With the evolution of workplaces and workforces, particularly since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are revisiting their device management strategies, including how they procure, deploy, manage, refresh and/or dispose of their work devices.
Device management has traditionally taken various shapes and forms, from desktop management to mobile device management and unified endpoint management. Today, organizations are responding to ever-increasing demand by their workforces for a consumer-like experience, as well as the need to lower their capital expenditures, eliminate manual work and reduce their dependence on IT to manage a multitude of devices.
Here are some critical elements of a modern device management approach that every organization can adopt.
- Create a granular view of employee needs. By identifying specific employee personas, organizations can better understand what end users require to enhance their productivity, and then identify the most appropriate devices, operating systems and applications to meet those needs. If the organization sends these end-user profiles to device manufacturers, the OEM can create a personalized environment with relevant applications for end users to be productive with from Day One.
Organizations can also use employee personas to offer a choice of devices. By consuming devices in an OpEx model, organizations can stop making substantial CapEx investments in a stockpile of diverse devices. Service providers can refresh and dispose of old devices at their end-of-life. This frees IT bandwidth to focus on strategic initiatives that drive innovation in the workplace.
- Shift responsibility to device manufacturers. Organizations can also shift responsibility for certain activities to device manufacturers, including enrolling devices, creating a user profile and installing required applications. Other activities, such as applying policies and turning on security and IT settings, can be pushed over the air once end users enter their credentials after receiving the device. This helps enterprises avoid investing in teams for staging, configuration, image deployment, etc., and frees IT teams to focus on innovation projects rather than spending time with mundane and routine tasks.
- Offer zero-touch provisioning. When consumers order a new mobile phone from an e-commerce portal, all they need to do to get it up and running is switch it on and login to their Google or Apple account. Most of the desired applications are available by default. This is known as zero-touch provisioning.
Now imagine a similar scenario at the workplace: Employees order their device of choice from a self-service portal and either go to IT to pick up their order or have it delivered to their doorstep. The device is ready to use as soon as they login. Policy enforcement and application updates are handled over the air. This enables end users to be productive from the moment they receive their device.
- Ensure an always-updated and secure workplace. Instead of applying multiple platforms and tools to manage a plethora of devices, businesses should focus on a single-pane-of-glass approach to monitor and update all devices. OS updates, patches and firmware changes should happen over-the-air on any network, enabling end users to work from anywhere while remaining compliant with operating procedures and security mandates.
Enabling Remote Learning
When one of our clients, a leading publishing firm with an educational arm, was being split into two entities, it approached us to create a unified and flexible platform for students to access learning content and courses from anywhere, anytime, using any device. It also wanted to avoid CapEx for the new entity, since this would have created a significant financial burden.
We deployed our WorkNEXT™ Unified Device Management solution, which was designed to provide the necessary functional capabilities in an OpEx model, thereby ensuring a predictable yet scalable commercial model with no upfront investments in hardware.
We created a unified app catalog for students to access all education applications, integrate their messaging platform and manage their devices. This was charged to the client on a per-device, per-month model, which helped it contain hardware procurement costs. We also used service delivery intelligence, which provided insights on applications, devices, users and operating systems, to proactively detect issues and improve the end-user experience.
The Future of Device Management
The scope of services included in a modern device management strategy is only going to increase over time. Future solutions will help organizations create forecasting models for devices, manage IoT device management, integrate with enterprise applications to enable work on-the-go, leverage digital assistants to keep track of device health and more.
With a modern device management strategy, organizations can significantly enhance the end-user experience, retain top talent and create an exceptional digital workplace brand.
For more information, visit us at our Digital Workplace Services website.
Visit our COVID-19 resources page for additional insights and updates.
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