Managing endpoints in an increasingly dynamic IT environment

Endless complexity and the role of IT

The management of mobile devices has become far more complex due to variables that have either accelerated or showed up unexpectedly. There has been a slow, steady migration to the cloud for years, then in March of 2020 the hammer suddenly dropped and digital transformation took on a genuine sense of urgency. The entire world went remote in a matter of weeks, then something unexpected happened – most businesses adjusted, managers discovered that remote employees were at least or more productive than they had been, and employees discovered it didn’t matter where they were as long as they kept up and the devices they used were secure and effective. All of this sounds fine, unless you work in IT.

IT’s latest challenge

Tracking devices is no easy task. Most people have moved from separate devices (work vs. personal) to one device for everything, and as people move to a remote work model, the lines between work and not-work have blurred to the point of disappearing. Which means IT’s task has become far more challenging; tracking both mobile devices and laptops that are routinely accessing critical information that had previously been isolated behind a firewall has made MDM providers take their game up. This is part of the reason companies like Jamf are doing so well; they manage the shiny objects everyone has found so useful, and do it better at a time when not keeping careful track has become particularly risky. And this is not just the inconvenience (or trauma) of losing your phone (nomophobia – this actually exists), it is the corporate risk of losing a device with customer information that can trigger expensive repercussions. Today’s enterprise is like a swimmer surrounded by a wide range of compliance sharks (HIPAA, CCPR, GDPR) that are constantly looking for the slightest opportunity to take a non-trivial bite. The good news is this is all avoidable. 

Technology across the enterprise has always been siloed; separate management systems for hardware, software, devices, Cloud, etc. The problem of course, is that’s not how the technology is used. Right now you’re probably using all of these capabilities at the same time, but the way IT infrastructure is managed, it’s all treated piecemeal. Being able to correlate the best of breed solutions into a holistic view from a single pane of glass is an ideal solution, particularly in an hybrid IT ecosystem where security of endpoints is critical. 

New opportunities

Combining a specialized MDM solution such as Jamf with an enterprise technology management solution like Oomnitza that ties the device to the broader IT ecosystem can provide a comprehensive and integrated solution that is optimized to protect not only your mobile infrastructure, but everything with which it interacts. This new operational model opens up opportunities to address multiple areas, including:

  • Security – Ensuring all devices have the latest AV software and are properly encrypted, and connecting that to the specifics of the user (why is your CFO logging in from North Korea at 3am?) puts you in a position to know exactly what is happening and be able to shut it down fast if needed. 
  • Compliance – The aforementioned sharks. Privacy and security is a very big deal, and the requirements to be compliant are complex, dynamic, and heavily enforced. Having a clear understanding of the exact disposition of your assets while they’re not standing still is a great way to avoid writing a seven or eight figure check. Devices are very easy to misplace, and the compliance consequences are significant. 
  • Enablement – There is nothing more aggravating than starting a new job, being totally psyched to hit the ground running, and then losing days while IT gets you set up with the right hardware, software, permissions, etc. Getting the properly configured and secured device is the key first step to productivity. This is a core component of enterprise technology management, and can make the difference between a happy and motivated employee, or an unhappy and cynical one. 
  • Orchestration –  Keeping track of devices as they move through their lifecycle, from purchasing through receiving, imaging, assignment, securing, maintaining and end of life is critical for both security and compliance. All devices integrate with multiple and highly varied data sources as they move through their lifecycle. Being able to track all of this in real time is a huge competitive advantage.
  • Optimization – Having exactly what you need when you need it is not only convenient, it is highly efficient. Not having licenses for software in use can lead to ugly surprises (true-ups, which can be very expensive), or its annoying flip side, paying for licenses not in use (effectively throwing money out the window). Both of these are avoidable.

The combination of a robust device management solution (Jamf) and a comprehensive enterprise management solution (Oomnitza) provides defensive depth to your IT infrastructure, particularly at a time when that infrastructure and the ecosystem it’s a part of are becoming highly dynamic. For further information on either of these solutions please contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions.

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