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Healthcare Orgs Over Spending on Unified Endpoint Management

Survey finds lack of automated management causes organizations to over spend on unified endpoint management.

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Osterman Research and Unify Square released the results of a joint survey highlighting the demand to improve enterprise endpoint management and control. The survey found that three quarters of respondents do not have software or services in their IT infrastructure to automate unified endpoint management.

The survey polled 143 enterprise device management professionals across all major industries, including healthcare, and found that organizations are over spending by as much as $100,000 per year on unified endpoint management.

Out of the 77 percent of organizations that do not have an automated unified endpoint management system, 42 percent said their IT department’s time is spent manually troubleshooting device management issues.

Organizations will continue to waste their budgets as more devices are introduced into the IT infrastructure due to mobile device growth and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This increase in device use triggers the growth of unified communications systems adoption, and the lack of management tools will become a costly problem.

"The rate at which employees are hitting the pause button on their UC system adoption is accelerating. The relative simplicity of their smartphone devices versus UC complexity is a direct result of IT's struggle to effectively manage UC environments," said Unified Square Chief Product Marketing Officer Scott Gode.

"Despite UC budget increases over the next three to five years, there's little wiggle room for mistakes and intense pressure to show return on investment (ROI),” he continued. “As the overall usage of UC increases and the number and diversity of UC devices in the enterprise grows, device management will become a serious issue that can no longer be ignored. Both security and UC ROI is at stake."

The survey also found that organizations still face challenges with some of the most fundamental tasks of unified communication device management, including setup/configuration, provisioning, and troubleshooting. These fundamental challenges have caused 32 percent of respondents to admit to losing control over an employee endpoint device.

Lack of automated management can also create device lag to the point where the system slows down, and users find it difficult to use the device effectively.

Remotely setting up devices and utilizing group policy management are the top services two thirds of respondents stated they would benefit from greatly if those services were introduced into the health IT infrastructure.  However, many organizations are not investing in the necessary software to allow IT administrators control over user endpoint devices.

The majority of survey respondents also stated that they would like to be more proactive in addressing device management issues, but don’t currently have the capacity. Many organizations do not have the staff or resources to enact proactive device management and protection measures while manually troubleshooting devices.

Manually trouble shooting individual endpoint issues is the major reason why organizations are wasting money by not having an automated unified communications management solution.

Poor device management also leads to shadow IT. When devices perform poorly, or common issues are not proactively dealt with, users can turn to their personal unmonitored devices because they are easier to use and perform better.

Shadow IT poses a threat to healthcare organizations in particular because clinical data is being accessed by an unauthorized device. Often users can access cloud environments on personal devices via web browser and a password, compromising the data.

Osterman Research Founder and Researcher Michael Osterman suggested that a significant amount of spending can be saved by implementing an automated unified communications management tool.

"With cost and ROI being a huge consideration on the corporate agenda, making the investment to optimize UC device management becomes a no brainer,” Osterman explained. “Doing nothing threatens to turn back the clock on the UC transformation, discouraging end users and diminishing productivity and ROI."

Healthcare organizations cannot afford to waste staff on physically trouble shooting endpoint device issues or risk the threat of shadow IT if the devices are not performing efficiently. Investing in automated unified communication management will allow IT to be proactive about malfunctions and threats as opposed to reactive, decreasing the chance of compromised endpoint devices.