‘Tech-Less’ Endpoint Management Saves Significant Time and Money

Is your organization still provisioning and managing endpoints the old-fashioned way? Consider these statistics from Forrester:

  • Zero-touch provisioning saves several hours of technician time per device, reduces the user’s setup time by 90 percent and cuts the provisioning cycle time by more than 85 percent.
  • Automated patch and update management improves security by ensuring that patches are applied promptly, enabling an organization to avoid unanticipated security risks.
  • Security and management efficiencies reduce help desk calls by more than 10 percent and cut the number of calls escalated to Tier 2 support by 46 percent.

Despite the proven benefits of automation, endpoint provisioning and management remains a largely manual process in many organizations. Field service technicians can spend hours provisioning a single device — time that could be spent on tasks that are more valuable to the business. Ongoing administration and help desk support add further operational overhead. Given that the average enterprise now manages 135,000 end point devices, this all adds up to substantial cost.

Hours of Manual Effort

The process begins when an organization receives an endpoint in its warehouse, where a field service technician images and configures the device. An organization’s standards may include 10 different devices, each of which has an image that must be tested, certified and maintained. Imaging and configuring one device could take three or four hours if no problems arise.

The technician must then deploy the endpoint to the user. This involves backing up the user’s data, reinstalling the data on the new device and updating all the settings. The technician spends another hour or two onsite to get the user up and running. Once the tech leaves, the user may find that something isn’t working, which means calling the help desk to get it resolved.

Some organizations have experimented with sending devices directly to users, who must complete the implementation processes. However, users often anticipate a lot of work and downtime, so they delay making the switch. The asset sits unused, sometimes for weeks.

Deploying the asset is only the beginning. Organizations must install patches and updates over the lifecycle of the device, but few have rigorous patch management processes. According to the Ponemon Institute, it takes organizations 12 days on average to apply one patch across all affected devices.

Failure to do so promptly has serious ramifications. Unpatched devices play a role in 85 percent of successful network exploits, according to the Department of Homeland Security. An average of 48 percent of devices – or 64,800 per enterprise – are at risk because they are no longer detected by the organization’s IT department or the endpoints’ operating systems have become outdated.

The Fully Automated Approach

KST Data helps customers move to automated provisioning and management, removing technicians from the process. The tech-less refresh model leverages advanced technologies to configure devices electronically, with minimal user intervention. The three- to four-hour imaging time is reduced to 30 minutes or less.

When users receive the assets, they simply log in and are off and running. The two- or three-hour time is reduced to 10 or 15 minutes, with no field service technician required.

The financial benefit to the organization is substantial. In addition to significant IT operational time savings, user productivity is increased. Users don’t have to sit idle while their devices are being configured. They’re happier because they get a device that functions in a way that’s familiar and they’re able to work right away.

KST Data can also assist with automated patch management. Patches and updates are applied promptly, reducing help desk calls and security risks.

The purchase price of an endpoint device is a small fraction of its full lifecycle cost. The time involved with imaging, deploying, managing and supporting the device adds up to substantial operational overhead that’s multiplied across tens of thousands of devices. A tech-less approach to endpoint management can reduce these costs, increase IT and user productivity, and enhance endpoint device security.