What is endpoint management?
Traditional endpoint management is the ability to centrally manage, configure, repair and secure devices. Prior to the post-pandemic world, endpoint management was primarily focused on systems performance, rather than meeting employees’ expectations of how their endpoints should work. But now, businesses are recognizing that workforce productivity is predicated on endpoint performance.
Now, cast your mind back. Way back. To a time when daily commutes, making small talk at the watercooler, and just ‘popping’ over to a colleague’s desk were all a part of the day-to-day. Seems like a lifetime ago, right? Well, our physical workplace experience isn’t the only thing to undergo a dramatic makeover.
As recent research by EMA shows, workforce productivity is the driving force behind modern business success. In fact, 70% of organizations now consider “increasing workforce productivity” to be a critical priority. And with workplace technologies (primarily endpoint devices and apps) the primary tools knowledge workers employ to achieve productivity, ensuring your users can effectively utilize these digital resources must be a priority for organizations. After all, digital disruption doesn’t just have implications for your employee’s experience, it can also impact a business’ bottom line.
The traditional monitoring, deployment, and controlling of endpoints is no longer enough. In the words of Bob Dylan, the times they are a’changing – and IT is not exempt from this.
So, it’s clear that endpoint management as we knew it is on the way out, with more employee-conscious initiatives driving necessary change (undeniably important given that, over 40% of employees open a digital experience-related trouble ticket with IT support weekly!) But what does the future of endpoint management actually look like?
The future of endpoint management
Endpoint management has shifted from a focus on systems management alone to performance management to create positive digital experiences. That’s why endpoint management is evolving into DEX management, ensuring the employee comes first.
What is DEX?
We’ve spoken before about what DEX is, why it suddenly matters so much, and what it means for you. In short, DEX is an evolution of endpoint management; we need to augment endpoint management to ensure a good digital experience for employees. Gartner analyst, Dan Wilson, explained that (DEX) transcends simply “admiring” the problems employees face in their digitally corporate lives to make positive improvements to their workplace technology.
And with endpoint management becoming table stakes at this point, what matters now is what experience you provide with your endpoint. However, organizations face a major challenge when it comes to shifting to an employee-centric endpoint management approach, and that challenge is a lack of data.
How do you move to employee-centric endpoint management? Start with the data
Most firms have very little insight into the digital employee experience, be that visibility into a singular element, such as device performance, or a more comprehensive view across multiple technologies. According to Forrester research, fewer than one in three translate user telemetry data across technology categories into deep insights about those channels.
The traditional hard metrics that formed endpoint management no longer reflect the things that matter in the modern workplace. As Gartner explains, “they are too technology-focused and lack alignment to employees’ ways of working and the business capabilities they deliver.” So, where do we go from here?
Analytics that tell you how employees use their devices, how the feel about their workplace technology, and what issues they’re facing, will help you better understand the requirements of a post-pandemic workforce. So that means you need to be focused on performance metrics to paint an accurate picture of the digital experience. That includes employee sentiment analysis, app and network performance monitoring, endpoint responsiveness and overall endpoint stability and performance.
Think you’ve got it covered? Think again!
Despite the usage of collaboration tools skyrocketing from 55% to 79%, Gartner research shows that 67% of employees feel that using information technologies for work took more effort than it should on a weekly basis.
What do you do with good data?
Good insights, ideally collected at scale across all endpoints, tells you what’s going wrong with your corporate devices and what you need to do about it. For investment management firm, Baillie Gifford, good data also means being able to make better choices: “As an IT team, you need to put your employees first in what you’re delivering and make effective decisions, but you need data to do that.”
Data that tells you what employees are struggling with enables IT teams to be proactive in their approach to IT support by uncovering issues before they become chronic. It also has the added benefit of ensuring your endpoint automation strategy is successful; logically, the issues that are most prevalent in your environment and easiest to repair should be priority candidates for automated resolutions. An ineffective automation strategy that isn’t aligned to the real problems employees face has an impact on IT costs, employee satisfaction and IT efficiency. In fact, one in three orgs say they have 50% or worse first-time resolution (FTR) rates, and nearly half of cases on average are ultimately resolved by level 2 or 3 IT support.
How do you know where to get started in this transformational journey?
To start, you need a baseline of where you are now. That’s why we partnered with Forrester to produce the industry’s first DEX Maturity Model. By filling out a simple questionnaire based on your current endpoint management and DEX practices, you’ll know how you compare to your peers and receive expert recommendations on what to improve.
To learn more about making the journey from endpoint management to digital employee experience (DEX) management, read Forrester’s latest report on DEX.