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Enterprises Change Approach to Digital Workplace Solutions in Response to Pandemic

ISG Provider Lens™ report says trends in endpoint management, communications and collaboration and employee engagement have accelerated under new conditions

The growth of remote and hybrid working, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has changed enterprise needs and priorities for digital workplace technology, according to a new research report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Future of Work – Services and Solutions - Global Report finds new technologies and work styles have transformed endpoint management, communications and collaboration solutions and tools for maximizing employee engagement and productivity. Organizations around the world are turning toward more unified and cloud-based approaches to maximize workforce potential.

“The sudden need for remote work during the pandemic has shone a spotlight on the potential of digital workplace technologies,” said Dee Anthony, leader, ISG Workplace of the Future. “Enterprises are changing their expectations in this area and turning to a diverse field of providers to meet them.”

In the past two to three years, unified endpoint management (UEM) has been transformed from a combination of client management tools (CMT) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) into single-pane, co-management solutions that bridge these approaches and enable administration of both modern and traditional devices, the report says.

The pandemic lockdowns of 2020 led companies to adopt device-as-a-service and virtual desktop offerings, the report says. Companies had to quickly set up devices for employees at home, without a technician on site, then securely manage those devices. At the same time, UEM vendors had to extend their solutions to virtual devices and endpoints.

Security, which was not a central feature of UEM at first, has become the most important aspect of UEM solutions, according to ISG. Many vendors now integrate UEM with solutions for endpoint detection and response, identity and access management and security information and event management.

The pandemic has also accelerated changes in unified communications (UC) and unified communications as a service (UCaaS) as companies rely more on virtual and video collaboration, ISG says. On-premises UC deployments are now in the minority, as enterprises turn to the cloud for telephony to support hybrid workforces. Meanwhile, video collaboration has gone from a nice-to-have feature to an essential tool and a crucial element of UCaaS solutions. Vendors are also integrating contact center-as-a-service in UCaaS offerings, often by merging with or acquiring contact center providers.

Employee engagement and productivity have become higher priorities as enterprises recognize that technologies that help remote employees better connect with peers and knowledge can also make them more productive, the report says. Platforms for engagement and productivity begin with meeting and conferencing solutions and typically include intranets, enterprise social networking, automated team collaboration solutions and task/project management capabilities.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Future of Work – Services and Solutions - Global Report evaluates the capabilities of 47 providers across three quadrants: Unified Endpoint Management, Unified Communications and Collaboration as a Service, and Employee Engagement and Productivity Solutions.

The report names Microsoft as a Leader in all three quadrants. It names 8X8, BlackBerry, Cisco, Citrix, Google, IBM, Igloo, Ivanti, RingCentral, Salesforce (Slack), VMware, Workplace from Meta, Zoho (ManageEngine) and Zoom as Leaders in one quadrant each.

In addition, BlueJeans from Verizon and Citrix are named as Rising Stars—companies with a “promising portfolio” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition—in one quadrant each.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Future of Work – Services and Solutions - Global Report is available to subscribers or for one-time purchase on this webpage.

About ISG Provider Lens™ Research

The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG's global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG's enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe, as well as in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, the Nordics, Brazil and Australia/New Zealand, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.

A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit


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