Many organizations have a fleet of vehicles they lease and maintain. We see the management of the desktop environment in the same way, hence PC Fleet Management. Desktops are utilized by employees, they need on-going maintenance (patches), they need security, and they need to be refreshed every few years.
The effort behind PC Fleet Management is significant. The entire lifecycle of managing a desktop or laptop is actually quite complex in a mature IT organization. Starting from the requisition and workflow process to purchasing, to physical delivery, routing, asset tagging, imaging and then deployment. Then continuous tracking, in case memory needs to be increased, warranty tracking and then the disposal process.
Many IT research firms out there are predicting that the majority of organizations out there are going to no longer own ANY IT asset. Moving IT from a ‘keep the lights on’ cost-center department to a more agile and dynamic and strategic business unit has been a constant struggle for CIO’s. But we are getting closer with much talk about chargebacks to other departments so that IT is not burdened with the entire cost of the organization’s infrastructure. In addition to these actions, outsourcing is popular in removal of functions that aren’t going to really differentiate the organization. A couple years back, we started seeing a big move in outsourcing of email with a large growth in Hosted Exchange. RDM or Remote Desktop Management has also been growing.
With a cloud based approach, PC Fleet Management can also be outsourced painlessly. Once data is centralized and user profiles are managed in the cloud, the device does not matter. This makes the end point management a lot easier to transition from one device to another as upgrades occur. It also enables faster deployment to new hires or to contractors. The key is to look at your PC Fleet and think about whether it makes sense to handle the day to day operations internally or to focus the ever shrinking IT resources on more innovative and impactful initiatives.