Device Protection 101: Safeguarding Businesses through Effective Device Monitoring

In today’s digital age, businesses are increasingly reliant on technology to optimize business operations and stay competitive. One crucial aspect often overlooked is device monitoring, which plays a pivotal role in ensuring uptime, availability, security, and compliance. Let’s delve into the top 5 ways monitoring devices can elevate your business’s protection levels and empower your workforce, especially those working remotely or sharing devices.

1. Real-Time Threat Detection

Effective device monitoring provides real-time alerts for any suspicious activities or potential security breaches. By promptly identifying threats, businesses can take immediate action to mitigate risks, safeguard sensitive data, and maintain uninterrupted operations. For instance, malware infections are a common threat that can be detected early with proper monitoring systems. Malware can corrupt files, steal sensitive information, and disrupt normal business activities.

Another example is phishing attacks, where malicious actors attempt to deceive employees into providing confidential information or access to secure systems. Monitoring solutions can identify and flag unusual login attempts or access patterns, preventing unauthorized access and potential data theft. Additionally, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which aim to overwhelm a system with traffic to render it unusable, can be identified promptly. Monitoring traffic patterns can help in recognizing such attacks early, allowing businesses to respond quickly and maintain service availability.

2. Enhanced Uptime and Availability

Monitoring devices proactively detect performance issues, hardware malfunctions, or network disruptions that could lead to downtime. By addressing these issues before they escalate, businesses can ensure continuous operation, minimize productivity losses, and deliver reliable services to customers.

Consider a company that relies heavily on its e-commerce platform, particularly during peak shopping seasons like Black Friday or the holiday period. During such times, any downtime or performance hiccup can result in significant revenue losses and damage to customer trust. With proactive monitoring in place, this company can receive alerts about potential server overloads or degraded performance well before it affects the end users.

If the monitoring system detects an unusual spike in server load, it can trigger an alert to the IT team. This enables them to take immediate action, such as scaling up resources or balancing the load across multiple servers, thereby ensuring that the platform remains robust and capable of handling high traffic volumes. By addressing these issues preemptively, the company not only maintains uptime and availability but also safeguards its reputation and customer satisfaction.

3. Compliance Adherence

Small businesses face regulatory requirements and industry standards that mandate data protection and privacy measures. Device monitoring aids in maintaining compliance by tracking access controls, data handling practices, and security protocols, thereby helping businesses avoid penalties and uphold trust with clients.

For instance, businesses that process credit card transactions must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). PCI DSS sets forth stringent guidelines for securing payment card data, which include requirements for maintaining a secure network, protecting cardholder data, implementing strong access control measures, and regularly monitoring and testing networks. Device monitoring becomes instrumental in meeting these requirements by continuously tracking network activities and ensuring that firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security measures are functioning correctly.

To illustrate, consider a small retail business that conducts both online and in-store sales. This business must ensure that credit card information is processed securely and that any data stored is protected against breaches. Device monitoring solutions can help the business continuously oversee its payment processing systems, flagging any instances of unauthorized access or deviations from security protocols. For example, if there’s an attempt to access payment data outside normal business hours, the monitoring system can immediately notify IT staff, allowing them to investigate and respond swiftly.

Similarly, organizations in the healthcare sector must adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which mandates the protection of patient health information (PHI). Under HIPAA, healthcare providers are required to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all electronic PHI they create, receive, maintain, or transmit. Device monitoring assists in compliance by ensuring that access to PHI is appropriately controlled and by providing audit trails that can be reviewed during compliance checks.

For example, a clinic using electronic health records (EHR) can leverage device monitoring to track all access to patient information, ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to PHI. If a monitoring system detects an unusual login attempt or an unauthorized attempt to alter patient records, it can alert the compliance officer immediately, thereby mitigating potential breaches and maintaining HIPAA compliance.

4. Remote Workforce Support

With an increasing number of employees working remotely, monitoring devices become essential for managing dispersed teams and ensuring secure connections. By offering remote monitoring capabilities, businesses can oversee employee devices, enforce security policies, and support seamless collaboration regardless of location.

