“So, you’re an IT manager? That sounds . . . hard.”
Does that exchange feel familiar? We bet it does. If you’ve ever been asked what your job entails at a dinner party or on a date, you probably wished it was a little cooler or a bit more glamorous than it sounds. It’d be great if your work involved testing out new chatbots, virtual reality tools, or a device management solution. Instead, you might feel like you’re digging your way out from under a pile of tickets, especially help-desk tickets that are duplicate, minimal, or otherwise not an innovative use of your time.
And what contributes to that pile? Each new channel and inter-departmental collaboration tool ushers in new ways for people to hammer the IT team with requests, which doesn’t make getting through that snowballing pile of tickets any easier. Whose great idea was it to make a Slack channel for IT requests? IT managers have a lot to do, and technologies for collaboration and productivity can sometimes have the opposite effect on them, like causing a raging case of app fatigue.
Even the experts at Atlassian—who make collab tools like HipChat and Jira—are skeptical of some of the ways modern organizations use technology and its impact on getting anything done at any point, ever. “Might we be flying blindly into a collaboration clusterf*ck instead of the golden age of teams?”
But what if your biggest IT problem has nothing to do with technology and people who can’t use it? What if it’s actually, purely a people problem?
Recognize when IT crises aren’t IT problems
Blame it on BYOD programs and shadow IT, but IT teams are in a constant state of putting out fires for not-so-important reasons. Discretionary tasks take up 41 percent of people’s time at work—you know, the kind of tasks that don’t need to be done. Reactionary IT has taken over, too, with 35 percent of the average workday spent responding to problems related to existing hardware and software. That’s nearly three hours of your day.
While there’s less industry-wide research available to understand the average amount of IT managers’ time and budgets spent responding to minimal help-desk requests and false-alarm network vulnerabilities, it’s safe to say it’s a whole bunch. Is there any way for IT to get ahead, so they can stop reacting to endless user requests on giant networks?
Deal with the rise of enterprise mobility
Before we can find the solution, we must first recognize the increase in devices coming into the workplace today. In 2016, the BYOD and enterprise mobility markets had a global financial worth of $35.1 billion. By 2021, that figure’s projected to reach $73.3 billion. As that number rises, it’ll become close to impossible to convince your boss to give up their beloved personal mobile device or stop adding endpoints to your network. Enterprise mobile strategies are becoming more complicated, as well, and organizations are adopting more connected IoT devices every day.
It makes sense then that the number of devices managed by the average IT manager has increased 72 percent year over year in the past. On top of that, more than half of the US workforce telecommutes or works remotely at least some of the time, and the average employee uses three or more devices to complete work every single day. These numbers don’t even encompass shadow IT—the devices and software on your company’s network that aren’t approved or managed by the IT department.
So, what’s the solution to manage this increasing fleet of devices and IT complexity?
Find the right device management solution
There’s one way to climb your way out of an expanding workload and regain control over your network. Device management solutions can give IT the upper hand by allowing them to monitor everything on the network, how it’s being used, and if it’s compliant with their security standards and compliance requirements. With a centralized approach to managing and using your technology, you can finally assume the strategic role you were hoping to get when you finished grad school.
Device as a Service (DaaS) offerings can enable IT to regain control and stop drowning in one-off Slack messages by:
Maintaining end-to-end oversight of the entire endpoint device lifecycle, including configurations, maintenance, and device disposal.
Reducing minimal and duplicate help-desk tickets with automated tools to keep users’ smartphones, desktops, and other devices tuned-up and operating correctly.
Achieving fewer network vulnerabilities with automated tools for securing and monitoring device compliance with security policies, managing employee turnover, and wiping lost devices.
Dream of a day when IT doesn’t put out fires
While you may not be able to convince your boss to delete your user account on the company’s shared chat app, a device management solution could mean a much better workflow for IT managers. Instead of opening 30 spreadsheets and finally giving up and putting together your best-educated guess, getting ready for the meeting where you need to ask for next quarter’s device budget is way easier with financial forecasting tools.
The same goes for device management. Instead of receiving 15 new help-desk tickets for slow desktops, you can perform proactive maintenance. It takes seconds to wipe a device when you learn an employee’s resigned. You can also easily adjust device configurations to meet your security policy, instead of learning months too late that you’ve been out of compliance.
While we can’t say exactly what you’d do with your spare time at the end of this happy day where your job’s automated and your inbox isn’t cluttered with redundant help-desk tickets, we can say that a future where IT doesn’t have to put out fires all day sounds pretty awesome.