Automated Provisioning and Management Help Relieve the IT Skills Shortage

The IT skills shortage shows no sign of abating, and it doesn’t just affect technology companies. IDC predicts it will impact more than 90 percent of organizations worldwide by 2026, resulting in $5.5 trillion in losses. 

The IT skills shortage shows no sign of abating, and it doesn’t just affect technology companies. IDC predicts it will impact more than 90 percent of organizations worldwide by 2026, resulting in $5.5 trillion in losses. 

IT staffing limitations often frustrate organizations’ efforts to exploit transformative technologies, such as artificial intelligence and analytics. Cloud, security, compliance and software development skills are also in high demand. However, the IT skills shortage isn’t just about evolving areas of technology. In a recent Protivity study, 29 percent of technology managers said they are recruiting talent for existing roles, with 46 percent admitting that these openings are due to employee turnover.

Even if there weren’t a skills shortage, most organizations would likely struggle with staffing issues. High demand equates to high prices, and skilled IT professionals command top salaries. Additionally, 77 percent of IT decision-makers surveyed by Symatrix said IT recruiting costs had increased over the past three years.

Pain Point: Endpoint Provisioning and Management

Not surprisingly, IT leaders are turning to automation to relieve the skills shortage and make their teams more business-driven. In Foundry’s 2024 State of the CIO survey, respondents ranked IT and business process automation as their second greatest area of investment. Automation reduces staffing requirements while increasing efficiency, accuracy and user satisfaction.

Many IT organizations continue to rely heavily on manual processes that sap productivity. Endpoint provisioning and management is a case in point. In many organizations, field service technicians must image and configure each device, which can take up to four hours if no problems arise. Images must be tested, certified and maintained, adding to operational overhead.

Deploying the endpoint to the user requires additional manual effort. The field service technician must back up the user’s data, reinstall the data on the new device and update all the settings. This requires another hour or two onsite at the user’s desk.

Once the endpoint is deployed, the IT team must manage it across its lifecycle, and these processes tend to be fragmented. Many organizations have 20 or more people dedicated to endpoint inventory, configuration, patching and control tasks. Studies also show that organizations use three or more endpoint management tools, with many using 10 or more. Of course, the size of the toolset increases as the organization supports more types of devices.

Benefits of Automation

With the right tools and techniques, organizations can fully automate endpoint deployment and management. Advanced technologies make it possible to configure devices electronically, with little or no human intervention. Each device is then shipped directly to the user, and the provisioning process is completed when the user turns the device on. The device is automatically enrolled in the organization’s mobile device management (MDM) system.

Automation saves technicians hours of effort and enables users to be productive immediately upon receiving their devices. It also provides very strong security, with the MDM platform controlling device settings and applications based on the organization’s policies.

How KST Can Help

KST Data has proven processes for tech-less device provisioning as part of our end-to-end lifecycle management model. First, we help organizations rationalize their endpoint management tools and ensure that detailed information is captured on each device. 

We also help them better integrate the tools used to manage devices across their lifecycle. This makes it possible to automate workflows between systems, from HR (user onboarding and offboarding) to procurement to provisioning to support (ticketing). The process becomes seamless, and the cost to the company to support the lifecycle is dramatically reduced.  

When a device is due for refresh, our team uses advanced tools to configure its replacement automatically. We then ship the device to the user and handle the return of the existing device. By outsourcing these processes to KST, organizations can dramatically reduce costs and increase IT and user productivity.

The IT skill shortage remains a persistent challenge. KST’s tech-less refresh process can help relieve the pressure and enable existing staff to focus on strategic initiatives.