Death of the Gold Image: Welcome, Zero-Touch Deployment

Nicola Moss

The evolution of zero touch provisioning and deployment is revolutionising how businesses get new devices productivity ready and shipped to their distributed workforce.

Infographic detailing Zero-Touch deployment timeline

This doesn’t just allow ease of deployment for IT teams but a plug and play sensation for the end user, shortening and simplifying every cycle of the machine’s life from procurement, to deployment, to upgrades and secure patching. The solution saves money, effort and makes machines ready for use almost as soon as they’re off the shelf.

Manual configuration is a time-consuming process, not least because of the logistics of getting the device to the IT team, but also the chore of configuring one machine at a time. Zero-touch, which merges the benefits of Windows Autopilot, Microsoft Intune and Microsoft Azure automatically and securely, allows remote configuration and remote management of every machine at the same time.

Regardless of geographical location, a machine can now be purchased directly from the vendor and sent straight to the end user with two options. A provider like ourselves can white glove the deployment in minutes or alternatively, the end user can securely self-deploy with just an internet connection and access to a pre-configured auto pilot profile.

This enables every piece of software and application which should be available on the machine, getting it ready with the correct policy overlay, for immediate use.

Image of laptop seated atop packaging box

It means that organisations with sites and staff distributed across the country and globe, who would typically find it challenging and extremely costly to provision new devices can now have them shipped straight to their intended destination, rather than to a centralised IT team, then back to the end user.

Zero touch has ultimately revolutionised how quickly disparate teams can get up and running and how managing end user devices all over the world can be done with ease.

It’s not hard to imagine how much easier and cost effective this will make opening new sites in new locations or allowing people to work from home or on the go with the newest technologies

This, of course, signals the end of the gold image as we know it (a preconfigured package put on all machines by the IT department). Implemented, initially to optimise the delivery of new machines, it caused a huge variety of problems when IT teams tried to delete the preconfigured solution and add the appropriate and company specific package.

It makes sense that sending little policy changes and ensuring machines are compliant, whilst allowing simultaneous patching and upgrading, should be at the touch of a button. To meet requirements for cyber security, all machines must be up-to-date and secure, and this can now be managed remotely, through a centralised Microsoft cloud platform. The solution doesn’t just offer the set-up of machines but also the resetting of devices across the whole asset inventory. This means all devices for all employees are managed, monitored and made secure remotely - something few businesses wouldn’t benefit from.

If you can see how zero touch provisioning could benefit your business or you are looking to update devices for a disparate workforce, one of our specialists will be happy to give you advice. More and more organisations are now changing where their teams work, allowing more flexibility and agility. This can be done with no sacrifice to security or functionality or challenges with logistics. Get in touch if you’d like to know more.