The IT Case for Unified Endpoint Management

Jul 1, 2019
Shawn Bass

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Shawn Bass is VP and CTO of VMware End-User Computing.

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In my previous post, I shared the virtues of endpoint management on the employee experience and the benefits it brings to organizations. However, it is equally important to look at the people who are executing this process and what they get out of it. Let’s shift focus and discuss how IT professionals and their teams can benefit from unified endpoint management.

The question on many IT minds is, “what’s in it for me?”. On the one hand, offering employees the ability to utilize the latest technologies in the workplace makes for happier end users, but that’s a tangential benefit to IT at best. The only quasi-measurable result stemming from this might be less pestering from employees in regard to the access and integration of technology in the workplace.

One Platform to Rule Them All

The reality is that IT’s hair is on fire because they’re trying to deal with a plethora of different devices due to device proliferation. From their point of view, the number one challenge is supporting all of these different devices and navigating the complexities that come with this Herculean task. That’s where one unified endpoint management platform, such as VMware Workspace ONE, comes to the rescue.

A unified endpoint management platform delivers pure simplification for IT, bringing together different management tools for ease of use. This allows IT to own the lifecycle of each and every device. Without a unified endpoint management platform, all the devices used in a workplace, whether it’s a laptop, tablet, smartphone, wearable, smart display/speaker, would be managed with unique tools causing an unnecessary and disorganized mess for IT.

Executing Unified Endpoint Management

The logical flow for end-user technology management under one unified platform should look as follows

• Provision devices for each user

• Establish the configuration management of each device, including settings, policies and security features

• Inventory hardware and software assets

• Conduct app lifecycle management – push apps, update them, and then uninstall/retire them

• Retire the asset

Whether IT realizes it or not, they follow the same circular lifecycle of management for all devices, even though the nuances of operating systems are different.

The Impact on IT

When thinking about this process in principle, many IT teams have acquired different tools and platforms to perform the same tasks and spent countless hours training specialists, despite the core job of management and provisioning being the same. This calls into question the staffing and training of IT departments.

With unified endpoint management companies can better utilize their staff by cross-training their specialists to jump in and help where needed. Of course, there will still be a demand for specialists for a given operating system or device, but the functions they’re performing are similar across device types. This creates an economy of scale enabled department staff that can cover for each other and run more efficiently.

Going forth with this practice, an approach of democratizing IT administrative tasks results in a massive increase in operational readiness, especially from a security standpoint. Security teams can deliver patches in a much shorter amount of time with every device being managed under the umbrella of a common platform.

Another added benefit of unified endpoint management is that IT specialists become more well-rounded, allowing them to go into almost any platform to unify device management. In turn, this provides more potential coverage to respond to any security incident. Implementing this process affords IT teams greater visibility into security issues, a sense of comfort that they can get the information they need to quickly respond and an overall sense of power and confidence in regard to their job.

The bottom line is that no matter what perspective unified endpoint management is being looked at—corporate, employee, or IT—it always drives necessary change within the enterprise that results in a winning situation for all parties.

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