A vast remote work experiment is currently underway. As organisations seek new ways to effectively support a growing remote workforce, cloud technologies have become an essential tool in the journey. Amidst these changes, a spotlight has been cast squarely on modern management and the many efficiencies it brings to the increasingly mobile-first, cloud-first business environment.
Today we talk you through the rise of modern management, breaking down the three key blockers holding organisations back from moving to a more streamlined approach to device management and deployment.
In a nutshell, modern management simplifies the management of user identities and devices with cloud technologies. A critical tool in this strategy is Microsoft Endpoint Manager (previously known as Intune), which offers mobile application and device management with the goal of allowing organisations to manage, secure and deliver applications to employees while providing a seamless user experience. For a deeper dive, check out my earlier blog.
Because the common point of connectivity in a remote workforce is no longer the corporate network, it’s the public internet. From collaborating on confidential documents and installing apps, to sending and receiving emails, employees are accessing corporate information via a myriad of devices, all while connecting through different networks.
If left unprotected, security could be seriously compromised. Furthermore, if end users don’t get an intuitive, frictionless experience in a remote environment, productivity tumbles.
Modern management solves these challenges with a far simpler and less labour-intensive deployment process than traditional IT approaches. In fact, the entire device lifecycle is rolled into a single white-glove solution that combines Data#3 services with Microsoft technologies, including Windows Autopilot, Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Microsoft 365 and Surface devices.
With Windows Autopilot at its core, end users benefit from a zero-touch solution that gets them up and running in minutes with all applications, policies, and settings automatically provisioned. From here, Microsoft Endpoint Manager plays a central role, relieving the management burden while empowering users across all of their devices, securely.
We believe the benefits of modern management are abundantly clear. But while many organisations are actively moving towards this model, many continue to hold back.
Yes, for many this is a new topic. It’s certainly a management approach that has yet to become as commonly known as video conferencing or collaboration platforms, such as Office 365. But it does bring all the efficiencies of cloud technologies and more. With more education, the benefits of modern management will become more widely recognised.
Many organisations state that their current set of management tools are handling things just fine. We get it. Systems Centre Configuration Manager has been reliably managing PCs, servers, and mobile devices for many years. But the way we all work has undergone considerable change, and will continue to evolve.
More devices and apps means more complexity for management and security. If it isn’t apparent yet, it soon will become clear that the tools organisations have previously deployed to manage and secure their environments are becoming messy, tangled and time-consuming. This challenge is going to be further exacerbated with the introduction of the next generation of devices developed on an ARM chipset.
The truth is, moving towards a more cloud-centric model delivers a superior user experience, providing a solution that is built to handle the growing complexity associated with deploying and managing disparate devices in a cloud-first, mobile-first organisation.
Security is bolstered with consistent policies and settings that load as soon as an end user receives and authenticates their device – and solutions such as Defender Advanced Threat Detection and the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph ensure devices are always up-to-date.
Better yet, transitioning from a legacy management solution is easier than you think – there are simple pathways available that allow you to introduce modern management by taking your existing infrastructure via SCCM and connecting it to the cloud. It can be an iterative process that’s undertaken on your terms.
Organisations have often made significant investments in Configuration Manager and staff are well-versed and comfortable in its day-to-day use. Adopting a new management tool not only requires initial investment, but staff training and process adjustments. On top of this, many IT staff are concerned that a modern management approach will see many of their tasks automated, jeopardising their jobs.
Migrating to cloud technologies, such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager, allows organisations to cut the costs of on-site infrastructure as operation costs are transferred to the cloud provider. After initial investment, the ongoing IT costs reduce, ensuring ROI is achieved faster. Meanwhile, to ensure staff are equipped to manage the new solution, deployment includes targeted training in the new systems, processes and workflows.
Perhaps the biggest challenge here is the fear of job loss. Despite 63% of IT Managers saying their resources are drained by device management, and that they would like to be able to focus on more strategic IT projects , the adoption of new technology in this space causes concern amongst IT staff.
And while cloud solutions do replace the more repetitive aspects of a job, they do not remove the higher-level work only humans can do. So yes, modern management removes menial tasks which frees staff up to focus on more rewarding initiatives – with the bonus of better data-driven insights to enhance critical thinking.
1. IDC.2017. Transforming Device Lifecycle Management with Device as a Service. [Online] Available at: http://idcdocserv.com/download/HP_IB_DaaS_3317.pdf
Tags: Mobility, End-User Computing (EUC), Microsoft Surface, Microsoft Intune, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), Modern Desktop Management, Hardware Management, Device Management, Microsoft Windows Autopilot, Modern Workplace