Mar 04 2024

Why Small Businesses Should Consider Adopting Windows Autopilot

The cloud-based service simplifies how devices are deployed and reset. Here’s why it’s worth the hype.

For many small businesses, setting up, preconfiguring and resetting devices is time-consuming and costly. Now, the relatively new cloud-based deployment and management service Windows Autopilot, available through a Microsoft 365 subscription, is simplifying the process. It’s also reducing IT workloads and ensuring greater security across the device ecosystem.

According to a recent Forrester report commissioned by Microsoft, deployment and provisioning using Autopilot saves several hours per device implementation, adding up to $93,000 over three years.

Here are some of the essentials to know about Windows Autopilot and how it can help small businesses:

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Getting Started with Autopilot

Autopilot is available for purchase on Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows Pro, and Microsoft Entra ID Plans 1 and 2. Once customers determine the right licensing plan, they can opt to pay monthly or annually. The annual fee is a greater savings overall.

Autopilot integrates with Microsoft 365 services such as Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory), providing a comprehensive device management solution for small businesses. Once subscribed, IT leaders can use the Microsoft Endpoint Manager console to manage Autopilot profiles for device deployment.

What Are Some Benefits of Autopilot?

Simplified deployment: Autopilot makes deployment easier by allowing IT administrators and managed service providers to preconfigure settings and policies for new devices before they reach end users. This reduces the time and effort of any manual setups.

Mobile device management: Autopilot automatically creates a back-end database connecting hardware hashes to customer tenants, freeing up IT staff to perform more innovative tasks.

Enhanced security: During initial setup, Autopilot enforces security policies and configurations on devices to ensure consistency and compliance.

RELATED: Keep endpoints secure with the right mobile device management solution.

Remote management: Autopilot enables IT administrators and managed service providers to monitor and manage devices from anywhere with an internet connection. This is especially beneficial for businesses with remote or distributed workforces, as IT personnel can access the Autopilot portal to see the range of devices in use.

User self-service: With Autopilot, end users can set up their own devices with minimal IT intervention. Employees simply power on the device and connect to a network, and Autopilot takes care of the rest, including device enrollment, configuration and application installation.

Making Sure Autopilot Fits with the Rest of Your Business

A small business can also engage a tech partner such as CDW to install everything on a device before it ships to an end user. If it’s a handful of devices at once, CDW can work with your IT team to set them up in person and ensure that Autopilot is compatible with the rest of your tech stack.

IT leaders can also customize the out-of-box experience for Autopilot on their devices, including branding, welcome messages and terms of service. This helps create a consistent and professional experience for users across all devices.

READ MORE: How can these small business solutions and services help your team?

Ultimately, Microsoft Autopilot offers small businesses a convenient way to deploy, configure and manage Windows devices, saving them time and resources.

This article is part of BizTech's AgilITy blog series.


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