Four Pillars That Support a Managed Endpoint Deployment
Focusing on these factors enables organizations to optimize their device lifecycles.
Many organizations take a reactive, one-size-fits-all approach to their end-user device environments. Often, a large enterprise will roll out just a handful of device types to thousands of employees across dozens of job roles, without giving a great deal of thought to how those users’ needs differ from one another.
Sales staff, accountants, executives and human resources employees may all be given the same laptops, for instance — with the IT department either preloading all devices with the same applications, or else requiring employees to wait as their devices are configured.
Then, device environments are rarely revisited until it is time for a refresh, a process that often gets bumped a year or two beyond the originally planned time frame (stretching budgets, but also forcing users to work with outdated devices). And management and support tasks are typically put off until a major equipment failure takes place, forcing IT to delay other projects and unnecessarily leaving employees without the devices they need to be productive.
This approach to deploying and managing devices is backward, and it leads to inefficiencies that pop up throughout the device lifecycle. However, most organizations lack the time, capacity or internal expertise to implement device programs that truly emphasize employee productivity. As CDW’s Device as a Service (DaaS) offering, Managed Endpoint Anywhere takes these burdens out of organizations’ hands, providing end-to-end, subscription-based services that help enterprises to optimize every component of their device lifecycles.
Specifically, Managed Endpoint Anywhere focuses on four pillars: identity management, asset management, streamlined deployment and proactive support.
Getting the right devices and the right apps into the right users’ hands should be a simple objective at this point, but it’s an area where many organizations continue to struggle. That’s because this is more complex than it appears upon examination. To get this crucial step right, organizations must first identify core personas throughout the enterprise, simplify access to data and apps, and unify management across all devices.
That’s where identity management comes in.
Identity and access management (IAM) typically focuses on security and authentication solutions that help organizations keep their data and systems secure. While those solutions certainly play a pivotal role in any device environment, the term “identity management” can also refer to tasks earlier in the lifecycle, by defining the applications, access and functionality required for each user type.
By taking a careful approach to this foundational component of device management, organizations can ensure they’re not providing end users with too little (or too much) in the way of computing power, apps and other resources. Finding the “Goldilocks” spot for each user is a critical step in ensuring that all employees have what they need to be productive, without encouraging wasteful spending.
For instance, proper identity management can prevent scenarios where organizations are provisioning expensive, powerful laptops to employees who never take them home (or, conversely, scenarios where knowledge workers are accessing files and sending long emails from their phones at night because they weren’t given a work laptop).
Getting identity management right can also boost employee satisfaction — a key benefit at a time when half or more of the workforce is made up of younger workers who prioritize access to technology. This, itself, can lead to additional productivity benefits; according to Gallup, organizations with higher employee engagement see a 17 percent bump in employee productivity.
Asset management initiatives that are proactive, effective and ongoing can have a huge impact on an organization’s overall productivity and can reduce waste in dramatic ways. For instance, imagine that a company has 1,200 licenses for a software program such as Adobe Acrobat, but a Managed Endpoint Anywhere team discovers that most users who have access to the program aren’t using it. By taking the simple step of requiring employees to request access to the application (instead of pushing it out to them automatically), a company can make much more efficient use of its software assets.
These types of efficiency gains extend to devices as well. A Managed Endpoint Anywhere team can see, for example, when a device has gone unused for weeks. In a disorganized environment, employees might leave the company and then simply leave their smartphones sitting unused in their desk drawers — with their former employer continuing to pay not only the device cost, but also the cost of a monthly data plan. By identifying these scenarios, a Managed Endpoint Anywhere team can recover these devices and redeploy them effectively.
Deploying devices is a surprisingly complex process in many organizations. Typically, companies will procure smartphones, tablets and laptops, and then these devices will go to the IT team to be configured for each individual employee. This is an inefficient, multitouch deployment process with significant user downtime.
However, when device teams complete configurations based on a user’s predetermined credentials, the process of deployment becomes more automated. This process improves accuracy and saves time for both device teams and employees. Workers get immediate access to the main applications they need to do their jobs, and as a result, employees are not only more satisfied, they’re also vastly more productive.
In most device environments, service desks get calls only when something goes wrong. By this point, machines aren’t functioning properly, and productive time is being lost. With continuous monitoring, however, organizations can solve problems before users even know anything is wrong — leading to increased uptime and a much higher level of user satisfaction.
For example, if an organization that operates a customer engagement center sees its network capacity drop to 50 percent, it likely will reduce revenue. Often, the problem will persist for hours, or even days, before anyone elevates the issue to someone who can diagnose and solve it. The automation within CDW’s Managed Endpoint Anywhere eliminates these delays. For instance, an organization might set a baseline expectation of 75 percent network health, and then monitoring tools will proactively send a ticket to the IT team if performance falls below that threshold.
Ultimately, proactive support improves productivity for end users while also simplifying support tasks for IT staffers. That’s a win-win.
To learn more about how a managed service can improve your device deployments, read CDW’s white paper “The Value of Managed Endpoint Services.”