For example, consider a marketing agency with employees working remotely across different time zones. By implementing robust device monitoring solutions, the agency can ensure that all remote devices comply with security protocols, regardless of the employees’ locations. The monitoring system can enforce the use of VPNs for secure connections, regularly check for software updates, and verify that antivirus programs are up to date.

Specifically, if an employee’s device shows signs of potential malware infection or is missing critical security updates, the monitoring system can flag these issues for immediate resolution. This proactive monitoring not only secures the company’s sensitive client data but also enables employees to work without interruptions caused by security breaches or system failures. Consequently, the agency can maintain high productivity levels and safeguard client information, ultimately leading to a more efficient and secure remote work environment.

5. Shared Device Security

For businesses utilizing shared devices, monitoring becomes critical in tracking user activities, managing access permissions, and preventing unauthorized usage. By implementing device monitoring solutions, businesses can protect confidential information, promote accountability among users, and maintain the integrity of shared resources.

Consider a hardware store in which multiple employees are accessing computer systems for design, configuration, quote and ordering of home goods and services. These shared devices pose a unique security challenge due to the constant flux of user activity and the diverse purposes for which they are used. By implementing robust device monitoring solutions, the store can significantly enhance the security of these shared computers.

For instance, device monitoring can track user logins and logouts, ensuring that each user session is properly accounted for and that any anomalies are promptly flagged. If the monitoring system detects an unusual pattern, such as multiple failed login attempts or an extended period of inactivity followed by a sudden surge in activity, it can alert the IT staff to investigate potential security breaches or misuse.

Furthermore, monitoring can manage access permissions to restrict certain activities by unauthorized users. For example, administrative settings should only be accessible to store staff, preventing employees from installing unapproved software or altering system configurations. This level of control helps to maintain the integrity of the shared devices and protect against the installation of malicious software.

Additionally, the system can enforce automatic sign-outs after a period of inactivity, reducing the risk of a user’s session being hijacked by the next person who uses the device. By continuously scanning for vulnerabilities and ensuring compliance with security protocols, the monitoring solution safeguards company and customer data while maintaining a secure usage environment.

By leveraging device monitoring in such a setting, the store can ensure a safer, more secure experience for all patrons while protecting the integrity and functionality of its shared resources.

In Conclusion

By prioritizing device monitoring strategies, businesses can fortify their defenses, optimize operational efficiency, and foster a secure work environment for all employees. Embracing proactive monitoring practices is not just a measure of protection but a strategic investment in long-term sustainability and growth.

For further insights and detailed information supporting the importance of device monitoring in small business settings, you can refer to the following reputable sources:

1. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

2. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

3. Data Privacy Regulations Overview

4. Remote Work Best Practices Guide

5. Device Monitoring Solutions Comparison

Stay informed, stay protected, and optimize your business with the right tools for effective device monitoring. Your business deserves the best defense against evolving digital threats. If you want to discuss this with an expert, please contact Montra at or +1-404-665-9675.

Four Benefits of Outsourcing Your IT Logistics Processes

IT logistics is the set of process a business must execute to securely and efficiently deploy and manage IT devices in their remote operations. Whether in retail, consulting, healthcare, tech, or sports & entertainment, companies are deploying more technology in more far-flung locations than ever before. The IT logistics processes of your business can be quite tricky and require an extensive amount of expertise. From ensuring the security of sensitive data to tracking the location of your hardware and software assets, IT logistics can pose quite a challenge to modern tech-enabled companies. One way to tackle this challenge is outsourcing your IT logistics processes. We discuss here the top four benefits of outsourcing IT logistics processes, which can assist you in making an informed decision about how to handle your company’s IT logistics needs.

