Want to feel more ‘on top’ of IT in 2020? Here are key endpoint management resolutions to get your management practices started off right in the New Year.
Organizations today face a pace of unprecedented level of change. Twenty-five years ago, most organizations standardized on a single operating system and device. Today, most organizations are a complex landscape of devices, some corporate-owned, others BYOD. To make matters worse, the number of controls and devices has been outpacing the staff needed to manage it all, leading to a complexity gap.
In 2019, that pace of change remained unabated, with major OS and device updates from Apple, a whole range of smartphones from the Google Pixel 4 to the Samsung Galaxy S11, as well as new laptops, tablets, smart watches, and more. 2019 hasn’t even come to an end and already there is buzz for the next generation of endpoint devices in 2020. By 2022, the expected number of networked devices per person in the US is will be as high as 13.6.
For this upcoming year, we want to help you transform device complexity from a liability into an asset. Instead of fighting a growing number of tools and visibility gaps, we can begin to view technology innovation as a source of agility, innovation, and productivity. These resolutions will help you get you started off right.
Resolution 1: I Will Keep it (and IT) Simple
It may seem like an oxymoron given the rapid pace of change, but the solution to managing complexity is quite straightforward: keep it simple.
Unified endpoint management (UEM) evolved to bring simplicity, visibility, and control back to endpoint management for the entire device lifecycle. A unified solution for managing all devices under one umbrella can translate into simpler processes, fewer tools, greater oversight, lower costs, and greater agility.
Resolution 2: I Will Ditch Manual for Automated Processes
Doing things by hand may net the best result when you’re cooking your next big turkey dinner, but it’s not optimal for endpoint management. Manual processes are prone to human error and delay, not to mention the time each process can take.
This year, resolve to find your manual processes in all stages of lifecycle management. The key to finding these processes is to spot times you have to use multiple tools or access any device in person, including:
- Deploying devices, software, and configurations to specific users or groups
- Auditing and reporting on devices, software installations, licenses, patch levels
- Running ad-hoc and custom reports with real-time data
- Dealing with support requests in-person or over the phone
- Dealing with software that has become misconfigured, corrupted, or gone missing
- Tracking and wiping end-of-life devices or missing devices
- Struggling to verify software distribution or patch level status
- End users overriding remote installations and updates unbeknownst to you
Resolution 3: I Will Create a Device Refresh Plan
The total cost of ownership (TCO) for endpoint devices reflects that over time, the hard costs associated with device purchases tend to be offset by an increase in soft costs including:
- Technological obsolescence such as unsupported software or hardware that introduce security and compliance risks
- Employee expectations based on the user experiences of their personal devices, helping support productivity
- The benefits of new devices, which often are more energy efficient, reliable, and incorporate the latest technology such as high bandwidth streaming to support end users and the demands of more sophisticated applications
- Increased downtime and failure points associated with older systems
A planned device replacement strategy every 2-5 years can help reduce the TCO associated with owned devices. If a device refresh plan is new, you can run a risk and cost assessment on deployed systems and applications to determine when end of life (EOL) actions are necessary and when to plan your optimal device refresh based on TCO and any bulk purchasing plans.
Resolution 4: I Will Not Pay for Software or Licenses I Do Not Need
Many organizations gradually accumulate siloed, duplicate solutions that serve the same function (in everything from office suites to endpoint management). This is particularly acute where organizations support decentralized software purchasing, often leading to both software and budget bloat. In other instances, the inability to segment user groups leads to unnecessary software being installed on user devices.
Inefficient software purchasing and distribution processes lead to duplicate costs, higher costs per license (versus volume purchasing), unused licenses, and the risks associated with Shadow IT.
Look for opportunities to unify solutions, which inevitably lead to even greater gains in IT time by reducing the complexity of managing IT environments. The first step in this process is to run a detailed inventory of your IT assets, looking for unused software, unused licenses, and opportunities to switch software purchasing to volume purchasing programs (VPP) and self-service platforms.
Resolution 5: I Will Make Sure My Security Software is Working Properly
You can have the latest security software installed and patched, but if you have no way to keep it there, you may as well not have it at all. Whether it’s malware or an end user deliberately or mistakenly deleting an app or changing settings, it can take only seconds to make an endpoint device vulnerable. One of the first executable steps in most malware is the attempt to disable anti-malware software.
How can you make sure your software security stays where you need it? By supporting it with self-healing, allowing these applications to automatically detect and reinstall missing or corrupted applications or updates. It sounds like magic, but we like to think of it as a way to let you sleep at night.
Resolution 6: I Will Patch My Systems
There will always be vulnerabilities. The complexity of managing both applications and operating systems across a complex device landscape makes patch management seem nearly impossible. As a result, vulnerabilities persist, with over 70% of security breaches targeting known vulnerabilities that could have been prevented with a simple patch. The risk of breach increases the longer the time-to-patch window extends.
The good news is complex patch management can be made simple with unified tools that know how to deploy patches with minimal impact to network load and end-user productivity. Tools such as FileWave can automatically update devices as they check-in regularly or you can push updates immediately to address an urgent threat. In each instance, you can monitor or pull reports to audit your patch level.
If you’re resolving to simplify and strengthen your IT posture in 2020, we’d like to help.