Modernising End-User Device Management To Support A Remote Workforce In 2022

The future of work is here, and it undoubtedly revolves around a remote or hybrid workforce. An Australian Bureau of Statistics study found that 46 per cent of employed Australians worked from home one or more times a week in April 2022, almost double the number that worked from home in 2020 before Covid-19 restrictions.  

To keep up with the rapid shift to online work models, businesses have had to re-think how they operate. Ensuring employees’ devices are secure and functioning optimally by installing and updating operating systems and application patches, managing user accounts, and maintaining up-to-date security is critical to keeping a business running. Outdated end-user device management plans are a risk; modernising systems and applications is key to ensuring data security, ease of use, and productivity in an increasingly digital landscape.  

For companies like Iress, a leading technology provider for financial services organisations headquartered in Melbourne, the swift move to remote working created numerous challenges. Last year, the Iress team chose Dell Technologies and VMware to develop an end-user modernisation roadmap for the company. With Workspace One, the company is saving time, reducing costs, keeping valuable data safe and supporting its remote workforce to do their best work.  

Remote work creates end-user device management challenges 

During the Covid-19 lockdowns, Iress’ Workplace Technology Team found end-user device management increasingly challenging. As employees began working from home, more endpoint devices were roaming outside corporate-controlled networks. In addition, maintaining policy controls and staying up-to-date with security patches and grades was becoming difficult, putting the company’s valuable data at risk. Despite regular checks, the team were becoming less confident that they were remaining compliant and secure. 

With over 2,000 employees and 17 office locations across seven countries, Iress had a vision for its workplace technology to enable a globally consistent, collaboration-focused and remote-first workplace. They wanted best-of-breed tools to support remote employees, and they needed a solution with zero-touch provision to reduce the time spent setting up new devices.  

For the refresh, the Iress team identified important must-haves for the new solution. They wanted to consolidate the tools they used to manage different environments, such as Windows, Mobile and Macs, enhance security, improve device compliance reporting and offer a better employee onboarding experience.  

A modern solution for a modern problem  

After a comprehensive review, Iress chose Dell Technologies and VMware to develop an end-user modernisation plan aligning with its global strategy. For six months, the teams worked to create a unique solution for Iress that is underpinned by Workspace One, deploying a centralised cloud platform solution.  

By implementing best practices in zero-trust security, unified endpoint management and drop ship provisioning, the new environment is modern, secure and intelligent. Crucially, it provides a great end-user experience that enables employees to work from anywhere. Moving from on-premises to a cloud-native platform improved operational efficiencies, simplified support and reduced costs and maintenance.  

The result is an intelligent platform, an automated and secure onboarding experience for new employees with zero-touch provisioning that makes it easy to request IT support. New devices are shipped from the Dell Technologies factory safely and securely, direct to the employee no matter where they are located, resulting in an optimal experience for both the employee and Iress’ Workplace Technology Team. 

Saving time while improving the end-user experience
Since upgrading the system, Iress’ Workplace Technology Team has seen improvements across the board, with drastic time savings and an improved end-user experience.  

Because the Workspace One platform is cloud-native, the team no longer have to maintain and support servers in the data centre, and they’re saving up to three hours by avoiding the setup of a new device. They’ve seen a 90 per cent time reduction in restoring or re-deploying devices, which can now be done remotely through the platform. On top of that, they’ve achieved a 70 per cent reduction in reporting time and time spent updating Windows and sending security patches to Windows devices. Managing and maintaining driver updates, firmware and BIOS upgrades on Windows devices are a thing of the past, as this is all automated with the new system. They also have greater visibility over devices allowing better management, compliance and remediation. 

Employees are also benefitting from the solution; they can receive their new devices without having to go to the office, reducing unnecessary travel and back-and-forth communication. Workspace One has consolidated application access into one single location portal, which is much easier for employees to locate and access what they need, providing a great end-user experience.  

Supporting the ‘anywhere workspace’ 

With Workspace One, Iress’ Workplace Technology Team can quickly see devicesmanage them, and provide remote support, wherever the device is. The seamless experience supports access to an ‘anywhere workspace’ while helping the company save time and reduce costs. The success of the digital workspace platform has ensured that Iress can maximise its investments now and in the future – it’s a truly modern solution for a modern problem.  

About the Author: Dell Technologies