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What is Endpoint Management?
Endpoint management is the ability to centrally discover, provision, deploy, update, and troubleshoot endpoint devices within an organization.
The task of managing IT assets is very challenging as a business expands beyond a few distributed servers, workstations, laptops, tablets and smartphones – otherwise known as endpoints. It is even harder with devices that are heterogeneous, or that travel outside of the organization’s network.
Understanding what you have is the foundation of effective endpoint management. This visibility allows you to keep track of assets, ensure their compliance with corporate policies and industry regulations, and target changes.
From automatically provisioning new devices to pushing out software updates, the right endpoint management tool can ensure standardization and security are an integrated part of the business. In today’s digital workplace, automated endpoint management empowers the service desk for rapid incident resolution while improving user experience and productivity, cost control, and security.
Top 5 considerations for developing your endpoint management strategy
Endpoint management is an essential component of IT operations. While solutions have been on the market for a long time, there are new criteria to consider when assessing your current strategy towards improved efficiency.
- An increasingly mobile workforce
Field technicians and sales staff are not the only ones requiring remote access. With the rise of millennials in the workplace, there has been a shift to more telecommuting. Employees expect to be able to work from anywhere, at any time of day, with little or no disruption. This directly affects how IT manages the many devices that support employee engagement and productivity in two important ways:
- Endpoint management needs to holistically cover the different types of endpoints (laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets)
- Devices should be accessible for management outside the boundaries of the corporate network, without requiring a VPN connection
- An environment beyond Microsoft® Windows®
- The need for compliance and flexibility
- The desire to invest wisely
- A choice that benefits everyone
While Windows still accounts for the majority of the operating systems powering laptop, desktops, and remote office servers, the rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has increased adoption of a whole new range of software. An effective endpoint management solution should comprehensively support Windows, MacOS, Android, and Linux devices, whether physical or virtual.
With more bad actors exploiting software vulnerabilities that run on endpoints, it is also necessary to ensure the ability to manage patches from all major software vendors (Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, Apple, IBM and so on).
Creating standard endpoint environments to push out to all employees can mean lower costs, tighter security and smoother operations. But most organizations will want to give employees flexibility in the way they use their devices.
Endpoint management solutions need to be able to flexibly provision devices, and to efficiently push changes to keep the level of the base configuration standard. They also need the ability to report on non-compliance, whether to internal policies, or to industry regulations, with an option to automatically bring devices back into compliance.
Not investing in endpoint management can result in unforeseen negative consequences, and expensive and complex tools are prevalent on the market. But there are ways to optimize your investment to maximize return.
This starts with deploying a minimum number of endpoint management tools – ideally just one – to limit technology spread, streamline maintenance, and reduce training needed for IT staff. Organizations should also consider a SaaS-based solution to limit capital expenditure, ensure the solution is always up to date, and free up internal IT resources.
Select a solution that will seamlessly integrate with technology already in place (enterprise directory, email, databases, CMDB, etc.) and has few pre-requisites for network and system configurations.
Usage of the endpoint management solution should not be restricted to desktop engineering or desktop administrators but include other IT personnel, including the service desk agents.
Ideally, they would each leverage endpoint management via the tools that they use most of the time (incident management, license management, monitoring) either via an out-of-the-box connector or an API for custom integrations. Even end-users themselves could be exposed a subset of the functionality to be able to self-serve, such as through an enterprise app store.
Endpoint management to meet all your criteria
BMC Client Management delivers distributed endpoint management (mobile, laptop, desktop, and server), helping IT deliver great service to users while minimizing cost, maintaining compliance, and reducing security risks.
- Make intelligent decisions knowing the current state of inventory
- Pass software audits with ease and manage your software entitlements – don’t over deploy and don’t over spend
- Reduce vulnerability and financial risk through endpoint compliance and automated software patching
- Automate system provisioning, application deployment, profile configuration from a single console
- Seamlessly drive endpoint troubleshooting and management from BMC service management solutions
“We’ve achieved more with BMC Client Management than with any other asset management product we’ve tried. It was easy to implement, it’s easy to use, and it’s easy to upgrade.”— Ed Kraft, Technology and User Services Manager, Charter Manufacturing
BMC delivers a full range of ITSM solutions that enable innovation with streamlined, intelligent service delivery for today's mobile, social, and collaborative business users.
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