Beyond SaaS: The Rise of the Device Independent Platform and the Portable Workspace, Part I of II

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Beyond SaaS: The Rise of the Device Independent Platform and the Portable Workspace, Part I of II

What Is the Device Independent  Platform and the Portable Workspace?

Before we go further, we need to define the device independent platform and the portable workspace. The device independent platform is a stacked, layered, and highly virtualized architecture consisting of two main components. The first component is the portable workspace.

Elements of the Portable Workspace

The workspace is customer facing and should be thought of as a packaged computing environment that can be moved seamlessly from device to device while providing its owner access to and protection of their digital assets and properties. These can include:

  • A responsive UI that incorporates automatic display management and desktop configuration.
  • Desktop applications.
  • Mobile applications.
  • Workspace arrangement and modifications.
  • Documents and files.
  • Digital purchases such as pictures, music, books, videos, images, etc.
  • Digital assets and materials the workspace owner does not want to store online.

Most people don’t realize (until their computer is stolen or crashes), that in the aggregate the above list is the single most valuable computing asset they own. Hardware is cheap and software is usually inexpensive. But the time you’ve spent creating and organizing your digital life can represent hundreds or thousands of hours and years of time and effort. If this working structure is lost or disrupted, in some cases it can never be recovered.

UIs and desktops have traditionally been bound to specific hardware since the release of the first Macintosh. But the increasing adoption of SaaS and mobile applications has taught millions of people that applications can reside in the cloud independent of any device. And every major computing company, including Apple, Google, and Microsoft, is currently spinning up major initiatives to unify their systems and services across all devices.

A defining characteristic of the portable workspace is its digital immortality. Once created, it can be moved, backed up, and parked on any number of devices while automatically adapting to the hardware environment. Over time, the workspace becomes more valuable as its owner invests more money and time into enhancing and expanding it. It is possible to foresee workspaces in the future becoming legally inheritable assets.

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