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What is modern cloud device management?

7th December 2022

Aim: Understanding how the traditional, on-premises method of managing devices compares to the modern, cloud managed method 

Historically, Information Technology (IT) staff have deployed and managed Windows devices in their organisation using on-premises tools connected to a local network infrastructure. 

That traditional model still works today and many educational institutions have invested heavily in configuring a Windows Server Active Directory forest to manage identities and networked devices. 

However, there are also limitations and considerable costs to continuing the use of those “localised” methods of managing identities and devices. 

Let’s break down what we’re trying to define: 

  • The term “Modern” simply implies there is an updated method we can employ to manage identity and device objects. 
  • The term “Cloud” is intended to mean an extension of the traditional on-premises network and server infrastructure; for the purposes of today’s session we are referring specifically to a cloud hosted externally by Microsoft that you can connect to as a subscription-based service. 
  • Finally, “Device Management” can mean a lot of things to different people, but for education institutions such as schools and colleges, it comes down to ensuring staff and students can securely access the apps they need. 

Note, there are various methods to transition from the traditional, on-premises method of managing devices to the modern, cloud managed method.  However, this Level 100 introductory workshop will assume you don’t need to manage devices and identities in a hybrid configuration but rather can make a clean start and start with “cloud native” device deployment. 

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