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Modern Workplace / 9 minute read

Seven Signs You Need Microsoft Managed Desktop

Seven Business Signals That Mean it’s Time for Change

Is your workplace trying to tell you something? We list seven things that could be telling you it’s time to invest in the Microsoft Managed Desktop service. 

Time for change - businessman changing into a superhero

If the Microsoft Managed Desktop service (MMD) is new to you, here's a quick overview; A Beginner's Guide to Microsoft Managed Desktop. In  brief, MMD:   

  • allows your people to work from anywhere and;
  • makes them self-sufficient 
  • liberates your IT team from mundane tasks
  • keeps your desktop estate secure and evergreen

 

Sign 1. Your Hardware is Running on a Legacy Operating System, and You Don’t Know How to Get to Windows 10 

Fear and a red herring 

Back in April 2019, we ran an event on how to modernise your workplace. A delegate poll revealed a scary statistic; 60% of the organisations represented were still running on Windows 7. You can catch a round-up of the event here: Your Whistle-Stop Tour: How to Modernise Your Workplace.

If you’re running Windows 7 then – in common with the good people we saw last year, you may feel like you’re staring down the barrel of a gun. For the uninitiated, here’s why: Microsoft End of Support – What You Need to Know. And without wishing to be too doom-laden, if you're in the minority running Windows 8.1, it will be your turn next.

It’s not that you’re choosing to hang on to an outdated Windows operating system - it’s that you don’t see a clear path out of it. We get this because we speak with people like you every week. You tell us you fear your custom and line-of-business applications won’t be compatible with Windows 10;  you perceive there’s much work to do, and this is holding you back. Here’s the good news (and you’d probably welcome some right now) – it’s a red herring.    

Using real-world data, Microsoft conducted an extensive application compatibility study. Based on their observations of 417,000 unique apps, only 810 were incompatible with Windows 10, meaning 99% had no issues. And here’s a great incentive to move to Windows 10: it’s designed to be evergreen, so it’s unlikely there will be a Windows 11. So, if your applications work on number 10 today – and the odds are that they will – then they should always work.

If you’re a glass half empty person and remain concerned, check if newer versions of your apps are available; at any rate, it’s good practice to update them. And here’s the best bit:

 

Microsoft Managed Desktop is the fastest and potentially the cheapest way of moving from Windows 7 (or 8.1) to Windows 10.

 

Why? Because all those things you might be worried about (or don’t have time for) are managed for you. These include:

  • Modern devices that work with Windows 10 out-of-the box.
  • The devices are built and pre-configured for you; no golden image necessary.
  • Application compatibility checks through Desktop App Assure.

We illustrate the simplicity of contemporary IT management in Traditional IT vs the Modern world: The Journey of a New User Device

 

Sign 2.  Your Hardware’s Nearing End of Life and is Due a Refresh 

“I’m givin’ her all she’s got, Captain!” – Scotty, Chief Engineer, Starship USS Enterprise 

According to Moore’s Law, computing power doubles every two years. If your company’s devices are ageing, they’re likely nearing processing capacity. Is your hardware due a refresh? Then your mind’s probably turning to vendor selection and a bunch of due diligence tasks.   

With Microsoft Managed Desktop, the job’s already done. Microsoft’s done the hard work by listing the devices that deliver optimum user experiences and work on Windows 10. You get the fun part of choosing!   

Check out the list of Microsoft, Dell and HP devices here: Microsoft Managed Desktop devices, which is growing all the time. And if you choose us as your Microsoft Managed Desktop partner, we can procure the hardware on your behalf and offer leasing plans.

For a fast light read, catch our blog:  A Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft Managed Desktop or for an in-depth read, visit Launching the Next Generation of Desktop Management.

 

Sign 3. Your Competitors Have More Success Attracting and Retaining Talent 

“What first, Debbie attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?” – Mrs Merton’s famous interview with Debbie McGee 

Several elements make a company a great, or not so great, place to work. Is Your Workplace a Den of Despair, or a Beacon of Light? Culture and leadership are front-runners, but technology undeniably plays a vital role.

Digital natives, especially, are attracted to modern, forward-thinking organisations. They want to work for companies that invest in them and great tech. If you’re struggling to recruit, it could indicate people don't see your organisation this way. And let’s turn to signs that your people are not as happy as you’d like:    

  • Copious service desk tickets about hardware problems; e.g. slow, crashing laptops.  
  • Low levels of engagement and productivity.
  • Short tenures. (Yes, it’s an obvious one, but if it keeps happening, are you getting help to tackle it?). Our Modern Workplace consultants have ways of identifying the issues, including ‘safe space’ staff interviews and questionnaires.  

If your technology isn’t allowing someone to do their best job, they may reach a point where they’ve had enough and jump ship. IT Lab’s and Microsoft’s Managed Desktop service delight users by empowering them with technology that just works.

