Applications assemble!

The trend over the last decade has been to take applications and bundle them together into a suite of products and services. Adobe did it with products such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere, which are now part of Adobe Creative Suite. Microsoft turned Word, Excel and Powerpoint into the Office Suite.

Some companies call them hubs, some call them collections, but the concept is the same: adding value to product offerings to justify subscription based business models. The benefit to the consumer starts with the purchase which is easier to justify as it’s no longer a capital expense but a monthly fee. Everyone wins.

Launching new products becomes easier

If your customers are already subscribing to a suite of products, it’s easy to add something new to the mix. This is great if you are developing smaller applications with great value that would be harder to market and sell on their own. Even if the application doesn’t add the desired value, you can remove it from the collection. We’ve seen a lot of new features being integrated into both Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, and of course, G Suite. Again, everyone wins.

But why Workspace?

What does this name change mean? Well, it could very well be a response to the work-from-home culture. Companies are beginning to realise that the real value is the worker, not the software. We cannot get in the way of work getting done but neither can a suite of applications replace workers (yet?).

A workspace is broadly defined as, ‘a space in which to work’. Whether that space is virtual or a physical location, colleagues can enjoy frictionless collaboration. They can pop into a meeting room for a face-to-face meeting or use Google’s alternative: Meet. They can go through documents over a coffee or collaborate in real time in Docs. No problem, Google’s got you covered.

The future of work

Google was built on data and continues to be a dominant force in the world of big data and when a reshuffle like this happens, we have to ask ourselves, ‘what are they seeing’? A lot of work is becoming knowledge work, not tool wrangling. Most people can learn spreadsheets or learn to buy online ads and most people can write a few paragraphs or move files around. But that is no longer the value of work and with automation coming at us at an almost alarming pace, it will prove to be the case even more so.

As shocking as it sounds, it appears that software and tools in general are getting out of our way and allowing us to work instead of wrangle. To properly empower this movement, the idea of turning G Suite into Workspace makes a lot of sense. Sharing and collaborating with each other is a human interaction, not a software feature.

What it tells us

The rebranding of G Suite to Workspace could very well be a step in the direction of empowering the work and creativity that humans bring and provide a space for this to blossom. Google has most likely seen the current pandemic state of the world affect us in ways we aren’t even aware of ourselves. These forced changes have accelerated workplace plans and agendas by several years. Softwares, suites and platforms need to be flexible and empower us and let us collaborate and share with each other with no limitations or technical obstacles.