Compared to 12 months ago, the way we work seems drastically different. Much of the workforce continues to work remotely and in a hybrid environment. With this significant shift to remote work, we saw enterprise IT infrastructure tested as workers fled the office. Plenty of Fortune 500 companies' IT teams became forced to manage the large base of enterprise devices via the cloud. Now its not as simple as dropping off a notebook to IT and experiencing a short downtime before it was configured and returned. This month, Dell Technologies announced a few new IT services, including Dell Connected Provisioning and Dell Hybrid Client. The new services will include provisioning systems at the manufacturing level and allow IT administrators to manage the systems via the cloud, shorten downtimes, and get ready-to-use devices into users' hands quicker.
In work from home and hybrid environments, it becomes much more difficult to manage IT systems. If the company isn't proactively planning for this, the switch from on-premise IT to largely cloud-based IT can be difficult. Dell is taking a different approach to IT solutions with its release of Connective Provisioning. Connective Provisioning is a cloud-based IT management solution that allows IT departments to configure devices quicker and get remote workers working much faster than before, largely thanks to the ability to leverage Dell's supply chain. I see Dell Connected Provisioning as a way for enterprises to configure devices quicker, touch the devices less often, manage them from the cloud, and use Dell's mature supply chain to its advantage. Let's dig into the announcement.
Improving the IT experience with Connected Provisioning
At a high level, Connected Provisioning starts at Dell's factory. First off, an enterprise Dell system acquires clean OS and drivers. After that, IT administrators will have to enroll in Dell TechDirect. Within Dell TechDirect, IT administrators can register enterprise devices to the user's preferred profile. Next, the system will go through enrolls and provisions. After that, the system will connect to the internet and provisions. The connection comes from the cloud via UEM (Unified Endpoint Management). Lastly, the system ships to the enterprise user ready to be used from the first boot up.
Previous to Connected Provisioning, corporate patches, policies, apps, settings, and data were manually applied at deskside. All that installation and management takes time away from end-user productivity and less time using a nonworking system. Dell estimates that without Connected Provisioning, this installation takes 1 to 4 hours. With the introduction of Connected Provisioning, all the application and software installation besides user-specific data takes place in IT and the Dell factory. Nature leads to vastly faster delivery times and means less downtime for end-users.
As workers continue to work from home, IT must interface with the employees' data and systems remotely. Instead of dropping your PC at the IT department to load more software or dropping off a new system to IT to image and configure, IT has to perform its most critical functions via the cloud. There are 4 top issues that Dell Connected Provisioning seeks to solve, including simplifying the IT process, touching devices less, establishing control of devices, and speeding up the time it takes to get a user productive. I view Connected Provisioning as a 180-degree shift in IT management. Instead of managing IT in-person physically and prolonging delivery times, Connected Provisioning is a cloud-first IT solution.
Changing worker needs
With the launch of Connected Provisioning, Dell pointed to several different statistics to drill home how workers' needs are changing. I listed a few of those statistics below.
- 98% of workers would like the option of working from home for the rest of their career.
- 9 in 10 office workers would like to work from home even after physical distancing measures are lifted.
- 66% of employees who work in a fully-enabled digital workspace reported a positive impact on their productivity.
There is no doubt that many workers have tasted the advantages of working from home, and many of them have no intention to return to the office. Especially those that have an excellent digital workplace setup at home. An even more significant portion of workers will likely switch to a hybrid work environment, which means spending multiple days at home and in the office throughout the week. With workers using company technology at home, IT needs to manage, update, and secure company devices effectively.
The hybrid and work from home model pairs well with Dell Connected Provisioning. Not only does it speed up device configuration, but it also moves the systems out of the physical hands of IT.
Dell Hybrid Client
Another cloud IT solution Dell rolled out is its new Dell Hybrid Client. With Dell Hybrid Client, we see the first instance of client computing software that offers Hybrid cloud management. End users will have access to enterprise applications and personal data via public cloud, private cloud, or data on their system. With Dell Hybrid Client, enterprise users' systems will come from Dell's manufacturing ready to use out of the box. Since the system is fully accessible to IT via the cloud, the device's management will be streamlined as well. Desktop and notebooks like the OptiPlex 7090 Ultra, OptiPlex 3090 Ultra, Wyse 5070, and Latitude 3320 will be available to pair with Dell Hybrid Client.
In my opinion, Dell Hybrid Client solves many issues on-premise IT teams deal with by managing and updating devices via the cloud. With more employees working remotely than ever, now is the time to go all-in for evangelizing this solution. Dell shows its nimbleness by adapting and creating solutions that solve the issue of the remote worker and the remote or on-premise IT team.
All in all, Dell Connected Provisioning and Dell Hybrid Client looks like mature IT solutions that will help enterprise customers speed up the IT process, especially while many employees are still working from home. What I admire the most about Connected Provisioning and Hybrid Client is the streamlined process. As much of the workforce continues to work at home, IT processes need to be more agile and effective. Dell took this approach with Connected Provisioning, and it surely will help enterprises streamline IT devise deployment and management.
As enterprises move to a more of a "cloud-first" approach, services like Dell's Connected Provisioning allow companies to manage better. I look forward to hearing the IT success stories that will likely follow the launch. Nice job, Dell.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.