has to be managed efficiently and holistically in the background. So the PC is by no means dead. However, perhaps it’s losing its traditional place as the hub of work. But it’s sure to remain a key player in the workplace mix. The desktop is dead? Long live the desktop!

What should the dynamic workplace be like so that companies are fit for the future? Benny Tritsch and Brian Madden have addressed the issue for us in a white paper. You can download it here:

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