While that’s great news for your end users, if you are an IT service manager it creates complications. You need to ensure the ever-growing mix of personal and corporate devices are secure and updated with the latest features and patches to protect company data.
To manage this, in 2014 Microsoft extended its Windows Intune service to more platforms and renamed it Microsoft Intune - a cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) service.
With the growth in mobile device adoption for business – and particularly in the wake of the COVID pandemic as many more people were forced to work remotely, Intune can be used to manage all your end user mobile devices. There are a number of benefits:
So, if InTune does all this, what more do you need to manage Windows Servicing? Well, for many businesses you could run into issues if you don’t, for example, manage scheduling correctly, or pre-test applications.
At the very least, you are going to have some disgruntled end users. You aren’t going to win any medals for taking out access when it’s least expected – even if your end users were pre-warned. So, what can you do to mitigate these risks?
First step to protecting your roll out is to understand everything about your IT environment – that means aggregating all the data about the devices, applications, systems, and users that you support.
Analyze your data to categorize your apps – we suggest using three tiers – then you can define how you treat them going forward:
While you can get information on usage from Desktop Analytics – you’re probably going to need to pull in additional data about who is using the apps and their level or title within the organization – so leverage AD information and talk to managers.
If you do this you should be aiming for pre-testing or piloting about 15% or less of your applications, and you’ll have some peace of mind that you have incorporated protection into your update.
Analyze your source data to work out what devices are nearing end-of-life or which ones won’t work with the update. Once you have identified a list, define a replacement program working with users to let them know their devices will be replaced (if corporate-owned) or, if they will need to replace devices to continue using them for business applications. Then work out a program of purchasing, configuring, and shipping devices to those end users (making sure you’ve also checked where they are, so you are shipping to the right place). Then you’ll need to chase up the return of old devices, but at least you don’t have to update these.
Yes, Intune will push out updates to user devices and give them some leeway before the updates are implemented, but it’s human nature to put things off – then there will be an automatic update at a potentially crucial time. So, you should define a communication plan, first to warn your end users that an update is happening, then to work out a good time for the update.
By adding all these steps alongside Intune, you will have some peace of mind for updating mobile devices in your Windows servicing program. But guess what? All this is going to take time. Aggregating and analyzing data, testing, replacing hardware and communicating and scheduling updates with thousands of end users is going to drain time and resources. To save time and effort you could apply intelligent automation to all of the repetitive tasks you perform. It’s also a good idea to adopt a solution that is designed with Windows servicing programs in mind – not just for your mobile devices – but across all your IT environment.
Schedule a demo to understand how ReadyWorks intelligent automation will take the hassle out of your Windows servicing programs.