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Windows Provisioning and BYOD

What is it?

Provisioning packages can be created and deployed to windows 10 devices by using Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (IDC). IDC creates provisioning packages which can be deployed to Windows 10 devices, including home devices which are not added to a domain. It allows quick configuration of a device without having to re-image. A provisioning packages is a set of rules that can be applied to both domain and non-domain (home) workstations / laptops and home devices, opening the door for a simplified approach to the complexities of managing a BYOD solution in the enterprise.

Why use it?

The key benefit of provisioning I see is to allow a set of configuration rules to be applied to non-domain devices (or those without enterprise operating systems). The packages can be built easily, and can be deployed over a network, or via USB / CD and email. It allows for a significant reduction in time and a simplified way to introduce a BYOD strategy, with options to separate corporate and personal data from users personal devices.

 

What can be configured?

Applications: What to install and what permissions
MDM – Mobile Device Management: Enrol devices to MDM tools
Certificates: Install security certificates to devices
Connectivity: add device to wifi and corporate network
Start menu and customization: Set policies for start menu, locked screen etc.
User Rights: set access privileges
Data: provide access to documents and media

A full list of Windows Provisioning settings are available from Microsoft here

What about group policy?

Group policy still plays a critical part in managing your domain, and Provisioning is not meant to replace this. Group policies are not applied to non-domain machines, so administrators should still ensure that these are configured correctly for domain management.

Final Thoughts

I see provisioning will compliment standard approaches to machine deployment, and definitely simplify to common occurrence of users working on their own devices. It can address some immediate needs for IT departments who may have been caught off guard with the push for a BYOD approach driven by different areas of the business and end-users. However, it is critical that this be used alongside a well thought of BYOD IT strategy including security and end user agreements.

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