Endpoint Management

The economic impact of COVID-19: Cost savings in IT through UEM - Part 1

30. September 2020, Avatar of Christian KaufmannChristian Kaufmann

With the current worldwide work situation, it’s perhaps no surprise that a lot has been written concerning "working from home"; covering what to consider as an employee and methodologies on effective working technique. There is certainly a great deal of fantastic and valuable advice out there, which has no doubt helped many get through the ongoing restrictions of lockdown.

Now that the first steps towards the “new normal” are becoming clearer and the health challenges of COVID are gradually being tackled across the globe, the economic consequences are finally coming to the fore.

Whilst many countries have already set up support and assistance programmes to help businesses, this alone will not be enough for the turbulent road ahead and companies will need to compensate for the lack of turnover they have experienced these past months. No doubt reducing IT costs at this time will be key and IT Teams will be relied upon to discover where these can be made from a technological angle.

Before IT cost savings can be realised however, one must know where the costs are hidden. Personnel costs and infrastructure costs may be known in the company, but what about hidden costs? The costs arising from inefficiencies and risks due to inefficient IT security for example? 

Obvious savings potential in IT

The obvious costs are the easiest to first address. Automation, for example, can reduce overhead by automating repeated and mundane tasks that would normally be performed by a human. Modern UEM solutions are able to automate many time-consuming routine tasks by using installation wizards, effective detection of setup types and scheduled or automatic start of deployments or scans. In this way, immense time savings can be achieved, which in turn, equates to cost savings on labour. 

Research has shown that an automated installation of an operating system takes around 75% less time compared to a manual installation per machine. When this is scaled up to a larger environment, and account for the additional tasks, such as patching, or software deployments being automated too, the size of the IT cost savings becomes more apparent.

Sample calculation: How IT saves time and money with Unified Endpoint Management

Let's take a look at a rebuild of a laptop. A manual rebuild takes about 4 hours to accomplish, so if you consider an average IT salary at £20 per hour (and that is lower average), each machine costs £80 to rebuild. Scale that up to 10 machines needing rebuilding and you have 40 hours and £800 spent, or to 100 machines for 400 hours and £8000.

In comparison, a rebuild with a highly automated UEM tool takes 1 hour per machine for the rebuild. That is £20 per machine, or £200 for 10, or £2000 for 100. That is a labour cost saving of £6000 for 100 machine by optimising your systems with UEM rather than relying on antiquated methodologies.

We also need to remember that this scenario only covers the rebuild of a machine, so if we take into account ongoing tasks, deployments and processes, the cost savings very quickly ramp up. Furthermore, this calculation also doesn’t take into account the productivity increase for the end user who can get back to working after 1 hour, rather than 4! 

It is very easy to quickly build a surface level business case for the implementation of UEM, but you can go further still, as there are IT costs hidden in our everyday working patterns.

Stay tuned: Part 2 of this series deals with hidden costs in IT departments!

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