To enable productivity and collaboration among faculty and staff, IT administrators are using endpoint management and security solutions, virtual desktops and Software as a Service tools to monitor application performance, says Gabe Knuth, senior analyst for end-user computing at Enterprise Strategy Group.
Proactive desktop management solutions can help save time for IT departments in addition to optimizing security procedures and reducing device downtime. They can also reduce the number of service requests from users.
“PC management services and tools can provide help with the day-to-day management of PCs, with gauging the health of the fleet, proactive and predictive alerts to stay ahead of issues, remotely resolving developing issues, and automating parts dispatching,” Raley says. “All of these things can help IT admins save time and focus on other value-added activities.”
Here are some key features you’ll find in proactive desktop management solutions.
Automation Enables Remote Desktop Management for Higher Ed IT
Some universities are turning to automation and outsourcing key responsibilities to third-party partners. As the University of Notre Dame expanded beyond its South Bend, Ind., campus to allow faculty and staff to work around the world, the IT department automated desktop management, according to Tracy Weber, Notre Dame's assistant vice president for community IT experience.
“With increased flexibility due to remote and hybrid work environments, along with Notre Dame’s many international locations and research activities, monitoring the network activity on our South Bend campus network is no longer the protection it used to be,” Weber says. “Our device management solutions help us ensure that devices are as secure and stable as possible given the global nature of our work.”
Proactive desktop management platforms allow university IT departments to manage cases and support tickets without human help, according to Raley.
“PC management can incorporate a proactive resolution model, where pending issues are detected, cases are opened and support tickets created all without human intervention,” Raley says.
Automation helps universities save time by updating PC fleets with the latest BIOS, drivers, firmware and applications, Raley says. Proactive desktop management applications also let IT administrators create custom catalogs and deploy them to their desktop fleets, Raley adds.
Deploying Automatic Security Updates and Patches
A key feature of proactive desktop management entails patching applications to keep them secure against the latest threats. For large universities like Notre Dame that are the size of a small city, the challenge is to keep endpoint devices secure when they’re spread out all over campus and the world. Desktop management tools provide this support, according to Weber.
“Leveraging our desktop management tools helps us efficiently ensure that important security updates are happening, and that we’re refreshing devices in a timely manner for optimal operation,” Weber says.