The Growth of Distributed Workforces, Device Types and Remote Work Puts Added Strain on IT Managers in the Digital Enterprise
Bellevue, Wash. – December 11, 2018 – Unify Square™, the leading provider of software and cloud managed services for Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business, today revealed findings from a new survey, UC Device Management Report: Challenges & Opportunities in the New Era of the Digital Enterprise, conducted by Osterman Research. Now in its second iteration, the study explores the current state and future outlook of enterprise device management from the perspective of the IT managers who oversee unified communications (UC) and workstream collaboration (WSC) environments. While the findings uncover many industry shifts since the first survey was released in Winter 2016, the overall growth of device management solutions is the most significant – 65 percent of IT managers either currently use or plan to adopt software solutions in the next three years, a stark contrast from the 77 percent that did not deploy any such solution in 2016.
As more and more enterprises embrace the new era of the digital workplace, key trends like the growth of distributed workforces and remote work are clearly impacting both the day-to-day responsibilities and long-term considerations of IT managers. While survey findings indicate that strides have been made to better mitigate some of the challenges created by these trends through the adoption of software solutions, device management remains a complex and time-consuming issue for enterprise IT. To further support enhanced device management, IT managers revealed that UC endpoint spend will continue on an upward trajectory – with 43 percent of respondents anticipating the portion of their total UC budget dedicated to device management expenditures will grow over the next three years.
“There’s no question that the UC industry is experiencing a tectonic shift, driven by a variety of workplace trends that are straining enterprise IT departments both in budget and bandwidth,” said Michael Osterman, founder, and principal analyst at Osterman Research. “This Unify Square-Osterman study indicates that the devices employees rely on to stay connected will remain an essential element of this larger UC shift, especially for highly-collaborative solutions like video conferencing. Enterprise IT has a challenging road ahead, but many opportunities to adapt to the new realities of the digital workplace exist through enhanced software assistance with labor-intensive tasks, proactive management, and end-user training.”
Additional key takeaways of the Unify Square-Osterman study include:
- Over the last two years, adoption of device management solutions rose more than 15 percent, with nearly half of all enterprises now deploying some sort of software. Importantly, among those that have already embraced enhanced device management, one-quarter have seen an increase in user satisfaction.
- Usage of device management software solutions should continue to rise, with 52 percent of the IT managers that have yet to deploy any such software indicating they will do so by 2021. Combined with the 85 percent of IT managers that believe proactive management should be the norm with regard to remediation of UC issues, the outlook of device management software in the enterprise remains positive.
- Topping the list of the device management capabilities UC managers find most valuable is remote set-up, followed by group policy management. Consolidated UC endpoint management also landed as one of the most valuable capabilities – unsurprising given the 32 percent of IT managers indicated they use more than one vendor to support device management.
- When it comes to device managed services, there is a vast opportunity for enhanced partnering between enterprises and vendors. Just one in eight organizations surveyed are currently using endpoint device managed services that assist UC managers with activities like app delivery, support, provisioning and cost management.
- Penetration of video conferencing solutions should significantly rise over the next three years. While just 19 percent of IT managers indicated video conferencing is important today, when asked about the importance of UC video room systems by 2021, that number nearly triples to 57 percent.
“Software-assisted management is one of the biggest business trends in recent years, adopted across industries, job functions, organization sizes and locations. Yet, intelligent device management has been slow to make its way into the UC and workstream collaboration markets,” said Scott Gode, chief product marketing officer at Unify Square. “This survey shows that device management is finally catching up. IT managers are not only already leaning on software solutions to offset basic device management tasks, but would like to become more proactive by adopting increasingly robust software solutions.”
The Unify Square-Osterman survey was conducted with over 100 members of the Osterman Research survey panel via an online survey in Fall 2018. To qualify, individuals had to be knowledgeable about UC or UCaaS device management in their organizations, specifically with regard to how devices are managed in their UC systems.
To access the full report, click here.