May 02 2024

What Makes an Effective Device Management Program?

Higher education IT leaders understand the benefits of a device management program but getting it to run smoothly can be easier said than done.

The always-daunting task of managing thousands of student, staff and faculty devices in higher education became even more difficult as colleges embraced hybrid learning and remote work, introducing personal devices into the mix and allowing work across multiple time zones and platforms. For IT departments, this presented a multitude of challenges and security concerns, not to mention a drain on workforce.

With the current state of the supply chain, being proactive in device purchasing, configuration and security is no longer optional. University IT leaders must think several steps ahead if they’re going to have the devices they need to serve their stakeholders without disruptions in service.

Developing a device management program that considers software asset management, procurement and the full device lifecycle is key to setting up a university for success.

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Elements of an Effective Device Management Program

Mobile device management programs allow university IT administrators to have greater control over laptops, tablets and smartphones on a campus network. Using these tools, admins can enforce security policies, push software updates and manage applications.

“It’s the ability to track all of your inventory — your device and software inventory — in one place, so that you can easily look at what is and isn’t being used, easily update things and make sure they are compliant,” says Mat Pullen, senior product marketing manager for education at Jamf.

When it comes to device inventory, putting purchasing power in end users’ hands can free up the IT team and give faculty and staff more autonomy over their device selection.

“Establishing a single e-procurement environment enables higher education institutions to optimize processes, reduce costs and focus on delivering value-added services to the institution,” says Shannon Cobourn, global head of mission solutions in the education and nonprofit sectors at ServiceNow.

In planning a successful device management program that accounts for future needs, it’s important to consider the device lifecycle. Accounting for all aspects of device management — procurement, maintenance, retirement and replacement — is vital to ensure a university has the devices it needs for its end users.

Service providers can support device delivery, inventory management, configuration, imaging, asset tagging and more. They can also help universities with budgeting, security strategies, and recycling and replacement when devices reach their end of life.

Device management is cyclical. Continually reviewing and refreshing device policies and procedures, from security to budgeting, is vital to developing a device management program that can stand the test of time.

KEEP READING: Why sustainable campuses aren’t complete without device recycling.

Harry Campbell/Theispot

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