IT groups routinely bemoan the fact that they spend an inordinate amount of time “keeping the lights on,” leaving precious few hours to work on strategic projects that actually move the business forward. Toss in a global pandemic that has shifted employees to a work-from-home mode, and it is easy to see how it can be difficult to achieve strategic initiatives.
However, there is a way forward: partnering with an IT services provider who can shoulder some of the day-to-day burdens. Imagine no longer having to configure new endpoint devices, stage and deploy them, or deal with routine maintenance issues. What if you had help with major migrations, such as to Windows 10?
It would relieve much of the time-consuming tasks that take up too much of IT’s time today. This is the value service providers bring by helping IT groups with everyday tasks such as taking care of user devices.
Device management always has been a time-consuming issue, but it has grown more challenging over the last several years as workforces have become increasingly mobile. Now, the pandemic has accelerated the need to support employees both in and out of the office, says Maurice Petty, Director, HP Lifecycle Services Product Management.
Even post-pandemic, analysts predict approximately 50% of the workforce could be in a hybrid mode, working in an office some days and at home on others, Petty says. This means changes in how IT addresses device management. To date, device management has been optimized around the office. If you have an issue, you go visit IT. Should you need a new device, IT orders one and hands it to you.
Analytics and lifecycle management
“At home, you don’t have access to those resources,” Petty says. “It’s creating a need for new types of services for managing and diagnosing problems remotely, along with more data analytics that can monitor how devices are performing and predict when a device will have a problem, rather than waiting for something to happen.”
Hewlett-Packard is investing heavily in analytics-based services focused on device optimization as well as maintenance. By constantly monitoring a device, such services can determine whether it has proper security in place, and whether it frequently is experiencing the “blue screen of death” or other performance issues that need to be addressed, Petty says.
Beyond diagnosing problems, IT also needs a partner who can address the full device lifecycle. This includes initial device configuration and shipping it to the user, so it can be ready to go right out of the box. It also includes remote problem diagnosis and in many cases, remediation.
In addition, services address devices at the end of their useful lives, enabling companies to get some trade-in value, and helping them choose a new device that is the best fit for each user. “Analytics will show whether you were under- or over-utilizing your device, so you can right-size the next one,” Petty says, another value of the partnership.
When companies analyze how much IT time is dedicated to device management, they often realize it is less expensive to partner with a service provider who has greater economies of scale, he says.
Beyond money, the decision rides on the value of freeing up IT professionals to work on higher-value, strategic projects, whether it is keeping the environment secure or digital transformation.
To learn more, visit the HP Lifecycle Services page.