75% of companies struggling with IT operational challenges in a hybrid world

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HP Inc. has announced the findings of a new commissioned study, conducted by Forrester Consulting, highlighting the need for companies to adopt always-on endpoint management to cater for increasingly dispersed global workforces.

72% of companies surveyed currently have a hybrid working model, with 75% of respondents reporting that the shift to remote and hybrid working models has magnified IT operational challenges.

Forrester Consulting’s survey of 312 IT and security decision makers shows that companies are struggling to balance asset management, user experience assurance, and risk management. 

Key findings in the 2023 study, “Mastering Endpoint Security In A Hybrid World”, include:

  • The top challenges companies face when managing remote endpoints are ensuring data security (60%); keeping software on remote devices up to date (55%); and maximising the accuracy of asset databases (55%). 
  • Just 42% of companies perform firmware updates annually, 23% update every two years or less, and 12% only update “when essential” – putting firms at risk of security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of respondents say ensuring secure and continuous communication with remote endpoints is a major concern for their company’s IT department. 
  • IT is having to rely on subpar protection, with 50% citing inadequate endpoint security solutions as an obstacle to addressing security and management challenges. Meanwhile, 54% believe full-disk encryption provides substantial protection for endpoints but acknowledge it can be insufficient. For example, if the attacker has physical access to the device.

Dr. Ian Pratt, Global Head of Security for Personal Systems at HP Inc., comments:

“The flexibility of being able to work and hire employees all over the world is one of the many benefits of living in a digital economy. Yet as the workplace evolves, security must too. To offer secure, efficient, and user-friendly IT experiences in the future, companies will need an always-on endpoint management infrastructure that can support this new way of working.”

Always-on connectivity is the lynchpin of comprehensive endpoint management

In considering how these challenges may be overcome, 75% of respondents believe improved endpoint management would have a positive impact on overall business operations and efficiency.

Companies cited a need for more efficient endpoint software tracking and management (48%). To achieve this, respondents want device backup and restore capabilities (55%), automation of device recovery processes (47%), BIOS update deployment (46%), and device location tracking (46%).

To enhance remote endpoint security and management, 82% of respondents are also considering investment in solutions that can geo-locate, lock, and erase PCs remotely.

Solutions such as HP Wolf Protect and Trace with HP Wolf Connect, once available, will be able to locate, lock and erase a PC remotely, even when it’s turned off or disconnected from the internet. 

“An always-on approach to fleet management is vital to creating a secure device life cycle and optimizing distributed working environments. Continuous endpoint monitoring and real-time device management will help companies to protect sensitive data on the move and lower IT costs by reducing PC remediation or replacements,” concludes Dr. Pratt.

About the research

This study, commissioned by HP and carried out by Forrester, surveyed 312 IT and security decision makers at companies with 500 or more employees across multiple industries in NA, EMEA and APJ. The study began in March 2023 and was completed in September 2023.

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