1. Increased flexibility

Outsourcing IT logistics processes provide businesses with the flexibility to scale their IT needs up or down, depending on the changing market conditions. This flexibility allows businesses to manage their IT budgets better, and only pay for what they need. With outsourcing, businesses can supplement their internal IT teams during peak periods, or reduce their contract requirements during the off-season. Outsourcing IT logistics processes make it possible to align IT logistics with business goals and requirements.

Consider the findings from a survey conducted by Computer Economics, which revealed that 56% of businesses have outsourced their IT functions due to the scalability and flexibility it offers. Additionally, the Information Services Group’s (ISG) Managed Services Study found that 70% of businesses that outsourced their IT logistics services experienced improved budget management, primarily due to the ability to scale their logistics operations according to business needs. These numbers not only highlight the benefits of outsourcing in terms of flexibility but also illustrate how outsourcing IT logistics can contribute towards efficient budget management.

2. Improved Risk Management

Outsourcing IT logistics services help businesses to reduce their risk exposure when preparing devices for deployment, and managing and securing devices deployed in the field. A study by IBM revealed that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million, showing the substantial financial risk businesses face. By outsourcing IT logistics services, businesses can leverage best-in-class logistics software and processes to optimize availability, security and cost. Similarly, a survey by Intel Security found that 43% of businesses had experienced at least one data breach in the past year, further illustrating the need for businesses to outsource IT logistics to reliable, expert providers.

Good IT logistics companies offer pre-deployment security testing as well as post-deployment secure and private processing of data collected from devices in the field or when returned for processing. Good IT logistics partners will also provide data backup and recovery solutions that help businesses recover from data loss, ransomware, and other cyber-attacks.

Outsourcing IT logistics processes can also improve compliance with industry-standard regulations such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, and NIST by deploying the necessary security and privacy measures to protect sensitive data. A Verizon report found that only 28.6% of organizations are fully PCI DSS compliant, indicating the challenges that businesses face in adhering to industry standards. Outsourcing to a company with proven expertise in compliance can significantly alleviate these challenges.

3. Competitive Advantage

Outsourcing IT logistics processes provide businesses with access to high-end technology and top-notch expertise. Outsourcing companies typically have trained personnel and the latest technologies, making it possible for businesses to benefit from both. This is especially important for small businesses that cannot afford to hire and maintain a full-fledged IT team. CompTIA’s 6th Annual Trends in Managed Services report also highlighted that 89% of businesses that outsourced their IT logistics felt they had a competitive advantage over businesses that didn’t.

Outsourcing IT logistics processes not only provides businesses with access to current technologies but also future-proofs their operations against rapidly changing technologies. A recent study by Gartner revealed that 65% of organizations that outsource their IT logistics services have experienced technological advancements that would have been otherwise inaccessible. Furthermore, a survey by Deloitte showed that 66% of businesses that outsourced their IT logistics services had gained access to intellectual capital, which they wouldn’t have procured otherwise.

This access to top-notch expertise not only provides an edge over competitors but also allows for a focus on innovation and business growth. Outsourcing IT logistics services provides a significant competitive advantage in both technology access and expert knowledge.

4. Cost Reduction

Last but not least, outsourcing your IT logistics processes can be an excellent way to save money. Hiring an in-house logistics team can be quite expensive, with salaries, benefits, and training costs. Conversely, outsourcing IT logistics can offer financial advantages such as lower costs of operation, fixed contracts, and reduced overhead costs. Such benefits allow businesses to free up capital for other areas, such as product development, marketing, and other critical business functions.

According to a study by Deloitte, 59% of businesses outsource to cut costs. CompTIA’s 5th Annual Trends in Managed Services report shows that the average cost of a mid-level IT professional’s salary is $82,000. This doesn’t include additional costs such as benefits, office space, and training. On the other hand, a managed IT logistics contract could cost a mid-size business as little as $3,000 a month, which totals around $36,000 per year. This represents savings of more than 50% a year, which can then be invested in areas like product development and marketing, thus fueling business growth.

