Today, the average company typically relies on a very complex, multi-site computing infrastructure that requires the co-ordination of many moving parts. Combined with an increasingly mobile workforce, general IT failure is on the rise. However, this new reality poses an opportunity for IT managers to improve efficiencies through manageability – monitoring and improving device performance.
Traditional enterprise manageability focussed on the micro-management of each single device (uploading / downloading software, individual hard drives). Today, companies use solutions management, as they are now dealing with multiple devices and network types. Plus, IT professionals now need to account for a number of factors when selecting the devices that will be used by employees while maintaining BYOD (bring your own device). This is much more important to business well-being than any individual PC being up or down at any given point.
Managing staff that have their own specific requirements and are increasingly on the road gives IT managers a lot to take care of and accomplish. This can be done in a variety of way and, as a world leader in business hardware, software and services, HP has spent years developing tools such as Touchpoint Manager and Client Management Portfolio that help these professionals manage a growing range of devices to optimise time, money and productivity. These tools and features help address some of the biggest issues that IT professionals face in managing a fleet of commercial devices; some of which we identify below.
Device failure can happen for all sorts of reasons. However, regular computer check-ups allow IT managers to identify and flag important issues that may affect overall device performance. Early detection and action can prevent potential downtime that will affect critical areas of the business and disrupt day to day company activity. One of the biggest reasons for this is aging hardware.
Older systems can diminish productivity and raise maintenance costs and upgrades can deliver a significant productivity boost by allowing users to take full advantage of some of the more advanced software currently available such as anti-virus programmes, advanced security and bug fixes to improve the work experience such as HP Sure Start self-healing BIOS to help better protect your device, data and identity. But since some of these features can only be supported by new hardware, upgrading is a necessity.
Related to this is the need to also keep software up-to-date; ensuring that all updates are installed, and that systems have the latest versions so staff can get the most out of their devices. Computers age and over time start to slow down – software packages that performed quickly and efficiently to begin with, can become sluggish and have a negative impact on productivity. As this slowdown is gradual, the user may have grown used to the issue and may think that it is normal. Regular checks are needed to ensure software is running at optimal efficiency – often the answer is just a slight modification.
Through maximising uptime so users stay productive – while minimising the impact of tedious IT tasks (like patches and updates) that are necessary to help ensure system optimisation are key in reducing maintenance cost – employees can focus on keeping up with the competition while boosting organisational efficiency.
Underlying all this is security, perhaps even more so with an increasingly mobile workforce. The need to defend against malicious programmes and safeguard data protection at both the device and service level is a high priority for IT managers and companies of all sizes. To improve the efficiency of security management, IT managers must ensure that the right tools and capabilities exist within their organisations and the devices they allow their staff to use. Today’s IT threats strike businesses from many places and from all angles.
To keep business running smoothly, security must cover every entry point with multiple layers of protection — helping ensure perpetrators can’t break in, and accidental breaches don’t happen. To stay competitive, businesses need security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and customize, while also easy for employees to use such as HP Client Security and HP BIOSphere to help keep data and devices safe.
At HP we believe, manageability and security should come built-in, not bolted on. Layering manageability tools directly into devices saves the time (and sanity) of IT staff and consultants. And manageability isn’t just for large organisations. It is true that larger companies tend to be focused on integrating these capabilities into their existing device management systems, while their smaller counterparts are often concerned about tactical issues such as price and deployment complexities. But consistent across both is the recognition of the importance of manageability both now and in the future.
Neil Anderson is UK&I PPS Pre Sales Manager and Enterprise Sales at Hewlett Packard.