The nature of work is changing. In a mobile-first, cloud-first world, it’s no longer good enough to provide a one-size-fits-all IT solution to every worker.
Kathy Gibson spoke to Gareth Davies, HP Inc and HPE Brand Executive at Pinnacle, to find out how IT can ensure workers get the best solution for their needs while being able to manage and secure all the company’s assets.
What are some of the changes in the modern workplace that are influencing a change in the way organisations think about their end user devices?
There’s no doubt that the workplace is changing.
An immediate example is the rise of the hot desk, where staff don’t have a permanent spot in the office, but simply plug into whichever desk is available when they are in the office, or any other remote location.
Today, we have a mobile workforce: people want to define their own place and pace of work, be it the coffee shop, their home, or the office.
In the mobile first, cloud-first world, the traditional idea of the office worker with a desktop PC is becoming outdated. Today, workers take their laptops or other mobile devices with them wherever they go. And, because data and applications reside in the cloud, they are available anywhere, any time.
There are many different types of workers in the modern office; what are some specific solutions designed to meet these varied use cases?
The one size fits all concept is outdated. Today, different workers need different solutions.
There is a huge number of solutions available, and users are not prepared to be dictated to by the IT department.
There are many different use cases: Some users work largely in one place, others move around within the office space and still others are on the road a lot.
Some users perform repetitive tasks that require less compute power; others need to create or share graphic-intensive content. Some users need fast throughput and quick response times; others may be not be as mission-critical.
It’s important for organisations, and their trusted reseller partners, to carefully assess what work different users do, and decide on the devices that best suit their needs.
For instance, the office worker who doesn’t move around and possibly performs repetitive tasks, might be best served with a desktop PC; the road warrior would prefer a thin and light laptop that has quick compute power but is small enough to slip into a handbag or briefcase; the busy executive or hot-desker may need something with a bit more compute and graphics under the hood, and a better screen for viewing presentations or spreadsheets, and opt for a high-end laptop; the graphic designer or video editor needs something with a lot more GPU and engineering power, so a workstation could be the best option.
Of course, they all need to be connected, but the optimum connection could be Ethernet, WiFi, LTE or Bluetooth depending on locale and use case. In addition, issues like the CPU, GPU, storage space and type (spinning disk or SSD), battery life and monitor size/resolution all need to be considered when choosing the right solution for each worker
Pinnacle is leading by example, and recently standardised on HP laptops for new employees or as replacement machines. Today, everyone at Pinnacle is mobile. Even in the warehouse we found that people needed mobile units and are using them to take their work home.
This push for mobility, and the ability to work from anywhere, is seen at all levels of the organisation.
Does this create challenges in terms of security and device management?
The extended and mobile does present challenges around security and management for IT.
In the past everyone had a desktop computer, but now they mostly have notebooks.
The challenges start with physical security: users can lose their devices, or compromise their passwords. Because they aren’t tethered to the office, regular schedules backups are a problem, so the data has to be backed up 24/7.
There are a host of other security challenges: viruses, malware, phishing, ransomware, zero-day exploits and more that are increasing every d
Because a mobile, flexible workforce demands to be able to work outside the office, the corporate network is open and vulnerable to attack.
IT has to be aware of the physical, security and management challenges – they really have their work cut out for them.
There are management challenges too. Users could be just about anywhere in the country: how do you manage your hardware and data assets then?
Security and management issues are a huge challenge and go a long way to driving the decision about end user devices. Any solution has to work effectively and also scale, so it makes sense to be aligned to a vendor that allows for manageability.
How does the solution from HP address organisations’ changing needs?
HP has such a big product portfolio that it can offer relevant solutions for different use cases, from entry-level laptops to top-level workstations.
The HP Elite range of laptops, desktops, convertibles and all-in-ones are the most secure and manageable devices on the market.
HP Elite PCs, powered by the Intel Core i7 vPro processor, are designed to be easy-to-manage, with cutting-edge HP security features and powerful collaboration tools to keep business users productive.
