Can end-user devices manage themselves?

Good employers give staff the devices that meet their needs and enable them to complete the tasks they’re responsible for. With each device representing a relatively large financial investment and employees relying on their device to be productive, consistent performance of devices is a must.

With all that in mind, it surprises us still when we talk to businesses and they haven’t got properly thought-through device management processes in place. End-user devices do not manage themselves. While some tasks can be partially or fully automated, effective management requires a plan, as well as appropriate interventions by specialist technicians.

During 2017, we commissioned an independent research firm to survey IT managers at 100 mid-sized enterprises. They found that 32% do not have enough resource to manage devices effectively and 22% felt that they lacked the required skills. On top of that, 33% leave it until the last day to provision a device to a new staff member. When you consider that 35% couldn’t say for sure where devices are and the same proportion couldn’t say what applications are loaded onto devices, you can perhaps appreciate how often that practice leads to difficulties.

Devices typically exist within a business for many years and are used by many employees within that time.

When they’re first acquired and before they’re deployed to staff members, devices need to built and configured. This task is complicated by the number of device forms, models and operating systems in use. We often hear of staff going weeks without the devices they need to carry out their jobs effectively. One can easily imagine the frustration and impact on productivity this creates.

While in use, devices need to be effectively supported, including periodically being retrieved from leavers and deployed to new staff members. On average, employees raise 21 support tickets for their device every year. And the bigger the organisation, the more times employees tend to raise tickets – 23 on average.

Eventually, devices will need to be disposed of properly, by which I mean that data security must be guaranteed and electronic waste disposal regulations complied with.

Managing the full lifecycle of devices, including maximising their performance and handling support requests is a specialist role. Indeed, a clear strategy and an array of interlocking processes and tools is required, without which productivity will suffer, security can be compromised and the company’s investment in the device is effectively wasted.

To find out more about the challenges of device management, download our whitepaper here.