How to optimize global IT asset operations in 2024

How to optimize global IT asset operations in 2024

With the rapid expansion of distributed work, 2023 stands out as a transformative year for the IT asset management (ITAM) and mobile device management (MDM) sectors. As organizations worldwide have embraced this new model, the demand for robust IT infrastructure has surged, underscoring the dual importance of a seamless user experience and stringent security compliance.

In the webinar “How to optimize IT operations in 2024” hosted by GroWrk and JumpCloud, the two companies set out to explain the trends in the ITAM industry and how they impact global companies.

Key topics discussed: The regional adoption of distributed work and its impact on IT equipment distribution

  • The growth and cost dynamics in IT asset management and MDM in 2023
  • The anticipated challenges and opportunities for IT managers in 2024. 
  • Evolving trends in device management.

You can watch the full webinar by clicking on the image below.

IT asset operations

The Speakers

Carlos Escutia, as the founder and CEO of GroWrk, has revolutionized IT asset management for distributed teams, while Chase Doelling, the Principal Strategist at JumpCloud, has overseen the company's growth from 100 to over 700 employees. Doelling's expertise in marketing, product sales, and strategic partnerships, particularly with companies like GroWrk, complements Escutia's innovative approach.

Together, their collaboration is reshaping IT infrastructure and device management for the modern workforce.

Regional Analysis of Distributed Work and IT Asset Distribution

The webinar started with Carlos diving into the dynamics of distributed work. It became evident that this model is not a temporary shift but a permanent transformation in the global work landscape. This paradigm shift is revealing a growing need for robust IT infrastructure to support distributed teams efficiently and securely. Here are the metrics that GroWrk has collected to support this theory.

 

Regional Insights into Distributed Work:

North America: With 12.7% of Americans working remote, the region leads in remote work flexibility. Canada saw a slight decrease in remote workers, while only a small fraction in Mexico engaged in full or hybrid remote work. North America was first for global IT equipment orders in 2023.

Latin America: Remote working increased from 14% to 36% post-pandemic. Cities like Medellin and Buenos Aires are experiencing a surge in remote job openings. The region, primarily driven by Brazil and Colombia, came in fourth place for total IT equipment orders in 2023.

Europe: Led by Nordic countries, with Sweden and Germany at the forefront, the region is embracing remote work, with 77% of Western European companies offering flexible arrangements. Europe makes up less than a quarter of global IT asset orders, which puts it at third in total equipment orders.

Asia: The Philippines has become a significant remote work hub with a 60% increase in remote options, and China boasts 507 million employees with flexible work arrangements. Representing almost a third of global IT asset orders, Asia's rapid economic growth put it at second. 

Africa and Middle East: The UAE and Israel lead in remote hiring, with substantial growth in 2023. Nigeria and South Africa are key players in IT asset distribution in the region, which, though currently the least in global orders, shows promise for growth due to its young, tech-savvy workforce. 

This global movement towards distributed work is creating new challenges and opportunities in IT asset and mobile device management, calling for innovative solutions and strategic foresight in these sectors. As each region adapts to this new norm, the demand for advanced IT solutions that cater to a dispersed workforce is becoming increasingly critical.

Industry Insights and Device Costs Through 2023 

Carlos used GroWrk's internal data to give an overview on the device market. The average workstation cost about $2,652, with laptops being the most expensive component at approximately $2,347. Additional costs for peripherals like keyboards and monitors further added to the expense. Device costs in a globally distributed work model present notable variations, posing challenges for companies as they adapt to remote work.

A device that might cost a certain amount in one country can be substantially more expensive in another, due to varying factors such as taxes, duties, and shipping costs. For example, a MacBook Air cost around $2,900 in Brazil but only about $1,300 in the United States. This unexpected difference in pricing emphasizes the need for strategic planning in managing IT assets on a global scale.  Efficient IT asset recovery processes can play a crucial role in optimizing costs and maximizing value, ensuring that businesses navigate the complexities of international pricing effectively.

