How companies are simplifying device management in a remote working world

Soon after, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and office workers moved away, but Spectrum Brands had no trouble continuing to onboard new employees, including 200 employees from corporate acquisitions. Today, most office workers, including new hires, are working remotely, so zero-touch provisioning is critical, Watson says.

The company uses Windows Autopilot, a cloud service that enrolls new laptops on Azure AD and Intune instances from Spectrum Brands. When users authenticate through Azure AD, Intune automatically installs apps, antivirus software, and settings and policies that each user is trusted with.

“We can literally ship a device from the factory or from our partner CDW. The user opens it, and it’s ready to go,” says Watson.

Overall, the cloud-based solution saves money and simplifies IT management. IT no longer uses a dozen different systems to manage devices, such as separate encryption, password, and patch management tools.

“Now it’s a standalone solution,” he says. “Things have completely changed for the better.”

LOOK: Learn how cloud-based management can facilitate better remote collaboration.

Leverage automation to monitor devices

SouthStar Bank, which has 15 branches in central Texas, uses a combination of on-premises and cloud-based Ivanti tools to manage its devices and helpdesk.

The IT department deployed Ivanti Endpoint Manager internally to configure desktops, laptops and tablets and update software for SouthStar’s 200 employees.

Two years ago, the bank adopted the cloud-based Ivanti Neurons “automation bots” solution, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to monitor devices. It identifies performance, security and compliance issues and fixes them automatically, says SouthStar IT specialist Jesse Miller.

For example, if the technology detects that a computer has insufficient disk space, it automatically deletes temporary files and other unnecessary files to free up space and ensure that the device does not have any performance or of stability.

The technology improves the employee experience and saves IT staff time, Miller says.

“It proactively solves small issues, giving us time to deal with the bigger, more important things,” he says.

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