The past 12 months have seen significant changes and upheaval in the way we live our lives and also in terms of our work environment. Many organizations moved to remote working almost overnight, leaving IT with significant challenges in terms of ensuring users continue to remain productive and secure. Organizations have been increasingly looking to cloud technologies to provide solutions to these challenges.

According to Gartner the proportion of IT spending that is shifting to cloud will accelerate in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, a recent Gartner survey found that almost 70% of organizations using cloud services today plan to increase their cloud spending in the wake of the disruption caused by COVID-19.

The Workspace Control 2021.1 release has been designed to help customers with the transition to cloud and also with managing users working from home. The two standout features from this release in support of these initiatives are as follows:

  • Azure Active Directory Integration
    Azure AD is Microsoft's enterprise cloud-based identity and access management (IAM) solution and is the built-in solution for managing identities in Microsoft 365. To support the increased usage of Microsoft 365, Workspace Control 2021.1 now integrates directly with Azure AD and customers can use Azure AD for context-based decisions in areas such as workspace containers, in zones and access control.
  • Azure User Settings
    In this release, we added the ability to synchronize user settings with Microsoft Azure storage. Previously user settings could only be synchronized with a network share which meant that you had to be connected to the corporate network. With so many users now working from home and the expectation of greater flexibility in the future in terms of where users do their work, users are not always going to be connected to the corporate network.  By providing the ability to synchronize user settings with Azure storage, users’ settings can be synchronized from wherever they are located. All the users need is to have internet access.

We’ve also continued to focus on your product enhancement requests submitted via our User Voice Portal. Your ideas and votes are an important input to our product roadmap so thank you for continuing to submit these. The following are some of those we’ve implemented in this release:

  • Delayed Automatic Launch of Applications
    This was the top voted request in User Voice last year, so to reinforce that your votes count we added this feature to the release. The requirement in this case was that customers want certain applications to always run for all users so what they do is to configure a mandatory auto launch for those applications. Unfortunately, starting these applications puts a strain on the system resources during logon and provides a poor logon experience for users. So, we’ve provided an additional option to delay auto launch until the session startup has completed.  With this setting, the logon finishes earlier, the users can start working and the applications will then start in the background.
  • Learning Mode for Authorized Certificates
    We added authorized certificates as an additional security feature a couple of years ago.  We have a learning mode for other security features such as Managed Applications and that has been really helpful to progressively introduce security measures. You can see what effect changes will have before you apply them. Learning mode is now available for authorized certificates such that you can continue to use application security in enabled mode, but then add Certificate Security in learning mode. This can help you to simplify your security configuration and progressively add certificates in place of more complex file rules.
  • SQL Always-On Multi-Subnet Support
    This is another feature request that received a lot of votes, so we’ve added SQL always-on multi-subnet support to provide high availability database options for Workspace Control. 

These are just some of the requests we’ve implemented. To learn about the others, read the 2021.1 releases notes which are available at We are currently reviewing the User Voice backlog to identify candidates for the 2021.2 release, so continue to submit your ideas and vote on those ideas already in the system.

For more information on the Workspace Control 2021.1 release, please watch the recently added on-demand webinar