Managing mobility and more.
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Device Refresh

Working from home in 2020 has challenged both employers and their employees to alter how they get their work done to maintain job performance and achieve desired results. Never before has having connected devices been more important. How enterprises deploy and support connected devices like smartphones, tablets, MiFi’s and laptops requires creative and proactive planning to be successful while remote.

Who determines when it’s time to upgrade their mobile device? New wireless devices are released on a regular basis, operating systems are upgraded, carrier networks are changing and employees are clamoring for that shiny new device. All of this leaves CIOs, IT managers and businesses with a myriad of decisions on how to plan and scale appropriately for such expenditures, internal resources, time and employee satisfaction.

The major mobile device manufacturers (Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola and more) release new smartphones each year with cool new features and functionality to help users work more efficiently. The new phones come with faster processors, better cameras, and features that create a seamless and intuitive experience for the end user. Apple typically rolls out a highly publicized new model release in the fall while including other updates throughout the year.

Apple’s Event on September 15, 2020 was not about iPhones but more about the new Watch series and new iPads. We expect Apple to announce their new iPhone 12 line-up sometime in October. Regardless, this “mobile frenzy of sorts” lands on the desks of many mobile technology managers, who may become bombarded with requests for the newest iPhone and latest gadgets from their users. These new devices can now cost $1,000 or more!

Staying up to date with newer equipment can be a perpetual cycle that once complete, seems to come again within a short time period. The process of refreshing mobile devices for your business is a difficult and expensive task. Ensuring your users are up to date on a mobile device that remains secure and one in which they use to conduct sensitive business then falls into a case of a necessity and not a luxury.

Employees also need clear instructions on how to activate and set up their new devices. No longer are technical resources available onsite. Staging and kitting devices can provide an effective way to assemble and configure the device resulting in a significantly improved customer experience and a dramatic decrease in support calls.

Having a Device Refresh Policy in place is important in managing expectations while also providing employees with the tools they need. Some key factors to consider are:

  • How often should our business plan to refresh devices?
  • Have we determined if older iPhones are in use that are not supported by iOS 13?
  • What will the new device do that the old one won’t?
  • What new business applications can be used on the newer devices that are not compatible
    with the older devices?
  • As the mobile operating systems continue to update, will they continue to function correctly
    on our existing devices and is there a security risk of not upgrading to the newest
  • Will our company be at a disadvantage to our competitors if we do not refresh our devices?
  • How will the device refreshes affect your operating and/or capital budgets?
  • Is the new phone just a bunch of hype?
  • What will you do with the old device?

Forming a well-planned Device Refresh and Support Strategy is something not to be taken lightly. These are questions we hear every day and we advise clients once we understand their business operations and goals. Perhaps the most compelling reason to have a well formulated Device Refresh and Support Strategy is to ensure your employees have the tools they need to be successful, mitigating security risks and vulnerabilities all in a cost effective manner.