Additional Factors

While outsourcing IT logistics processes also helps with certain challenges that businesses must be prepared to address. These include potential issues with quality control, data security concerns, and the need for effective communication and collaboration with the outsourcing partner. It’s crucial for businesses to carefully assess their potential partners’ capabilities and establish clear expectations and guidelines to ensure a successful outsourcing relationship.

In Conclusion

Outsourcing IT logistics processes can provide businesses with numerous benefits such as cost reduction, competitive advantage, increased flexibility, and improved risk management. The advantages of outsourcing are ideal for businesses that need the benefits of IT logistics processes but without the high costs associated with recruiting and retaining an internal logistics team. It is essential to choose a reliable, trusted, and experienced logistics company. With the proper software and services solution, businesses can improve their bottom line by focusing on their core business functions, while the outsourcing company takes care of the IT logistics processes.

Laughing at Hackers: 5 Proactive Steps You Can Take to Secure Your Laptops from External Threats

Here’s a joke that’s not funny: your company’s data was just hacked.

Shock waves, unmitigated panic, and alibis are all fair play when you as the CIO, CISO or Head of IT, wakes up to the news that a hacker has infiltrated their systems. Fingers are pointing in every direction, questions are flying, and your reputation is on the line. What went wrong? It could stem from the fact that you only protected your perimeter with a firewall – your organization thought that it was enough to safeguard its network infrastructure and didn’t think much about user devices. However, laptops are a popular attack vector for an assailant to get into your inner sanctum.

According to a recent report by Verizon, 94% of malware was delivered via email, and user devices like laptops were the primary targets. Moreover, a study by Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. It’s vitally important to adopt comprehensive security measures to protect not only your network infrastructure but also individual user devices.

So, what steps can you take to make your laptop more secure? Here are five strategies that you can use to combat external threats:

1. Utilize Strong Passwords

According to a report by Verizon, over 80% of data breaches are a result of weak or compromised passwords. To appreciate the importance of password strength, you must reconsider that hackers have computing power, time, and nerves on their side. But with the built-in technology of a password manager, you can utilize complex sign-in credentials for every account on your laptop, making them too difficult to crack in a reasonable amount of time.

A study by the University of Virginia illustrated that using a password manager can significantly increase the strength and variability of passwords, thereby amping up security. Once in place the password manager will automatically log you in without having to recall them all. It will also send you reminders to change passwords regularly, which is only advisable if you are using a password manager.

Furthermore, research by Pew Research Center indicates that only 12% of U.S. internet users utilize a password manager for remembering their password.

2. Enable Multi Factor Authentication

Fact. You need two factors to verify an identity. The FBI has reported that multifactor authentication (MFA) can block 99.9% of automated cyber-attacks. Moreover, according to Symantec, 80% of data breaches could be prevented with MFA. Therefore, multifactor authorization is the two-in-one (or more-in-one) approach that makes certain it’s you logging into the system.

The standard approach is to think of it as something you know, something you have, and something you are – a password, a smart card, and a fingerprint. Research by Google found that even the weakest forms of MFA, such as SMS-based verification codes, can block 100% of automated bots, 96% of bulk phishing attacks, and 76% of targeted attacks.

Despite the clear benefits, MFA is underutilized, with only 57% of people using it for their personal accounts and 30% at work, according to a report by Microsoft. If utilized MFA provides arguably the most effective line of defense in securing your laptop from external threats.

3. Install Updates and Patches

New software vulnerabilities are constantly found. A study by Flexera found that in 2019, 60% of breaches involved vulnerabilities for which a patch was available but not applied. The only way to avoid being exploited by this kind of attack is to install software patches and updates. They will help to fix any known security vulnerabilities in the software you use.

Further underscoring the importance of regular system updates, the Ponemon Institute’s 2019 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses report revealed that 63% of respondents experienced a data breach due to a known, unpatched vulnerability. Therefore, it’s a no-brainer – keep your software updated!

4. Use Antivirus and Anti-malware software

According to a report by AV-TEST, an independent cybersecurity institute, over 350,000 new malware and potentially unwanted applications (PUA) are registered every day. This alarming number illustrates the importance of antivirus and anti-malware software in protecting your laptop.