It is a range of high-performance and expandable PCs with industry-leading security in a choice of flexible form factors that features great design, innovative engineering, and high-quality materials. They undergo HP’s demanding testing process to comply with tough MIL-STD 810G testing.
Collaboration is built in, so HP Elite users can host successful virtual meetings from practically anywhere. Sound and options like mobile broadband and a high-resolution webcam create the perfect set up for the business user’s needs.
They also boast the deepest level of security. HP Elite PCs are designed to safeguard device, data, and identity with security features such as HP Sure Start Gen4 self-healing BIOS, HP Sure View Gen2 integrated privacy screen and a variety of biometric security features.
The HP Pro series of laptops and convertibles is well-priced for the mobile worker, offering the performance and reliability to take care of business from anywhere.
HP Z Workstations offer graphics and engineering professionals the power they need for the most graphic-intense tasks in an attractive form factor. Using HP Z Workstations helps users to accelerate geospatial workflows by delivering spatial analysis, 3D terrain models, and spectral classifications in less time.
The range includes mobile workstations, desktops, all-in-ones, displays and the zTurbo drive.
With management and security key in the modern workplace, how does the HP solution fit the bill?
The HP range of products includes management and security features, giving users and CIOs peace of mind.
Security has to be top priority for every organisation today. At HP the mantra is: Every PC decision is a security decision.
HP Elite PCs and Z Workstation are the world’s most secure and manageable PCs, helping to secure the business against ever-evolving threats.
Security protects the device with solutions that are enforced by the hardware for stronger protection.
Hardware-enforced self-healing protection is delivered with HP Sure Start Gen4, that automatically recovers the BIOS.
HP Sure Run, with self-healing protection, keeps critical applications and processes running even if malware tries to shut them down.
HP Sure Recover quickly and securely restore PCs to the latest image using a network connection.
Over and above hardware security, HP lets users protect their identity and data so they can browse confidently and work safely in the office or on the road knowing the HP Elite PC offers hardened security features on your HP Elite PC.
HP Sure Click helps to protect the PC from websites and in-browser .pdf files infected with malware, ransomware, or viruses.
Users can instantly protect against visual hacking with HP Sure View Gen2, an optional integrated privacy screen developed by HP.
HP Multi-Factor Authenticate lets user fortify their security with up to three authentication factors, enforced by Intel Authenticate Technology.
Management features are key to the HP Elite’s success.
The HP Manageability Integration Kit Gen2 helps speed up image creation and management of hardware, BIOS, and security through Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager.
What is Pinnacle’s value-add proposition?
Pinnacle is a level 1 B-BBEE distributor which compromises a variety of value-add offerings.
The distributor has offices country-wide, with eight warehouses and 616 employees in total to service customers across the SADC region.
Our motto, “Delivering the Exceptional” means more than supplying a broad range of high-quality technology products to our customers.
We are committed to enabling our customers to grow their businesses exponentially, this speaks to our ethos of a corporate business with the attitude of entrepreneurial spirit. This is why we have a highly skilled group of Product Marketing Specialists and Business Development Managers who assist our resellers and ensure that they are fully equipped and trained to sell the products in their portfolio.
We are able to fulfil the requirements of all ICT customers ranging from sole proprietors to prominent commercial, industrial and government users.
Pinnacle also boasts a well-rounded end to end service to our clients thanks to a number of important value-added services we offer.
You can be assured of quality and reliability when you work with Pinnacle, and we have certification to prove it.
All of our technical divisions have been ISO 9001:2008 (Quality Management) and ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental) certified. Everything from the production line all the way through to implementation, repairs, and warranty as well as the call centre, have been ISO approved for quality and environmental care.
In addition to our ISO standard compliance, all key components used during the manufacturing and repairing process have been SABS tested and approved.
The success of this formula can be seen in the numbers: in the last quarter, the HP business recorded it’s best figures ever in revenue, profitability and market share – building on the previous quarter which was our previous record.
You can watch the full interview here