How global organizations scale the mountain of end-user device growth:
Expand your IT to match the evolution of your business

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IT teams in global organizations face an avalanche of end-user devices as businesses modernize to cope with customer demand, competition, and employee expectations. The rollout and management of these devices is an uphill challenge, especially as organizations are hesitant or unable to increase investment in IT resources. 

Pack the right kit

Desktops. Laptops. Tablets. Wearables. Internet of Things (IoT). Extended reality (XR). There has been an explosion in the number and forms of devices that IT teams are now required to manage. Ensuring the smooth operation of a large-scale, traditional IT estate can be challenging. But add in remote work, multi-platform estates, new device types, and cloud – the task becomes impossible without appropriate equipment and expertise.

SHI works with global organizations who are transforming the ways they manage their ever-increasing device estates. Implementing modern management practices, adopting cloud-based management technology, and evaluating the digital experience of employees all contribute to IT teams reaching the summit of successful end-user device management.

An ever-changing landscape

There are numerous drivers behind the increase in devices across an organization, such as staff growth through new hire or graduate programs in addition to regular hiring. For instance, SHI supports a global organization onboarding 6,000 new staff every year in a series of pre-planned intake programs. Other large organizations may contend with mergers and acquisitions, expansions into new markets, or infrastructure growth like the opening of a new manufacturing plant.

Beyond an increase in the number of employees, the average number of devices per user is rapidly increasing and has now become the main source of growth for the number of devices within enterprise organizations. Globally, there were 27.1 billion networked devices in 2021, up from 17.1 billion in 2016.1 This number will continue to grow throughout the decade.

This growth of devices produces challenges for the new-starter onboarding process and device refresh cycles, which must now cater to a range of device form factors across multiple platforms – and ensure a positive experience from the start.

Sizing up the challenge

Our modern workplace experts view every end-user device project as an opportunity to solve a particular use case, rather than simply delivering IT equipment. Each project is designed to provide a solution to an organizational need or business objective.

It is important to assess the device types in use and understand the current licensing and management tools in place. From that starting point, an organization can begin to dig deeper into the network topology to understand its constraints of where and when devices operate and evaluate the future requirements of the workforce.

Understanding the security presence and parameters for configurations to your network and devices is vital. Some important questions to consider include:

  • Are the devices for knowledge workers or frontline workers?
  • Do the devices require multi-factor authentication (MFA)?
  • Do they require a security token or certificate?
  • How will the devices connect to the internet?
  • What applications are required?
  • Do you need application developers?
  • What is required from an Application Programming Interface (API) perspective so the devices can communicate effectively?

This is an over-simplified list but indicative of the thought process that goes toward bringing a device rollout or refresh together to form a solution for your business. The least effective device or piece of software is the one that sits on a shelf. Due diligence prior to a device rollout, aimed at solving the needs of the organization, protects against failed deployments.

The rarified air of XR

SHI data reveals a 135% year over year growth2 in XR device units shipped in the U.S. IT channel. This figure is not yet past base camp in terms of device numbers, as organizations are just beginning to understand how this technology can be integrated into their estates.

We work with global organizations who have near-term plans to roll out augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) devices to every new starter as a training tool. Other use cases for XR devices within global organizations include mastering a trade in a low-stakes environment, practicing a particular skill, or conducting a site visit remotely.

Employing a trustworthy guide

The proliferation of devices, smartphones, tablets, wearables, and upcoming wave of XR devices coincides with a plateau of personnel investment in IT departments. At the same time, IT teams are managing more devices per person. There is a danger that investment in new devices to boost productivity and innovation will be stifled if IT teams struggle to manage their existing mobile estate, let alone new technology.

Modern management technology, combined with expert services and consultancy from modern workplace specialists help ensure a smooth climb of end-user device growth. Working across all industries and technology stacks, SHI offers an experienced, holistic view of the challenges to address and the available solutions from our industry-leading partners. Driving IT transformation and innovation across the entire digital workplace, our experts help you select the best technology, lower costs, increase efficiency, and scale with confidence.

Arrange a call with SHI to discuss your organization’s modern workplace goals and how to elevate your business transformation.


1 Cisco VNI Forecast Highlights 2021

2 Data supplied by The NPD Group. Jun’20 – May’21 v Jun’21 – May’22