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Providing the right tools for remote working means more than just the right device

Workers need suitable devices if they are to remain productive when working remotely, but they also need ones that can be managed properly too.

Almost any job becomes harder without the right tools, and the jobs of the digital era are no exception. In days gone by that might have meant a desktop PC in the office, but for many years employers have also been equipping staff with notebook PCs in recognition that work is much more mobile now.

This trend saw significant acceleration in 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent need for people to work from home. And as a result, we've seen many organisations rushing to equip workers with new portable devices.

At Intel, we know that different workers need different combinations of computing power to be productive, and that's why we offer a broad range of processors and supporting technologies to suit those different requirements.

For example, some workers need the maximum possible processing power, memory, and storage, whereas for others, mobility is key, and therefore battery life and mobile connectivity are most important. In either case, giving them the wrong devices means hampering their ability to contribute, and results in a poor working experience.

But there is another factor that needs to be kept in mind when it comes to equipping workers with the right device, and that is the ability to service and support those devices.

IT support teams are the unsung heroes of modern workplaces, working constantly to maintain productivity by applying software updates and security patches and troubleshooting faults, all to ensure workers can get on with doing their work.

But that support task becomes more difficult when workers are no longer coming into the office. While mobile workers have been a part of the workforce for some time, before COVID-19, few workplaces would have seen 100 per cent of their people working from outside of the office. And that includes the support teams themselves.

Thankfully, there is a range of tools available that can significantly ease the burden of remote device management, even when the support workers are working remotely.

Many of these are embedded in the Intel vPro platform, which brings together business-class performance, hardware-enhanced security features, and modern remote manageability, to ensure workers can always remain productive.

For starters, the Intel vPro platform features Intel's highest performing Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 vPro processors to ensure workers have the performance power they need to do what they do. The integration of Intel's Optane memory H10 with solid state storage delivers up to two-times faster launch of documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

It also includes a range of connectivity options, including integrated Thunderbolt wired connectivity for connecting at high speed to peripherals such as 4K monitors and cameras. Support for Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking ensures workers can enjoy the fastest, most secure networking experience, and enhanced energy management technology means vPro devices can deliver up to 11 hours of power.

For IT support staff, vPro provides a solid foundation for business-grade manageability. This includes Intel Active Management technology and Intel's Endpoint Management Assistant (Intel EMA), which enables support staff to remotely manage and troubleshoot devices. This gives them the ability to discover, monitor, repair, restore, and help protect devices, alongside hardware-based security features to minimise cyber security threats. Devices can be managed even when their operating system has been compromised, meaning support staff can repair corrupted drivers, application software, or even the operating system itself, including in non-responsive systems that won't run or boot up.

By equipping staff with a fleet of devices featuring the Intel vPro platform, employers can support their mobile workforce easily, even when both the worker and the support team member are working at home.

This not only eases the burden for the IT support team by ensuring devices are running optimally and are protected from threats, but it also ensures that workers no longer have to do their own troubleshooting, and can enjoy maximum uptime so they can get on with doing the tasks they are supposed to be doing.