Lenovo and Intel Fuel Modern Work

The power and magnitude of an open ecosystem in today’s hybrid-first world

Meet the challenges of supporting a hybrid workforce with optimized performance, hardware-level security, and simplified IT management capabilities.

By Carla Rodriguez, Vice President & GM, Commercial Client Ecosystem, Client Computing, Intel

IT leaders’ top objective this year is to improve employee productivity and collaboration, according to the 2023 Foundry Digital Business study.

That finding is not surprising, given that many organizations have adopted a hybrid-first strategy, with employees flexibly working both remotely and on-site.

Yet, this hybrid workforce has created new complexities that can make it difficult to ensure efficient device performance, robust security, and remote IT support. It’s challenging to provide a comprehensive foundation that at the end of the day simply empowers individuals to get work done.

Think of it this way: There’s a saying that “it takes a village to raise a child.” It refers to all the community resources beyond the family — such as schools, healthcare, playgrounds, etc., — necessary to nurture and support a child in a healthy, safe environment.

Similarly, it takes a technology village to enable a productive employee experience, which starts with the devices they use for work. For example, a PC lifecycle includes procurement, installation, provisioning, usage, management, maintenance, and disposal. That means chipmakers, hardware providers, ISVs, and system integrators must be able to easily work in concert to support this tech village.

In turn, a healthy and connected PC ecosystem sustains and empowers the hybrid workforce, providing seamless performance, connectivity, security, and support.

Powerful employee experiences start at the root

Silicon can nurture and help protect everything above it — from the firmware and OS to applications in the cloud. Chips of all types — CPUs, GPUs, VPUs, or simply XPUs — should work in tandem to provide efficient, reliable, and optimized workload performance. For example, imagine the speed and power that becomes available when a CPU intelligently offloads security tasks to the GPU.

That’s possible when security is embedded into the silicon. This capability can also address today’s heightened attack landscape, in which 83% of enterprises have experienced at least one firmware attack [1]. Technology that offloads security workloads from the CPU to the integrated GPU can mitigate these security risks and proactively identify threats — without impacting the end user experience.

Next in the stack is the hardware, which brings the muscle to support work and enable growth. Again, the devices and their form factors in the tech village matter. For example, newer laptops are embedded with next-level silicon for fast boot times. Also, some PCs today are designed to be lightweight and sleek, with high-resolution cameras built in. These features enhance productivity.

In addition, modern PCs not only empower today’s workforce, they also allow for the future of work. Next-generation compute capacity can fuel existing software requirements, as well as whatever comes next – such as artificial intelligence-based applications. And we are about to see an explosion of innovation driven by AI-based capabilities reliant on the end point.

Together, the right silicon and hardware helps to orchestrate the employee experience, no matter what software or applications the business uses. Independent software vendors (ISVs) and system integrators can more easily deploy technology that is open, transparent, secure, and accessible.

The silicon-hardware-software connection can also provide benefits for IT management. Today’s hybrid work makes remote manageability — including patching and maintenance — a must-have. The right capabilities coordinated into compute and hardware can ease out-of-band management.

A tech village based on an open ecosystem can facilitate both a seamless PC experience for employees, as well as simplified IT management.

Closed versus open ecosystems

The pandemic demonstrated that a closed ecosystem makes it difficult to adapt and provide seamless employee experiences. IT management, for example, became challenging as tech staff had to remotely inspect and diagnose issues.

Walled-off systems can also stifle productivity and innovation. Outdated PCs often include complicated mashups of systems that have been bolted on. A lack of coordination between silicon, hardware, and software slows down overall device performance, causing employees to wait for systems to load or process workloads.

Similarly, closed ecosystems can inhibit the integration of next-gen solutions like AI, which requires processing capacity. Legacy devices simply don’t have the juice to power the future of work, and may even exacerbate security vulnerabilities.

Conversely, an open technology ecosystem allows employees to simply get to work, while streamlining IT management.

For example, PCs built with remote management capabilities give IT staff the ability to fix and secure devices across a highly distributed workforce — both inside and outside of the firewall, over the cloud. Teams can diagnose issues even when the operating system is down to repair drivers and application software.

In addition, organizations can mitigate the risks of remote work with PC fleets that have a solid chain of trust for full-stack security. The right combination of silicon, hardware, and software capabilities can provide protection from below the OS to the cloud. Organizations should seek an open tech ecosystem with a transparent supply chain, which asserts that security checks have been conducted throughout production of the device and helps IT gain visibility throughout the stack.

Chipmakers, hardware providers, ISVs, and system integrators working in concert seamlessly provide the connectivity, performance, and security that is critical for the hybrid workforce.

The Intel and Lenovo experience

Some of the largest tech companies in the world have partnered to provide robust PC experiences based on an open ecosystem that empowers today’s hybrid workforces, while enabling the future of work.

For example, Intel and Lenovo have collaborated closely for 30+ years to innovate for performance, security, and ease of IT management. The latest generation of Lenovo Think devices are powered by the Intel vPro® platform for built-in accelerators, security protections, and out-of-band management capabilities.

Furthermore, Lenovo offers Intel® Transparent Supply Chain (TSC), a set of tools, policies, and procedures implemented on the factory floor enabling customers to verify the authenticity of hardware components and systems.

In addition, the partners work within an open ecosystem and collaborate with third-party vendors to ensure their customers’ IT and business needs are not only met, but also exceeded.

Together, this tech village provides what organizations need to support their workforces, both today and tomorrow.

Discover how to modernize your PC fleet for a hybrid-first world. Visit: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/vpro/overview.html

[1] Microsoft Security Signals, March 2021; https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RWPStZ


Carla Rodriguez, Vice President, CCG and General Manager, Commercial Client Ecosystem, is responsible for managing a portfolio of third-party ISVs and solution providers across security, manageability, collaboration, and productivity to adopt and scale Commercial Client technologies leading with the vPro platform. Carla and her team set the ecosystem partner strategy to enable a “Best with Intel” hardware and software experience that unlocks value beyond the CPU.

Prior to this role, she was Chief of Staff and Technical Assistant to the GM and EVP of the Client Computing Group. She has held numerous other roles in finance throughout her 16-year career with Intel.

Carla is an active member of the Intel Latinx Leadership Council (ILLC) and created the CCG Latinx Leadership Council. She was awarded the Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever award from the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) and was named one of the Power 100 Women of the Channel by CRN in 2021.  

Carla received an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. She is married, has two daughters and lives in Portland, Oregon. She is also a small business owner, co-managing a boutique winery and vineyard in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with her husband George.

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