The state of the art in defending  against attack vectors and malicious threats keeps changing. Antivirus (AV) has given way to Next-gen Antivirus (NGAV), which has been upped by endpoint detect & response (EDR). You should look into whether NGAV or EDR is right for you, it really depends on the potential damage that a breach to the individual laptop can cause. Regardless of what type you use, installing a current antivirus and anti-malware software will assist in intercepting many external threats.

5. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A study by the Ponemon Institute revealed that 68% of organizations admit antivirus solutions are not sufficient. Increasing cyber threats and a rising remote workforce, necessitates the use of secure, encrypted connections. There is a growing need for VPNs as a tool for securing internet connections, particularly when accessing public Wi-Fi networks. VPNs create a private network between a company’s network and a remote user to secure the internet connection.

In a nutshell, a VPN is vital for remote workers as it provides a secure, encrypted connection when utilizing a home connection or public Wi-Fi. In the age of remote work and digital nomads, using a VPN has gone from an optional extra to a necessary security measure.

To Summarize

Is gaining peace of mind that your end-user laptops are secure a burden for you? If the answer is yes, then these tips should aid your computing device protection game. You can’t go wrong with utilizing strong passwords, enabling multi factor authentication, installing updates and patches, using antivirus and anti-malware software, and using a VPN.

Take your laptop’s security one step further than your office firewall; take preemptive measures to make hackers regret even trying! Remember, security should always be your top priority as data breaches can have severe consequences for your organization.

If you have questions about getting your laptops secured or need a partner to secure and manage your laptops for you, reach out to us at or +1-404-665-9675.

6 Steps to Great RMAs for Your Devices

If you are in the business of making and selling computers, phones, tablets, IoT, or other devices, you know that eventually some of your devices will get returned. If your devices are being used in critical applications for your customers, you know how hard it can be to process returns well. Handling the returns in a systematic manner will help your company to keep your business running smoothly while ensuring your customer satisfaction numbers do not take a hit. 

What is Return Materials Authorization? 

Return materials authorization (RMA) is part of the process of a customer returning a device back to the manufacturer to get the unit fixed or replaced. On the manufacturer’s side, it is processed by verifying the device returned properly and initiating appropriate actions to troubleshoot, repair, or reimage, the device. This process includes data collection, return eligibility verification, software troubleshooting, reimaging, or issuing a replacement. 

Ultimately, an RMA process exists to make the return seamless to the customer and cost-effective for the manufacturer. However, not all RMA processes are created equal, and there benefits to understanding best practices for device RMAs is different than other product types. Without the right process in place, companies tend to spend an unnecessary amount of time on returns. A well-designed and automated process will help reduce the risks and increase the overall efficiency. 

It is also important to establish expectations for warranty terms, follow-up actions, and return policies. Implementing such a systematic process will also help in keeping track of the various defects across categories and suppliers while leading to quick resolution of issues. 

What is a Device and Why is the RMA Different? 

What we mean by a device is typically anything with a smart chip, some firmware or software, and the ability to communicate over the Internet. Devices are typically covered by warranties and the RMA process is primarily executed when some part or all the device stops working. This is as opposed to something like clothing, in which RMAs are typically executed for an unliked or defective item. The RMA process for devices is inherently more complex and includes data collection, warranty eligibility verification, cross-shipping of devices, and troubleshooting and repairing of returned devices. 

6 Best Practices for the Device RMA Process 

An effective device RMA process can improve the reputation of your company and keep your customers up and running when your devices are being used in important applications. With the right process in place, you will be ready when inevitable defects and returns occur, so your customers can be served quickly and cost-effectively. Here are some of the best practices that can be put in place to create an efficient device RMA process: 

1. RMAs Should Be Integrated to Customer Systems 

If you transact the rest of your business online, then you or your customer should be able to initiate an RMA online also. At a minimum, a good RMA process will include a platform that you or your customer can use to initiate an RMA. In the best case, your RMA process should be directly integrated into the systems and processes you already use. If you use Salesforce Service, for instance, you should be able to generate an RMA request from that application. Once the process has started, RMA updates should flow back to your system also. 

