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How PCs Drive the Future of Work

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The need to deliver better experience for users and maintain a secure environment at the enterprise level has always been a top priority for our industry. But now with the world’s workforce going remote, the stakes are raised. IT is now responsible for managing up to 100% of their workforce remotely, making Zero Trust and remote manageability go from a good idea to essential. It’s more than just end users working away from the office, it’s data and applications being used outside the firewall and in the cloud. This has created one of the biggest challenges facing modern businesses: How do you not only deliver adherence to security standards, but also manage the balancing act of security along with performance, manageability, and stability, while simultaneously delivering a great user experience for the end user?

A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Intel in early 2020 revealed several underlying related challenges that are more relevant today than ever before.

Forrester finds 85% participants strongly agree PC refresh is an important driver of employee experience and productivity.

The Biggest PC Challenges and Opportunities Facing IT Today

The January 2020 Forrester Consulting study found that 85% of ITDMs noted that their leadership understands the link between PC refresh, employee experience, and productivity, yet only 36% of ITDMs strongly agree that their current computing environment enables employee productivity.

IT teams still struggle to maintain secure environments—justifiably fearing security breaches, with only 40% of IT departments reporting they can successfully secure employee PCs. And as security today is directly linked to PC refresh, and with cyberattacks getting more sophisticated every day, refreshing PCs on time can protect your (perhaps nearly fully remote) fleets.

The Forrester Consulting study also found that ITDMs felt that they spend too much time reacting to device issues, rather than being able to proactively tackle problems. Ease of manageability, then, is top of mind for IT teams—and critical for a global fleet, and even more critical for a remote global fleet. ITDMs are now looking toward AI and other technologies to automate significant management tasks of the PC, and 29% say they're looking at Device as a Service (DaaS) models. Another manageability-related challenge impacting users is inconsistent and inconvenient PC updates. These updates inevitably disrupt employees’ workflows and contribute to a majority of employees expressing displeasure about the performance of their PCs.

The good news is that leaders see the links between PC refresh, security, productivity, and employee experience, even if their organizations don't always act on it. Forrester found that 87% of ITDMs see the PC as central to their business and 67% plan on investing more in PCs next year than they did this year. The PC is still the tool of choice when employees want to focus and get work done. Increasing investment and updating computing processes not only allows IT teams to have a more secure environment, but also improves employee experience.

How PCs Will Drive the Future of Work Featuring Forrester and Intel

How the Intel vPro® platform helps protect your PC hardware

We’ve built the Intel vPro platform to be the perfect foundation for business computing needs. With the IT manager and business end user in mind, we’ve focused on creating hardware and software that work together to provide business-class performance, hardware-enhanced security, manageability, and stability in one complete package. And because we focused on creating an adaptable platform, now that the business world has gone fully remote, we’re confident that the Intel vPro platform has what your workforce needs.

Performance. Today at Intel we are focusing more on great user experience, instead of just obsessing over feeds and speeds. We understand that it’s not just about the CPU—it’s also about graphics; it’s about the ability to seamless dock and drive multiple 4k displays; it’s about wireless performance, including quality of service for both phone and video calls. Everything is connected now, which is what people mean when they say they want performance, and what the Intel vPro platform delivers.

Security. Embedded technology in the Intel vPro platform makes it seamless to protect the user and the enterprise. Intel Hardware Shield, a part of the Intel vPro platform, protects system-critical resources below the OS and allows software security vendors to utilize additional platform accelerators to offer improved security scanning without impacting user experience.

Manageability. Ease of deployment and ease of repair are everything. We have a strong focus on how we can make these things better and more secure so we can get people up and running quickly, no matter whether they’re working at the office, at home, or at a remote location. In addition, we have created tools for debugging remotely and reducing deskside visits, allowing remote workers to get up and running in less time than it takes to send a PC somewhere for a software problem.

Stability. Working on a global scale is very important to large organizations, who need to be sure that their entire fleet can be stable and secure. The Intel vPro platform is designed for global availability and support for the latest operating systems.

Today’s businesses seek to not only reduce cost, improve manageability, and increase security and performance, but also to improve employee experience and productivity. The Intel vPro platform provides, we believe, the best combination of features that will drive the future of business.

To read the study “How PCs Will Drive the Future of Work,” visit:
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About the Author
Michael Nordquist is the Vice President Client Computing Group & General Manager, Business Client Product Planning and Architecture. He has overall product planning and architecture responsibility for Intel’s business client platforms, including the Intel® vPro™ brand, across all desktop and mobile platforms. Nordquist has held a variety of sales, marketing, planning, and management roles since joining Intel in 2000. Prior to running product planning for the Business Client Group, he was the director of strategic planning focused on phones, tablets, and our Intel® Atom™ microprocessor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from Babson College.