Reimagining the browser for the future of work

A person in a wheelchair working at a computer.
Beste gratisprogram for skjerminnspilling (Image credit: Shutterstock: AnnaStills)

For most knowledge workers, the next few years will be defined in part by a complicated relationship with generative AI. While some jobs will undoubtedly be replaced, many others will be much harder to replace, including those that require human empathy, judgment and reliability. But the baseline level of efficiency will rise, unlocking unprecedented opportunities to accelerate processes and increase enterprise productivity. In this new era, the people and firms who harness the potential of generative AI most effectively are those who will win.

This kind of profound transformation is nothing new for knowledge workers and their employers – over the past few years, work has changed all around us. Pandemic restrictions may be gone, but accommodations like remote work setups and an overall refocus on employee experience and retention are here to stay. At the same time, the number of apps and screens users must access to carry out their daily tasks has skyrocketed, with workflows growing ever more complex and investment in technology increasing across the board.

To some, these topics might seem unrelated. To me, they all hint at the same underlying question: how can enterprises make the most of the innovations occurring today and prepare for the future of work? There are many possible answers, but the systems that knowledge workers encounter every day are a good place to start. And among those, the browser is in most dire need of evolution.

Mazy Dar

CEO of

Specialization yields productivity

Generally speaking, the more specialized a piece of technology, the more effective it is. In the workplace, we’ve seen this dynamic play out time and again. Messaging is one notable example. Years ago, many of us relied on AIM or Yahoo Messenger to rapidly communicate with colleagues and clients. Over time, those consumer products were almost entirely replaced by enterprise solutions like Slack and Microsoft Teams, which offer significant advantages in terms of integration, collaboration, security and beyond.

Yet when it comes to the browser, many knowledge workers remain tethered to products designed to surf the public internet, such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. And while there are enterprise browsers on the market today, these tend to be pure security plays. This lack of a modern browser built for work, delivering streamlined experiences within a secure environment, is the single biggest factor holding firms back in terms of efficiency, stability and employee happiness.

How? Think of it from a productivity standpoint. Enterprises have been moving to the cloud for years, but the need to support an unprecedented number of remote and hybrid employees has kicked this migration into overdrive. Mission-critical applications are increasingly accessed via web browsers and with less screen real estate, creating a chaotic experience. Users are forced to toggle among dozens of different tabs to access the tools and information they need. They constantly switch screens to carry out complex workflows, hunt for hyper-specific datapoints or repeatedly rekey the same text.

This isn’t just annoying – it’s a severe drain on resources. Harvard Business Review found that an average user toggles between different apps and websites nearly 1,200 times per day, totaling approximately four hours a week reorienting themselves on the new screen.

Now imagine all the ways a browser built for work could help solve these challenges. It could offer highly flexible layouts, featuring multiple apps and data sourced from various locations on one screen to minimize the need for context switching. It could include unified search functionality not just for the public internet, but every web app used by the enterprise. It could enable disparate apps to communicate with one another, eliminating tedious and repetitive lookup and data entry processes. It could even prompt users to take logical next steps based on previous actions.

Mainstream browsers like Chrome and Edge offer bits and pieces of this functionality, but because they are built to support an extremely broad range of use cases, they fall well short of what enterprises need to maximize productivity. Knowledge workers need a targeted solution to overcome the needle-in-the-haystack manual tasks that get in the way of adding value.

Security on all sides

While productivity should be the single most important goal of an enterprise browser, it’s not like providers that have focused on security are wrong. Instead, the true power of an enterprise browser lies in a combination of productivity and security.

It’s important to note that an enterprise browser should be a complement to Chrome or Edge, not a replacement. Once work apps are segregated into a separate browser, sensitive data can be isolated from the threats of the internet – there is no longer a need to share memory or resources with public apps, simplifying the challenge of security. Mainstream browsers can still be used for less sensitive tasks. In fact, they can be used more securely than before, with enterprises always able to adopt the latest updates to Chrome or Edge, without risk that they will break mission-critical work apps.

This segregated model protects the enterprise browser from vulnerabilities while locking down the public browser via evergreen updates. With full control over permissions and accessibility, remote work and bring your own device (BYOD) policies become much easier to implement and enforce, eliminating a longstanding tradeoff between enterprise security and employee freedom.

Bring on the future

These are just a few examples of how enterprise browsers can support the future of work. Flexible work arrangements present security complexities that are best solved by separating work apps from the public internet. Meanwhile, as workplace technology continues to advance, the humans in the loop will need intuitive experiences and accelerated workflows to keep up. Generative AI alone can be powerful, but it’s even more powerful when combined with productive employees who have more bandwidth to do strategic work.

The results – flexible work setups, more engaging to-do lists and faster, easier ways to create value – are a recipe for employee happiness and buy-in. Companies become more productive across the board while empowering their knowledge workers to grow their careers and live their lives in alignment with the future of work. Everyone wins.

We feature the best collaboration apps.

This article was produced as part of TechRadarPro's Expert Insights channel where we feature the best and brightest minds in the technology industry today. The views expressed here are those of the author and are not necessarily those of TechRadarPro or Future plc. If you are interested in contributing find out more here:

Mazy Dar, CEO of