IT’s Struggle to Control UC-Enabled Devices Increases Tendency for Employees to Abandon the UC System for Personal Devices, Exposing Enterprise to Security Risk
Bellevue, WA – JANUARY 26, 2017 – Unify Square, the leading provider of software, consulting and 24×7 cloud managed services for Skype for Business, today issued the results of a new survey, “UC Device Management Report: The Need to Improve Enterprise Endpoint Monitoring and Control”, conducted in partnership with Osterman Research. The findings reveal enterprises aren’t adequately supporting IT in addressing challenges with unified communications (UC) endpoint device management, which is leading to significant overspending. According to the survey, more than 77% of organizations do not employ any software or services to help automate the management and provisioning of UC enabled devices. Instead, 42% of IT’s total time spent on device management consists of manual troubleshooting, which in a 10,000 seat enterprise can add up to $100,000 of unnecessary spend. Given the expected growth in overall UC system adoption, the lack of tools to support device management will become a costly problem and lead to serious security and compliance implications.
“The rate at which employees are hitting the pause button on their UC system adoption is accelerating. The relative simplicity of their smartphone devices versus UC complexity is a direct result of IT’s struggle to effectively manage UC environments,” said Scott Gode, chief product marketing officer at Unify Square. “Despite UC budget increases over the next three to five years, there’s little wiggle room for mistakes and intense pressure to show ROI. As the overall usage of UC increases and the number and diversity of UC devices in the enterprise grows, device management will become a serious issue that can no longer be ignored. Both security and UC ROI is at stake.”
The following insights were identified by the survey:
IT Still Struggles With Device Management Basics
When asked to rank their most significant challenges in managing UC endpoint devices, the majority (45%) of IT respondents cited setup/configuration, provisioning and troubleshooting as most challenging – in other words, the basics of UC device management. These struggles have slowed IT’s ability to keep up with the proliferation of devices in the workplace. So much so, nearly one-third (32%) of IT have confessed to losing control of an employee’s end-point device at some point in the device’s lifecycle. Making matters worse, this lack of control of devices leads to sub-optimal device usage, which in turn contributes significantly to decreased UC voice quality, slowed system adoption and diminished end-user satisfaction throughout the entire organization.
What IT Wants vs. What IT Gets
To be successful in managing UC endpoint devices, two thirds (66%) of IT managers state they would benefit from the ability to manage group policies and to set up devices remotely, among a wide range of other management activities. This functionality is possible to achieve using today’s UC device management software, however, most organizations (77%) do not invest in the necessary software tools. In fact, ironically, over the next three years companies that currently spend at least $15 per device per year plan to decrease their spend on device management software. While 78% of IT would prefer to be proactive in addressing issues related to device management, nearly half (38%) simply don’t have the bandwidth. Too much of their time (42%) is spent manually addressing individual user issues, a practice that will cost them hundreds of thousands year-over-year as the number of UC enabled devices in the workplace continues to increase.
Security, Compliance & ROI Implications
In addition to financial repercussions of poor UC device management, end-user adoption and satisfaction also suffers when IT is bogged down by manual management. “Poor” end-user behavior becomes more common, the most serious behavior being abandoning the UC system altogether for personal smartphone device – 22% of IT managers claim this is common in their UC environment. Because personal devices are not governed as carefully as company-supplied devices, corporate information stored on the device can expose the enterprise to significant security vulnerabilities as well as legal and compliance issues. Not to mention, employee productivity can also suffer without access to typical UC collaboration tools, all of which threatens ROI.
“The significant proportion of spending on manual management activities points to a major opportunity to implement improved best practices and management tools to reduce UC device management expenditures,” said Michael Osterman, founder and principal analyst at Osterman Research. “With cost and ROI being a huge consideration on the corporate agenda, making the investment to optimize UC device management becomes a no brainer. Doing nothing threatens to turn back the clock on the UC transformation, discouraging end users and diminishing productivity and ROI.”
The Unify Square-Osterman survey was conducted with members of the Osterman Research survey panel via an online survey in Winter 2016. To qualify, individuals had to be knowledgeable about device management in their organizations, specifically with regard to how devices are managed in their UC systems. The median number of employees and email users in the organizations surveyed was 1,500.
To access the full report, click here.