Read about Joe’s fabulous onboarding experience with MMD here: The Journey of a New User Device

 

Revolutionise the management of your desktop estate – download our eBook!

 

Sign 4. You Had a Recent Security Incident Which Compromised Your Desktop Devices 

“If you’re spending more on your daily sandwich than on cybersecurity, consider yourself hacked.” IT Lab’s Security Operations Centre Lead  

If your desktop estate has suffered a cyber-attack, then you’ll know what a disabling and shocking experience it is. Perhaps it took time to recover operationally, and you’re still reeling from the effects.

Phishing is the number one attack vector, and it usually starts with an email containing a malicious link or file. Cybercriminals use sophisticated techniques to trick employees, and malicious activity can go undetected for weeks or even months.

Security is integral to the Microsoft Managed Desktop service, which safeguards your desktop estate and manages any necessary remediation. You’ll find more detail in the chapter ‘Transform Your Cybersecurity’ here: Launching the Next Generation of Desktop Management.

To be clear; the service is not a panacea for all your cybersecurity woes, but it does act as a vital layer of your security posture and affords peace of mind around the safety of your desktop estate. You might find this helpful too: Microsoft Managed Desktop - What Do You Actually Get? And if you’d like help with your broader security posture, check out our cybersecurity services.

 

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Sign 5. Supporting the Needs of Your Remote Workers is Challenging   

“A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.” - Emo Philips 

In a previous role working from home, I had a temperamental laptop and getting quality IT support was the bane of my life. On one memorable occasion the pesky thing froze, and I spent most of the morning on the phone to the company’s helpdesk people. It was a stress-inducing double whammy: I had a deadline and was helpless to meet it.   

By lunchtime, it was clear the issue wouldn’t be resolved remotely. I then made the four-hour round trip to HQ and was eventually back online by evening. Aside from my blood pressure, what’s the sorriest part of this story? It was entirely avoidable.

With modern devices, remote end-user support is straightforward and comes with the Microsoft Managed Desktop service. IT support is a core part of our business and, as a Microsoft Authorised Partner, your users can access our premium service desk 24/7.  

Devices covered by Microsoft’s Managed Desktop service are considerably less likely to crash; around once a year compared to 6 or 7 times for legacy devices. You’ll find other reassuring stats in our blog: A Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft Managed Desktop.

And what of another prevalent issue for remote workers; synchronising their data? In a traditional IT scenario, remote workers must connect to their corporate network via a VPN (a virtual private network) and synchronise their data with the corporate file server.

Depending on where they connect from, accessing the VPN may be blocked. And if they haven’t synchronised their data in a while and their device is lost or stolen, they face losing work.

In a modern IT scenario, key user library locations (desktop, documents and pictures) redirect  automatically to OneDrive. Provided your remote users have Internet connectivity, their files back up automatically. Modern, remote users don’t need to think about when they last launched the VPN or whether the sync was successful; it just works.

 

Sign 6. You Want to Encourage a Flexible Home Working Policy, but Your Technology Doesn’t Support Your Aims 

Dressing for work can be tricky! Do I choose the tartan or spotted PJs? 

Many people – particularly millennials, would appreciate the opportunity to work from home, and there’s plenty of evidence suggesting it’s good for productivity and morale. Remote working also eases any pressure on office real estate and hot desks.     

The Microsoft Managed Desktop is a stateless cloud service; it’s not tied to your corporate location.  Your users – wherever they are – can enjoy everything they need to do their jobs. Access to all your company’s resources and applications? Check. Data backed up? Check (see sign 5 above for more info). Your company’s security protocols maintained? Check.

And new starts don’t even have to visit your office to collect their device – Microsoft Managed Desktops can be shipped directly and are ready to go out-of-the-box. Remember Joe’s story? -  The Journey of a New User Device

 

Sign 7. Your Tech Disadvantages Your Road Warriors 

With Microsoft Managed Desktop, there are no bumps in the road 

In the traditional world of IT, travelling workers have a lot to contend with, and we’re not just talking about congested motorways. Synchronising data can be problematic; which may have to wait until they visit HQ or connect at home. And if their device is lost or stolen, they face losing days of work, as well as exposing their employer to a data breach.

With the Microsoft Managed Desktop service, your road warriors enjoy the same benefits as your remote workers. And if a device does go walkabout, it’s encrypted against malicious use.

Furthermore, because everything on a modern device is also in the cloud, you can provide your road warrior with a replacement, enabling their work to continue seamlessly.

 

Do You Need the Microsoft Managed Desktop Service? 

We hope you enjoyed this blog and would be delighted to become your Microsoft Managed Desktop approved partner. Get Microsoft Managed Desktop ready and request a free consultation or click here or below to enquire.

 

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