Providing End User Device Maintenance During a Pandemic: IT Needs Help

HP Care Pack services offer aid to taxed IT groups, with remote device management, coverage for accidental damage, and on-site support.

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More than three-quarters of IT leaders say they spend too much time “keeping the lights on,” creating a major obstacle to digital innovation. The problem is likely to grow more dire, considering the number of devices used for work continues to grow. By 2030, we’re expecting to see approximately 50 billion networked devices of all types.

The fact that many of us are working and learning from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic only makes matters worse, creating additional device management challenges for IT. It’s hitting home for IT budgets as well; a 2021 Spiceworks Ziff Davis survey determined COVID-19 will influence more than one-third of 2021 budget increases.

It’s not hard to see why. IDC estimates companies can spend $173,000 a month on device support, based on an environment with 10,000 devices.

“Employees love ‘work from home,’ but they’re blind to the Herculean lift IT has to make in order for it to be successful,” says Jermaine Maldonado, PC Services Business Development Manager at HP.

Given the budget realities of the pandemic, IT decision-makers also have to defend their budgets more than ever, which is difficult because the pandemic largely has thrown predictability out the window.

Pandemic-related device management challenges

The pandemic presents challenges on at least two fronts for IT in terms of user device management.

First, some of the fundamentals of how IT traditionally manages devices have changed in work-from-home environments. When devices were attached to the corporate network, IT had numerous tools at its disposal to monitor and manage those devices. If necessary, a technician could visit a user to diagnose a problem in person. Those same tools can’t monitor devices in users’ homes, nor can IT visit employees’ homes.

Second, the home environment presents issues that largely don’t exist in offices or school settings. These include unruly pets and a lack of surge protectors, to name a couple. Children often mistreat their devices, such as picking up a Chromebook by its display panel, or leaving a pencil on the keyboard, then closing the device, resulting in a cracked screen.

Traditional strategies for dealing with such issues, including buying additional devices to act as spares, no longer are viable. Given the tight budget environment, once management finds out there is a pool of devices available, they’ll likely get deployed, Maldonado says.

Services provide support, predictability

One strategy proving effective is signing on for services that address device management and, when necessary, replacement.

For example, HP offers a series of Care Pack services that address management of user devices. HP Active Care provides for remote monitoring of user devices, including proactive management capabilities that alert users to performance issues as they arise – but before machines fail.

Another Care Pack, HP Accidental Damage Protection Service, offers protection for accidental damage to computing devices. Should a device be damaged because of an accident, it quickly will be replaced at no additional charge – providing for predictability in budgeting.

HP Onsite Services enables organizations to select the coverage window that is the best fit, including next-day on-site service. Available in 180 countries, this service means an HP technician will come to a school, office, or home to service a device – observing all applicable COVID protocols. Users also may opt to have HP send boxes for fast pickup-and-return repairs.

These are uncertain times, but HP Care Packs provide ways to bring some certainty to device management, giving IT groups the support they need to manage home-based users, along with predictable budgeting. To learn more, check out the HP Care Pack solution brief.

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