2. Make the RMA Simple to Track 

It must be an easy task for your and your customers to log and track the return requests. It is always good to keep the customer informed at each stage of the process. This makes the entire process clear, easy to track, and provides the customer with confidence in the process. 

Since most devices have serial numbers, your RMA process should use them. By also capturing accurate address information directly from a CRM, your RMA system should generate shipping labels and schedule a pickup of the device from the customer’s site. Efficiencies such as these eliminates time and possible errors that manual RMA processes routinely incur. 

3. Priority Returns Need Cross-Shipping 

When customers deploy your devices into mission-critical applications, they usually expect limited or no downtime when an RMA is being processed. This requires cross-shipping of a working device to the customer site to replace the RMA’d unit before it is shipped back. This may seem simple, but to execute this process well some important things need to happen: 1) the customer site information needs to be accurate; 2) return labels need to be included outbound, and 3) the RMA’d device should be able to fit in the box being used to ship the replacement unit. That requires accurate information about the field unit to get it right! 

4. Return Reasons Must Be Validated 

Your customers may have any number of reasons for returning a device. It may be a hardware issue, software issue, or it may be damaged from weather or third parties. However, as is often the case with complicated devices, the customer’s rationale for returning the device often does not match the actual condition of the device upon return. When the device arrives at the return center, workers must examine and boot the device to verify the return reason matches the actual issue. In best practices, both return reasons are logged for future reviews of the RMA process. 

5. Allow Manual Intervention 

Automation is great and most parts of an RMA process can be automated, but without human oversight at important steps in the process. It is easy to get the process out of control. Certain RMA processes allow the end-customer to initiate urgent returns without approval of the manufacturer. These kinds of returns require oversite during the process, if possible, and certainly after the process to make certain that the returns were truly needed. Inventory in the RMA system and in the warehouse can get off count quickly. Best practices require regular human inventory counts to look for discrepancies. 

6. Proactively Await the Returned Product 

Once a notification of a returned device or devices is in process, best practices have the return team preparing for the returned device(s) before arrival. This may include verifying parts inventory of known replacement parts, or for large returns, preparing space and time to process the returns en masse. If the devices include RFID tags or scannable marks, those IDs should be fed to the receiving system before they arrive to streamline the process and avoid exception handling. 

Download our Device Return Materials Authorization Process Infographic Here. 

Need a Partner to Help? 

Finding the answer to RMA management can seem daunting, but Montra is here to help. With our VIA DX Device Logistics software, you can automatically track and manage your devices from fulfillment to field repairs, to RMAs and warranty tracking. Talk to us today to learn how this invaluable tool and the team that backs it can help your business optimize and streamline the way you handle all the lifecycle processes for your devices.

Remote Device Management Trends in 2022

In the third of our four-part series on trends for 2022, we are looking at device management trends. When we talk about devices we mean any physical asset that a person uses to connect to a network of information sources. 

Devices are proliferating, getting cheaper, and becoming more diverse, while our use of devices is expanding in frequency, location, and types of use. Whether we are talking about end-user devices or unattended ones, devices are front and center in the IT discussion and will be for 2022. 

With that in mind, the following are our trends for device management and security in 2022: 

1. Cyber-Attacks on Devices Will Get Bigger and Quieter 

With all the device proliferation, it’s no wonder that devices and the people that use them are now the frontline for security threats. The cloud and the systems and services that reside there are getting increasingly hardened against cyber attacks. Companies are continuing to shrink their private data centers while also getting better at securing them. This leaves devices – whether it’s an end-user device or an unattended one – as the current soft targets for cyber-criminals. 

