The surge in remote work and the growing trend of using the same mobile devices for work and leisure have challenged traditional on-premise IT management. When work is no longer tied to a certain place or time, there’s a clear need for more flexible cloud-based device management.
In this article, Jere Jutila, Director of Business Development at Miradore will explore the common challenges faced by organisations when it comes to managing and securing endpoints and outline the key trends we can expect in the field over the next 12 months.
These include prioritising frictionless user experience, automation over manual actions, and taking a whole lifecycle approach to endpoint management.
Endpoints are a doorway through which employees access the data they need to fulfil the tasks their roles demand.
But while these hybrid IT environments offer many benefits to organisations and their workforces, security risks and management costs can grow without the right strategy in place.
Effective and secure endpoint management is fast becoming a top priority for companies thanks to accelerated digital transformation, hybrid working models, pandemic disruption and new security threats.
And in 2023 we can expect investment and focus to grow even further. Specifically, managing data sprawl, a growing number of devices connecting to the network, and securing device fleets.
The sustainability benefits of endpoint management are also being more widely understood.
Yet, barriers and common challenges remain. So, looking ahead to the next 12 months, what endpoint management trends can we expect to see and how are organisations working to resolve these shared challenges?
More endpoints, more problems?
Endpoint management challenges are affecting business large and small, across different countries and industries. There are many reasons why this is the case.
Mobility is on the rise. The mobile endpoint count is growing as hybrid working becomes the new default model.
Work-life has been in the middle of change for a long time and the current pandemic has further accelerated the transition. Now, employees are constantly switching between the office and remote work, processing large loads of data, and collaborating over the internet, using the same laptops, tablets, and smartphones for both business and leisure.
As a result, the data sprawl is getting wider. The more devices connected to the network, the bigger the data sprawl organisations must manage, keep secure and maintain compliant.
Demand on IT resources is growing, too. Managing endpoints manually is placing more pressure on already overstretched IT teams, as well as on individual employees who have many other more important tasks to prioritise.
Lifecycle management is also becoming more important. A lack of visibility across the hardware and software lifecycle from purchase, set up and through to disposal is creating a headache for IT departments and causing budgetary confusion.
Finally, security threats are rising. Endpoints serve as the main point of access to an enterprise network and therefore are often exploited by malicious actors. In fact, in a recent survey by the Ponemon Institute, 68 percent of organisations reported experiencing one or more endpoint attacks that compromise data assets and/or IT infrastructure.
So, within this context, what will be the top endpoint management trends in 2023 and beyond?
Frictionless user experience
Today’s mobile workforce deserves a frictionless experience no matter their location or choice of device. And a generous 69 percent of employees are allowed to use personal devices for work, according to a recent survey.
Every employee deserves and has come to expect a consumer-grade digital experience, no matter how or where they connect to the corporate network. And for this to happen, organisations must continue to focus on two priority areas: Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) and Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM).
In 2023, we can expect increased adoption of UEM tools, allowing IT teams to manage, secure, and deploy resources and applications on any device from a single cloud-based platform.
Going one step further than Mobile Device Management, UEM supports BYOD flexibility, where employees can move from personal usage to work usage on their devices anytime or anywhere.
Combined with DEM tools, companies will be able to better identify technology performance issues across their environment and align performance to support commercial objectives and minimise friction in user experience.
Automation replaces manual action
Manual management of endpoints is taking up precious time within IT teams and responsibility often falls on individual employees, distracting them from their workload and opening security vulnerabilities.
As part of the wider adoption of UEM in 2023, mundane and time-consuming tasks will increasingly become automated. Many tasks associated with device administration aren’t particularly complex, but they are important and need to be completed frequently.
This predictability creates an opportunity for automation to streamline the management and protection of today’s highly distributed end points and automatically monitor systems and/or devices for updates, tampering, degradation and failure.
Automation will also provide more IT departments with full visibility of the composition and state of their IT infrastructure and supports, which in turn can provide greater clarity when planning budgets and investment priorities for the year ahead. It will also support compliance with ever-tightening data regulation.
A whole lifecycle approach
There are many critical stages each device goes through within its lifecycle, from purchase and enrolment to configuration and security, maintenance, and updates. The process ends with retirement and replacement.
In 2023, we can expect to see more companies move towards a whole lifecycle approach to endpoint management in pursuit of 360-degree visibility of device fleets – from purchase through to disposal.
Efficiency and sustainability will continue to be key issues for businesses across the device lifecycle. Effective endpoint management will form an important part of wider sustainable IT strategies, giving workforces access to the latest technology where and when they need it, while minimising the impact of device fleets on the environment.
Taking a whole lifecycle approach to asset management can also support organisations to keep control of the spiralling total costs of device ownership, with management and maintenance estimated to account for 80 percent of the total cost of ownership (TCO).
Jere Jutila is Director of Business Development at Miradore and has over 20 years of
experience in IT management. Before joining Miradore in 2006, Jere worked within IT
infrastructure management at a large, global enterprise. Jere is passionate about making modern work and mobility better for everyone.