Automated Endpoint Management Is a Force Multiplier

April 2023
IT Automation

The IT talent gap creates significant challenges across all industry sectors. Approximately two-thirds of organizations say staff shortages inhibit their ability to adopt important technologies. Meanwhile, roughly the same proportion of IT workers say they feel overworked and burned out.

Increased IT automation addresses the challenge from both angles. Using software to automate a variety of time-consuming manual processes reduces the IT burden and mitigates the impact of staff shortages through increased efficiency. Gartner analysts say increased automation enables organizations to refocus 30 percent of their current IT operations efforts.

Without question, staff shortages have important bottom-line consequences. On average, IT service desks receive more than 700 support requests each month, with an average response time of more than 24 hours. No business can afford to keep employees waiting for a full business day to get computer issues addressed.

Wait times will only increase as shortages become more acute. Five years ago, analysts considered 70:1 to be an ideal end-user-to-IT-staff ratio. Today, the median ratio is 200:1. If you can’t increase headcount to create a more manageable ratio, the clear solution is to use automation as a force multiplier.

The Burden of Inefficiency

Endpoint management is one area in which automation can deliver immediate benefits. With the transition to remote work, IT teams today are often tasked with provisioning and managing hundreds or even thousands of endpoint devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets and VoIP phones. In many organizations, this is still a largely manual process that can take several hours per device.

Manual provisioning typically requires technicians to image devices, which involves capturing the current state of an operating system, drivers, applications, configurations and personalized settings and copying it to the new device. This is not only time-consuming, but has some significant limitations. For example, images captured on one piece of hardware can only be deployed to similar hardware.

After devices are configured and deployed to users, ongoing management and maintenance consumes an inordinate amount of IT staff resources. Patch management, for instance, is among the most time-consuming, challenging and exasperating tasks for internal IT teams. According to the SANS Institute, it can take 30 days or more to coordinate the testing and application of a single patch across all affected devices. Considering vendors often release hundreds of patches per month, the process can quickly become an administrative quagmire.

Flipping the Script

SageNet helps customers automate endpoint configuration and management with a zero-touch process that cuts imaging time from three to four hours per device to 30 minutes or less. Technicians don’t have to visit the user’s desk to complete the installation process. When a device first connects to the network, the user’s login triggers an onboarding process that applies security policies and relevant business rules, and gives the user access to authorized apps and resources.

Automation reduces setup time by 90 percent and provisioning cycle time by more than 85 percent. It also reduces human error, improves compliance management and eliminates the hardware compatibility issues of traditional imaging processes.

We can also make it easier to keep operating systems and applications up to date with automated patch management. All endpoints on the network are scanned to determine which devices and applications need patching, and patches can be installed as soon as they are available or at specific times based on rules you create. This cuts time spent on patching activities by 90 percent and dramatically reduces exposure from software vulnerabilities.

Short-staffed IT teams are constantly urged to find ways to do more with less. Automated endpoint provisioning and management is a proven way to achieve that goal. Contact us to learn more.

Nathan Jones

Nathan Jones

Architectural Sales Engineer

Networking is at the core of anything we do dealing with customers – you have to have connectivity. The equipment and everything else grows from that on a step-by-step basis. Even from SageNet’s perspective as a Managed Services provider, it’s still true and always will be. The networking is a fundamental for everything you do in telecom. We support that and help customers grow with that as the foundation.

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