How one school automated device management to bridge a skills gap
The IT team of an independent school in NSW plays a critical role in managing devices for 250 staff and 1,000 students. With staff turnover and growing technology demands, the School faced the challenge of expanding its capabilities to manage devices with limited resources.
The School grappled with a common issue: striking a balance between a limited budget and meeting the day-to-day IT requirements of students, teachers and management while effectively managing their IT infrastructure and devices.
The departure of a highly-skilled team member who had taken care of device management via Microsoft Intune left them with a skills and knowledge gap. Even before the team member’s departure, the school wasn’t utilising the platform to its full potential. They lacked confidence in the consistency of operating system (OS) patching and application updates and had little visibility into the status of these critical tasks. Having a new fleet of laptops to set up and distribute to staff was further stretching resources.
This posed a significant challenge: hire a costly replacement or find another more viable solution.
With highly skilled IT professionals difficult to hire and retain within budget, the school opted for a product solution to meet their needs. As a result, they didn’t need to hire a highly skilled device management or Intune subject matter expert. While Devicie takes care of ongoing device management, the IT leader can hire less experienced team members and has the time to upskill the entire team, increasing chances of retaining them.
With Devicie, they’ve unlocked the full potential of Intune and eliminated repetitive day to day device management tasks.
Devicie configured the school’s Intune instance in line with their unique requirements and industry best practices. Devicie regularly analyses device management anomalies in conjunction with external variables and takes proactive measures to remediate devices. Controls are applied, applications updated and OS patched regularly and consistently. The team has enhanced reporting to understand their device management status in near real time.
Regular automated OS patching
The School struggled with consistent patching, leaving them exposed to OS security vulnerabilities. Automating deployment of OS patching frees up internal resources for other tasks. It ensures students, teachers and management have access to reliable, functional devices. OS upgrades can be deployed easily with minimal interruption to end users.
Consistent, automated application updates
The team no longer has to manually package, test and update applications. All application updates are automatically actioned, minimising security risks. The School elected for Devicie to package and deploy a handful of custom applications to ensure they were available on every relevant device.
Zero touching provisioning
The School needed to deploy new devices without impacting their stretched resources. With zero touch provisioning, they can ship new devices directly to teachers and management. Once a user logs in, Devicie automatically configures the device within 30 minutes. Not only does this reduce IT resources required, but they can provide devices faster than ever before.
Stable standard operating environment (SOE)
With an IT infrastructure that had evolved over many years, legacy policies were unclear and unintentional. The Devicie implementation was a catalyst for the school to streamline their SOE, removing ambiguity by clearly defining and documenting the systems and policies in place to uplift security and improve productivity and compliance. This allowed them to establish a standardised device build, ensuring consistency and efficiency.
Enhanced visibility and reporting
The team now has comprehensive oversight of the School's fleet on the Devicie dashboard. They can see the applications in operation on each device, identify the installed operating system versions, and monitor the status of patches and updates. They can quickly understand their compliance status against the device management aspects of security frameworks including CIS Controls and Essential Eight.
By establishing an intentional, best practice Intune instance tailored to their needs, automating routine device management tasks and embracing zero touch provisioning, the IT leader can focus on upskilling their team in other areas and broadening their IT capabilities.
Enhanced control, reducing security risks and increasing compliance
A reduction in mundane day-to-day tasks, minimising risk of human error and increasing productivity
Confidence in the consistency of OS patching and application updates
The ability to address their knowledge gap and broaden their tech capabilities without hiring senior personnel
Improved productivity and experience of new starters as a result of accelerated delivery of configured devices
The School's journey exemplifies the power of embracing automation, and how the efficiencies benefit compliance, productivity, and security.