In 2022, we will see more attacks of the sophisticated variety in which devices are compromised quietly until enough devices have been coopted that they can be used together in a coordinated attack. Unattended devices at the edge of the network are particularly vulnerable to this type of attack and are likely to be used in a number edge swarm attacks. 

2. Remote Management Wars Will Escalate 

Everyone wants to manage user devices – the hardware companies, the OS companies, the device owners, the app vendors, and telecom service providers. They all have legitimate business and technical reasons, usually centered around better device uptime, better service availability and device and data security. There is already a turf war for client software that needs to run on each device or gateway software that aggregates information on lower-end devices. It only makes sense for a very few remote management apps to be running on the device, and in 2022, the battle for that precious real estate will escalate. Corporations will increasingly need to turn to neutral third parties to help them understand how they navigate this battle for their devices. Many companies have opted for either no remote monitoring and management or defaulted to the hardware or security vendor. As the remote worker norm sets in, companies will need to make better-informed decisions about remote device management to make certain their uptime and security goals are maintained while also keeping employee productivity high and support costs minimal. 

3. Device-Cloud Will Kill Client-Server. Sort of. 

The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” William Gibson said that 18 years ago, but it applies to this world of device-cloud and client-server today. Client-server is the computing architecture that replaced mainframe and is basically a PC connecting to a local network on which there is a server (“a big PC”) that runs an application for many people to use simultaneously. That started in the 1980s and the mainframe business has been declared dead every year since. The mainframe market is still alive and kicking, but it ain’t what it used to be. And while many of us work for companies that still have some application that runs on a server, there is not one startup in the past 10 years that have reached unicorn status with a client-server application architecture. 

The replacement for client-server is device-cloud or just “the cloud”. It comes in many flavors but in this context, the device is a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, and the cloud is a SaaS application or “serverless” or “native” cloud application. 

There is not one enterprise software startup that will emerge in 2022 that builds their application on anything other than pure device-cloud architecture. In addition, the remote worker norm pushed client-server even closer to the grave because client-server does not perform well with large-scale remote users. The security layers that need to sit in front of client-server solutions to serve remote users create cost and performance issues. So, 2022 will be a watershed year in the corporate move away from client-server architectures, and we will find more than 80% of the screen-time of a typical user is on device-cloud apps. 

4. The PC CPU War Will Move to the Front Page 

The PC CPU ware has already begun, but only industry insiders have really cared. Anyone who has purchased a MacBook in the past 18 months knows about the M1 CPU and knows why it matters. The latest Macs no longer use Intel CPUs – effectively ending their 15-year run. Instead, they use an ARM chip designed by Apple and built by TSMC. The performance is incredibly fast and for Apple, there is no going back. The way ARM chips are designed and built is fundamentally different than the way traditional CPUs are built. The net of it is that large technology companies like Apple, Lenovo, Microsoft, Google, and others can design their own ARM chips and have them built by lower-cost chip manufacturers than Intel. 

The ARM race has been going for a while, but in 2022 it will explode onto the front page. Apple will expand its ARM strategy, but what will make this truly mainstream is that one of the major PC vendors will launch their first ARM-based laptops. When people experience the speed difference and the faster innovation cycles for new chip designs, it will make CPUs a watercooler topic for the first time in 20 years. 

5. Secure Remote Erasure of Devices Will Become a Thing 

Today devices can be locked and erased remotely. This is mostly executed by companies when a remote worker has left their company and the company wants to secure the device as quickly as possible. Separately, the same devices or other devices will be shipped back to a common location, where they are erased using highly secure erasure techniques recommended by the Department of Defense (DoD 5220.22-M) or the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST Special Publication 800-88). 

As more companies increasingly treat remote work as the norm rather than the exception, these workflows will need to merge. In 2022, more and more companies will begin to require remote secure erasure processes. This will allow companies to protect the corporate data that is stored on the remote devices, and either never retrieve the device or allow the device to ship directly to an ITAD service – saving time and money. 

What are you thinking about device management and security in 2022? What are your big concerns for the upcoming year? Let us know what you think at