Fast-evolving trends are changing the way IT thinks about security. To stay secure and productive, IT operations must excel at the fundamentals: PC refreshes for security, and optimizing end-user computers with Microsoft Windows 10. In “The Endpoint Imperative,” a podcast series from Intel, learn from the experts how hardware and software together make for optimized security.
In Episode 1,”IT Spending: Setting Priorities in a Volatile World,” Intel’s Kaitlin Murphy talks PC refresh, security, and productivity. Here she also addresses the key trends that drive IT spending decisions. As Director of Marketing for business clients with Intel, Kaitlin leads the business client marketing organization responsible for mobile and desktop platforms, vPro, Intel Unite, and other products.]
Kevin L. Jackson: Let’s get started. Kaitlin, IT spending is up and this is being driven by cloud computing digital transformation. What could this mean to Intel?
Kaitlin Murphy: Digital transformation is really the changes associated with applying digital technology to people. In the case of my group, it’s about businesses and employees, the end user, IT, facilities, and even other groups. Digital transformation touches all of the aspects of a business like, smart office or smart workspaces. How do you make your environment aware and then have it take action on your behalf?
Kevin L. Jackson: Can you give us some examples of this?
Kaitlin Murphy: Sure. This could be something as simple as air conditioning. When the room’s unoccupied, the air conditioning is off, but when it sees somebody come in, it knows to adjust the temperature to their preference. It could even be something more complex like, the room knows who you are and it can contextually retrieve information based on your conversation in real time, knowing that you’re allowed to access that information.
Kevin L. Jackson: That’s amazing. One of the real key driving components of this spending has been the personal computer or PC sales. This is also driving the PC refresh cycle. Can you talk about those drivers and their impact on organizations?
Kaitlin Murphy: Absolutely, totally agree. PC refresh or PCs, in general, are a huge piece of digital transformation. Today, it’s heavily influenced by a variety of things, one of which is security manageability. In general, a newer PC with a newer operating system is more secure and more manageable. That means less burden on IT resources, lower lifetime costs, and higher employee productivity and satisfaction. Having performane, secure, managed up to date devices is critical for a business of any size. Not only does it help with the items we talked about above but more and more that we’re seeing in a company that has a digital transformation strategy is better able to attract and retain the target talent that they want. It literally affects every single aspect of a business.
Kevin L. Jackson: Let’s zoom in on security. How do you see that factoring in on the spending decisions?
Kaitlin Murphy: The corporations are a major target for bad actors. Literally, in one place you’ve got the crown jewels. You’ve got IP. You’ve got customer information. You’ve got employee information and more. Because of this, companies have to have a comprehensive security strategy in place and then the products to execute that. Part of the executing their strategy means having secure PCs. Like we mentioned before, newer PCs are typically more secure and that’s for a variety of reasons. First, you’ve got the latest and greatest technologies and solutions and the PC ecosystem behind it. Second, with an older PC bad actor have simply had more time to find the holes and to exploit them.
Kevin L. Jackson: It really seems like you’re focusing on the PC instead of the data center. Why is that?
Kaitlin Murphy: You need to focus on both. You’re right, the PC is a critical piece. One thing that not everyone knows, is that when an attack is launched on an enterprise the most common route into that company is through the endpoint. What happens is a bad actor captures the credentials of an employee and they can access their PC. When they can access the PC, they can access all the data on that PC. Typically, any place that PC is authorized to access as well. Newer PCs have solutions to help minimize this risk.
You can protect your credentials and hardware, for example, so they’re harder to be spoofed or otherwise exploited. When we look at IP support desk calls, the one type of call that’s grown the most in the past years’ security-related incidents, like viruses or malware. These incidents place a resource burden on the company, not to mention the security risk. IT now has to make a decision. Is the cost of that older PC protecting it, securing it plus the safety risk worth more or less than just buying a new PC that has new security?
Kevin L. Jackson: Now, let’s zoom out to 18 or 24 months from now. What considerations do you see impacting IT budgets, especially, the spending on PCs and other endpoint devices?
Kaitlin Murphy: Well, while technology moves quickly, sometimes, it often moves a little bit slowly as well. I think the trends we talked about today are very firmly entrenched and the ones that we’re going to continue to see in the next 18 to 24 months, security, manageability, even the value of local compute performance will all be relevant.
Kevin L. Jackson: [chuckles] Wait a minute. Why do you have to worry about local compute? Everyone’s going to the cloud.
Kaitlin Murphy: Local compute’s going to continue to be important. There are some things you just don’t want in the cloud and some things you can do better locally, not to mention that when you have performance on the endpoint you can run some of these security solutions we’ve talked about today. I also think there’s a trend around security innovation and that’s definitely not going anywhere. Look at Off Network Solutions and Loan. The average US company has to use six different endpoint solutions just to secure a single device.
There’s also a lot of trends around unified endpoint management. How can an IT organization manage its entire fleet, but usually at this point is more than one PC per person with a single set of tools? This coupled with more ambient compute devices, think of workplace transformation, devices that don’t necessarily have a dedicated user, are going to increase the need for a single out of band management solution. The reason why I say out of band management is because you need to be able to manage your device regardless of OS State.
Especially as organizations become more geographically dispersed, it is increasingly important. Collectively, it seems like there’s going to be a continued strain of IT resources. Budgets might be up but they aren’t necessarily keeping pace with the number of new trends that IT have to track, make decisions on and execute against. This is going to pose an important question and decision for IT, on how to best allocate the resources to serve both as strategic and operational initiatives in the organization.
Kevin L. Jackson: Unfortunately, we are at the end of our time for this episode but thanks to Kaitlin Murphy with Intel, for her insights and expertise.
( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS – © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)
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