Addressing this, Escutia describes:

“In a distributed organization, that infrastructure is no longer present. So, the challenge that distributed organizations have now is that they have to provide support, provide a similar onboarding experience to their team members anywhere in the world. Plus ensuring that those team members stay up and running at all times. Minimizing any downtime because of any issues that they may experience right away. So that's a challenge, the infrastructure that needs to be built and the need for those services. For those solutions, it's expected to continue scaling in the coming years.”

 

This necessary shift to support distributed teams globally is a key driver in the growth of the hardware management and ITAM industries which saw notable growth in 2023. The Hardware Asset Management market grew to $26.17 billion, with a projection to reach $92 billion by 2033.

Global IT spending is also increasing, expected to reach $4.7 trillion. The Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) market is growing at a 10.4% CAGR, especially in North America and Europe, driven by the integration of cloud services and advanced IT applications.

Additionally, the MDM market, valued at $4.9 billion in 2022, is anticipated to rise to $12 billion by 2029, highlighting the growing reliance on mobile devices in corporate sectors. 2024 is poised to be a pivotal year in IT asset management, with a focus on cloud-integrated asset management strategies.

Escutia's comments highlight the pivotal role of adapting IT strategies to meet the diverse needs of remote teams across the globe. The evolving work structure, leading to the expansion of the ITAM industry, is further complicated by the unpredicted variation in device costs across different countries, a factor that companies often do not initially anticipate. This underlines the complexities of managing IT assets in a distributed workforce and demonstrates the importance of developing an efficient and comprehensive IT infrastructure tailored to these unique challenges.

Top Challenges and Opportunities Facing the IT Asset Industry for 2024

As the webinar moved towards looking ahead to 2024, Carlos detailed a distinct set of challenges and opportunities that will shape the trajectory of the IT asset industry.

1. Reliance on outdated and manual processes

One of the primary challenges is the continued reliance on outdated and manual processes for IT asset management. These processes are often inefficient, time-consuming, and unable to meet the dynamic demands of modern, distributed work environments. 

This is especially cumbersome in large organizations or those with distributed workforces, where handling IT needs manually with excel sheets and multiple vendors becomes unmanageable. Shipping devices requires an ad hoc process that changes with each new employee. There is no place to store or maintenance the equipment and it begins to pile up in the office or in the apartments of members of the IT department.

The opportunity to overcome this challenge lies in automating and streamlining these processes, with a platform that can handle procurement at scale. One like GroWrk where managers can create customized equipment packages for one universal price and then deploy them to 150+ countries. When they need to recover equipment or store it, it just takes one click from the dashboard. 

IT asset Management

2. Finding cost-effective solutions for global teams.

The second challenges is that the industry is grappling with the challenge of providing cost-effective solutions for IT asset management. Companies are seeking solutions that not only fit within their budgets but also offer substantial value and ROI

Traditional IT asset management methods, like international purchasing and shipping from a home country, are fraught with high costs and logistical complexities. This approach results in inconsistent pricing and potential delays due to varying international regulations, creating inefficiencies in equipping and supporting global teams.

The opportunity here is for companies to find providers like GroWrk that already have an IT logistics infrastructure built. They guarantee that each device arrives to an employee in 7 days saving any onboarding delays. The dashboard saves IT managers time by tracking their costs and notifying them of any updates or changes happening in their inventory. 

IT Asset Tracking

 

3. Scaling while maintaining security and compliance

The third challenge that Carlos explained was the increasing complexity of IT environments and the growing threat landscape. As companies expand and diversify their IT assets, ensuring that all devices and networks remain secure and compliant with various regulations becomes increasingly difficult. 

Companies face the daunting task of managing a growing variety and volume of IT assets amidst evolving cyber threats and diverse regulatory standards. This is intensified by the distributed nature of modern workforces, requiring solutions that can adapt to changing threats and compliance demands, while ensuring consistent policies across various locations.

