COSU Device Management Solutions in Action: Improving Workplace Culture

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Corporate-owned, single-use (COSU) devices are the unsung heroes of the modern world. They automate information-related tasks, send and receive data, and monitor activities. Users get access to information, can register for an event or venue, or complete a transaction faster and more efficiently with these machines. These devices are now an industry standard, as technology is the backbone of every modern company.

COSU devices come in two flavors. Customer-facing devices are self-service units used to provide customers with faster and more efficient services. Examples include automated teller machines (ATMs), self-checkout point-of-sale (POS) systems, and information kiosks.

Meanwhile, employee-facing devices are COSUs issued to workers to help with their daily work activities. These include the monitors that scan manufacturing floors to check if all of the systems are working. They also include company-issued smartphones or tablets that work normally but restrict personal use. Another example comes in the form of supermarket checkout registers, which require input from store clerks as they scan items and charge the customer accordingly.

Locked and Limited

COSU units are special-purpose devices, but they’re not custom hardware with lots of unique components and special modifications. They’re actually just run-of-the-mill smart devices, comparable to today’s computers, smartphones, and tablets in terms of processing power. Instead of fulfilling their destiny as free-for-all devices that can install or run apps, browse the internet, or create and save user files and documents, COSU units perform a single function solely determined by their corporate owner.

For example, ATMs aren’t unique pieces of hardware. They’re full PCs complete with extra peripherals—such as card readers, input devices, and printers. By limiting the ATM’s function to banking-related activities like inquiry, withdrawal, deposit, or transfer, the owner ensures the security of the device’s data. Allowing users to change an ATM’s system settings, browse the internet on it, or install and run apps, can severely compromise the data’s integrity.

Other COSU devices follow the same approach. For example, information kiosks consist of smart TVs locked in display/screen saver mode. Administrators limit the display to approved images or videos. Meanwhile, fleet devices like tablets and smartphones will only allow business-related functions. They will reject any attempts by employees to run unauthorized programs, browse files, or open unauthorized websites.

The Need for COSU Device Management

Keeping COSU devices secure and running optimally highly depends on a company’s chosen device management system. Administrators who depended on the device’s default management software might find the features and capabilities limited. At the minimum, an ideal device management software should contain the following features:

Cloud-based Connectivity

COSU devices are usually deployed to areas far from the corporate office. Using a system that only allows for manual, on-site maintenance and updates becomes very expensive and time-consuming. At the very least, your device management solution should have no problem connecting with hundreds (or thousands) of fleet devices via cloud access. IT teams should be able to remotely perform routine tasks—such as updates, rollbacks, or new installations—with ease, whether that be for the entire fleet or individual devices.

In addition, cloud connectivity also provides another advantage. Updates and maintenance tasks also run faster when the necessary files are stored in cloud servers. Ideally, the device manager should run under Amazon Web Services (AWS) for reduced latency and increased end-to-end security and encryption.

User Access Levels

Not everybody with access to a COSU device’s inner workings needs the same access levels. To keep the hardware secure and its data intact, administrators must assign the appropriate access levels to each user. Administrators and IT support teams will need access to system settings as well as remote access to repair devices. Meanwhile, executives and sales/marketing personnel can get access to user and usage data to gather insights. End users will have the minimum access level, which should be enough to operate the COSU device as intended.

Heavy on Privacy and Security

With more countries expressing concern for data privacy and security, the ideal device management solution should ensure that any private data remains secure. This should be especially guaranteed for customer-facing COSU units. As such, solutions must comply with known privacy standards, such as GDPR and HIPAA.

In addition, device management should also have measures in place for when devices go missing, due to theft or negligence. The software should have no problem freezing or shutting down COSU devices that have left their authorized area. In case of an emergency, the administrator can also remotely wipe the device’s data.

The Right COSU Device Management Solution Benefits Your Team As Well

At the basic level, the device management solution for COSU devices should improve workflow. This doesn’t just mean better working devices, but also a better working environment for the entire organization—especially the IT department. The benefits of securing the right device management software include the following:

Reduced Need for Field Operations

Remote maintenance and management drastically reduce or outright eliminate the need to conduct fieldwork to update or maintain COSU devices. Considering today’s pandemic-related travel restrictions and increasing fuel costs, reducing field activities without sacrificing the objectives is a win-win cost-reduction measure for many.

Reduced Need for Support Calls and In-person Assistance

Another benefit of remote connectivity is the reduced dependence on on-site personnel. The remote device management software can perform any operation from anywhere. An added convenience is that updates can be scheduled outside of popular usage times, minimizing disruptions. This benefit saves money on support calls while also reducing device downtimes.

Increased Efficiency for System Administrators and IT Teams

Administrators can perform remote maintenance tasks in batches, selected units, or for the entire fleet of COSU devices. These features afford administrators a more efficient system, as changes can be made with extreme precision. Investing in an industry-leading device management solution is by far the most efficient and systematized way to service COSU devices.

Equipping your IT team with modern solutions enables them to combat modern problems at lightning speed. This efficiency gets your devices and customers back where they belong—online. Over time, the extra support for your IT team works to mitigate work overload and burnout. More importantly, your COSU devices in the field remain continually updated, well-maintained, and always ready for use.