It is nothing less than a paradigm shift that is taking place right before the eyes of the world: Remote working has become the critical success factor of business. This poses enormous challenges for most organizations, but it also presents tremendous opportunities. As early as the end of last year, U.S. industry analyst Gartner recommended in its report “Predicts 2021: Digital Workplace Infrastructure and Operations” that organizations make a virtue out of necessity and turn short-term reactive measures into a permanent strategic solution. After all, the digitization of the working world is a transformation that is planned anyway and for which IT has to master several essential tasks at once: ensuring security, creating efficiency, establishing cost control, optimizing resources, and enabling growth. Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) is the key to this, according to Gartner. In 2020, less than 5% of companies and institutions had introduced it, but by 2024 it should be standard in more than half of them.
A new Mindset
Why Unified Endpoint Management? “What we are currently experiencing is not only a technological transformation, but also a social one,” says Markus Gärtner, CEO of Deskcenter AG. “There are increasingly heterogeneous structures emerging with a high degree of individual self-determination, which are also redefining the demands on the work environment. Mobility and agility are therefore becoming increasingly important, they determine the new mindset in everyday business life as well. And it is precisely these heterogeneous structures, this complexity, that is also continuing in IT landscapes.” Different devices, different operating systems, an almost inexhaustible variety of software with all its licenses and updates, as well as support must be reconciled as efficiently as possible and kept on the screen. Ideally on a single UEM.
The first step in any case is: inventory. The complete recording of all IT assets not only serves the general overview. Even a missing patch or an unknown notepad in the company network can represent a massive security risk. However, a good inventory not only identifies shadow IT, but also unused systems and applications. This can save considerable costs.
Once all assets have been recorded, the next step is to manage them securely. Modern, efficient IT asset management (ITAM) knows all the company’s tangible assets, including their relationships to and dependencies on each other, and has an effective license management system. It provides essential information for tactical and strategic trading and investment decisions, fulfills compliance requirements and thus has a significant influence on all business areas. The relevant data is delivered in clear, scalable dashboards.
Software management: Remote working involves a large number of mobile devices – often also private devices, some of which are now used for work. This means that all applications and components, from OS deployment to software packaging and distribution to patch management, need to be planned and organized in a targeted manner.
Protecting an organization’s entire IT is a top priority, even in digital workplaces spread across the country. However, IT management is increasingly reaching its limits with different tools or isolated modules. ITAM, license and software management should seamlessly interlock and also be able to take into account aspects of mobility, agility and future developments such as IoT applications. This is exactly where Unified Endpoint Management plays its great trump card: Everything unified, as the name suggests.
Communication and support should be an elementary part of the DNA of a UEM. The establishment of a service or help desk, where all user inquiries converge, is therefore almost inevitable. This significantly increases the satisfaction of employees and customers; the consequences are corporate performance at a permanently high level, attractiveness for good personnel as well as better reputation and economic success.