The opportunity resides in using security and compliance tools like MDM software. mobile device management can scale with the growing IT infrastructure of organizations, providing robust protection and meeting regulatory standards. At GroWrk, when puchasing new equipment you can automatically enroll Windows, Mac, and Linux devices with MDM. With this preconfigured software, employees receive a single sign on, and managers can remotely access devices from the GroWrk dashboard. If an issue occurs or employees are leaving, the manager can remotely lock, turn off, or wipe a device.

MDM software

How Device Management is Evolving in 2024

Looking ahead to 2024, the evolution of device management is marked by several key developments aimed at enhancing device security.

Elevating Baseline Device Security 

A heightened focus on strengthening fundamental security features of devices is evident. This involves implementing advanced security measures like biometrics and multi-factor authentication as standard protocols.

Automating Policies and Remediation 

The effective enforcement of security policies is increasingly automated, ensuring swift and consistent application of these standards across all devices. This automation extends to the remediation of security issues, promoting efficiency and uniformity in responses.

Compliance-Driven Device Management

Device management strategies are aligning more closely with compliance requirements. This shift ensures that devices not only meet operational needs but also adhere to regulatory standards, enhancing overall security.

Enhanced Use of Device Data for Security 

Leveraging device data strategically is becoming a crucial aspect of device security. By analyzing and interpreting data more effectively, organizations can make better-informed decisions to bolster security measures.

Universal Endpoint Managers

There is a trend towards using universal endpoint managers capable of handling a diverse range of devices and operating systems. This approach simplifies device management, centralizing control and streamlining security protocols.

2023 Highlights in Device and Asset Management

2023 marked significant progress for JumpCloud and GroWrk in enhancing device and asset management services, catering to the evolving needs of businesses in distributed work environments.

GroWrk

  • Achieved rapid device onboarding, delivering equipment within 7 days.
  • Excelled in equipment recovery and offboarding during workforce transitions.
  • Notably reduced IT support dependencies among clients.
  • Expanded global operations to new regions including Kosovo, Pakistan, and Jamaica.
  • Added over 45 integrations, boosting platform versatility and connectivity.

JumpCloud

  • Launched passwordless access with JumpCloud Go for quicker SSO application access.
  • Improved onboarding efficiency through enhanced HRIS provider integration.
  • Expanded device management capabilities, including Android support and remote assistance.
  • Focused on developing advanced policy options and software management tools.
  • Enhanced security with remote device wiping capabilities for secure offboarding.

Device Management Forecast for 2024

Going forward into 2024, device management is poised for significant advancements, with a strong focus on elevating baseline security. Organizations are expected to implement robust security measures such as biometrics, multi-factor authentication at the device level, and condition-based access controls. These measures aim to secure each device comprehensively and align with organizational requirements.

Automation will play a pivotal role in policy enforcement and remediation, streamlining the deployment of updates and reducing device maintenance downtime. Compliance-driven device management will also gain prominence, with policies aligning to standardized frameworks and enhancing security postures and regulatory compliance.

JumpCloud's 2024 roadmap features innovative enhancements, including passwordless access with JumpCloud Go and expanded integrations with HRIS providers for seamless onboarding.

The platform will also introduce Android support, remote assistance capabilities, and advanced software management tools. A key feature will be remote device wiping, crucial for maintaining security when employees exit. This evolution in device management, marked by heightened security, compliance, and automation, signifies a transformative era for the IT asset industry,

Wrapping Up: 

The ITAM landscape in 2024 is expected to be heavily focused on optimizing costs and streamlining processes. This shift is essential for managing the complexities of a distributed workforce and for capitalizing on technological advancements in IT asset management.

The partnership between GroWrk and JumpCloud exemplifies this trend. Their collaborative approach offers a seamless onboarding experience and a more efficient management of IT assets. By integrating their services, they provide a comprehensive solution that addresses the challenges of distributed work environments. This synergy allows for more effective control over IT costs, enhanced security compliance, and overall, a much smoother operational flow.

Want the full breakdown of IT asset trends and strategies for 2024? Download our eBook, "The State of IT Asset Management for 2024."

The state of global IT asset management

 

Mark Gregory

December 18

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