How Windows 11 Helps Simplify IT Management

March 06 - 2024

With the growth of business inevitably comes complexity. This isn’t all bad. We have, as humans, a complexity bias; perhaps born from our desire to lead “rich, satisfying lives.” Richness, after all, means complexity. As the Harvard Business Review points out, there are benefits to a certain degree of complexity:

  • Having multiple, varying elements in an ecosystem creates resilience and adaptability. The same can be true in business: diversity in products, services, and revenue sources can create exactly those benefits.

  • When the elements of a system are well interconnected, it can create better coordination—for example, in collective groups of animals or in a well-connected hybrid work environment.

  • Complexity in a business can also make it difficult for competitors to imitate your strategy or approach, preserving your company’s advantage. 

But psychologists point to most people’s preference for a “middle ground” of complexity,” and the disadvantages of too much complexity seem to support this as well. For instance:

  • With more complexity often comes increased costs and decreased efficiency.

  • Collective understanding of tools and processes can also decrease across the organization, from top to bottom.

  • This means manageability gets increasingly harder which can, in turn, lead to greater unpredictability.

  • Plus, the more complex a system is—and the more individual parts it has—the higher the chance of something breaking down. 

It’s no surprise to anyone in IT that as technology usage continues to explode, one of the greatest challenges for technology business leaders is figuring out how to manage all this complexity.

According to ESG research shows, three-quarters (75%) of organizations say, “IT has become more or significantly more complex than just two years ago.” 

While integrated IT systems and infrastructures are creating incredible benefits to organizations, tasks like securing hybrid networks with an ever-increasing amount of connections are likely keeping you up at night.  

And, if you’re like most organizations, your IT teams have become rapidly overburdened with the complexities of IT management. Not good for organizational productivity, not good for employee morale.  

So how can you use technology to reduce the complexity in your technology systems—without sacrificing your users’ productivity, collaboration, or creativity? It’s something Microsoft has put a great deal of thought into when designing their newest Windows release, Windows 11; since 70 percent of desktop and laptop users choose Microsoft Windows as their OS, Microsoft has been able to seek feedback from global leaders in multiple industries, as well as tap the tremendous well of data shared by users.  

An OS Embedded with Simplicity + Security by Default 

As Microsoft says, sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference in putting valuable time back in IT teams’ hands.  

For starters, finding ways to simplify and automate support tasks and management activities frees up IT admins’ time for more strategic, complex work, helps reduce downtime for your organization, and increases overall efficiency.  Thankfully, Microsoft has built these abilities into many new and updated elements of Windows 11, including

  • Windows Autopatch: Microsoft understands that even with previous versions of Windows Autopatch, releasing and deploying feature updates was often resource intensive. According to Forrester's Projected Total Economic Impact, enterprises can expect to spend 50% to 95% less effort on feature updates with the new Windows 11 updates to Windows Autopatch. This is thanks to new abilities including giving IT admin control over targeting, so your teams can stagger updates in phases and pause them at any time. Windows 11 has also introduced a new Autopatch groups capability, making it possible to target updates to devices in specific geographic areas of departments, as well as to create up to 15 deployment rings.  

  • Microsoft Intune: Microsoft collaborated with multiple device manufacturers to make managing driver and firmware updates simpler, by providing certified and validated drivers as well as greater control and reporting. For organizations with Windows Enterprise E3 or equivalent, Intune will enable you to control the deployment of driver and firmware updates from Windows Update to eligible cloud-attached enterprise devices.   

  • Universal Print: Universal Print can move your printing to the cloud, eliminate print-servers along with the need to install and update printer drivers, reducing IT admin task loads while providing enhanced security at the same time. It also introduces secure release for Android: by using QR codes and the Microsoft 365 app, users can securely print confidential documents without having to rush to a shared printer; it can also be used to reduce waste, reducing the likelihood of someone else picking up the wrong print job. A user simply selects secure release, is given a unique QR code that they can scan at the printer to initiate the print and ensure their confidential document stays in their hands. 

Reducing IT complexity means making it simpler to secure too. It’s not only difficult to secure every new connection and endpoint, but difficult to find the balance between security and productivity. Meeting these three goals—security, simplified IT management, and productivity—was a priority for Microsoft. With Windows 11, Microsoft has redesigned their signature OS specifically for hybrid work and security, with built-in hardware-based isolation, proven encryption, zero-trust scenarios, and their strongest protection yet against malware. Many of these powerful security features are also enabled as a default; one of the defining qualities of Windows 11 is its secure-by-default approach.  

By ensuring that many of its enhanced security features are the default, they eliminated the need for extra work testing and enabling security features for performance compatibility, making it easier for IT to gain security value without extra work. 

As David Weston, Vice President of Enterprise and OS Security at Microsoft puts it, “Upgrading to Windows 11 gives you more out-of-the-box security options for protecting your company.” Which makes you and your team’s job securing your enterprise a bit simpler, more efficient, and even more cost-effective, without negatively impacting PC performance or employee capabilities. 

For example, Microsoft Intune Suite Endpoint Privilege Management (EPM) gives IT the ability to limit their attack surface by running everyone as standard users, and elevating privileges only when needed, including for specific, approved applications. 

Ready to Thrive? 

The technology we’re all privileged to work with is evolving at an astonishing pace and is transforming the way we work, learn, play, and live. This means modern IT leaders must learn how to navigate this complexity and keep it at a level where it’s delivering maximum benefits, but also understandable and manageable.  

But if the focus for IT teams so far has been about pivoting to adapt and building systems quickly as you go, then this year is the year to step back to assess, refresh, and restructure so your system and people can truly be enabled to thrive through this new model. And whether you’re restructuring the office to strengthen team bonds or trying to keep distributed workforces engaged and informed, powerful and secure technology is central to those efforts. An employee’s device shouldn’t hold them back with delays while they perform everyday tasks or use demanding apps; instead, it should enable productivity with minimal interruptions to workflow. 

Our latest guide walks you through in detail exactly how Windows 11 helps you address this complexity, and why upgrading now—before they sunset support for Windows 10 in 2025.

This will put your business in a position to thrive, with organizational systems that are simpler for IT teams to manage, secured through a strong, but flexible and resilient system, and yet still able to support employee productivity so they’re not hindered by security measures but instead, bolstered to achieve more. 

The Modern IT Leader’s  Guide to Windows 11 Pro; Download Now:

Topics: Microsoft, Managed Services

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