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VG Tuesday Tips: Managing Multi-site It Environments : 5 Must-have Tools For Lean It Operations

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Lean IT teams constantly work to eliminate repetitive manual processes that affect optimal utilization of team resources. Whether your team is using too much time to complete a simple manual process, performing repetitive tasks that could be automated, scrambling to solve common support tickets or simply bogged down by the large number of devices in the configuration, can impact IT operations. This is especially true for organizations managing multiple locations or multi-site IT environments. It doesn’t matter if you’re running IT for a school district with a variety of lab and classroom machines or a business with multiple branch offices and remote users, the challenge of establishing and maintaining stability can be daunting.

Lean IT operations can be achieved with the right tool set. Giving users the technology and support they need will allow them to perform more efficiently and making most of the limited resources available.

Here are five must-have tools for lean IT teams looking to simplify multi-site IT management:

  1. Asset Management (SAM/ITAM)

    You can’t afford to have gaps in your understanding of the IT setup. If there are rogue configuration items connecting to the network, you’re going to end up with cascading problems. A small security incursion can turn into hours of messaging users about any devices that may have connected to the network in order to identify the source. A simple app licensing evaluation can become a nightmare if you can’t view all of the devices with a given app installed on it. Poor asset management will undermine processes at every stage of a device or application’s life cycle.

    Nip visibility problems in the bud with asset management tools that empower teams to track device and system dispositions in real time. Modern asset management systems can:

    • Simplify monitoring so you can maintain licensing compliance and version control without jumping through clerical hoops.
    • Gather use statistics that help you understand how your assets are actually employed in action and identify which systems are the most valuable.
    • Optimize your support, management and hardware investment strategy through reports that help you identify the disposition of your configuration and how users interact with it on an ongoing basis.
  2. Mobile Device Management (MDM)

    Tasks that require simple data input can be handled by non-IT users. With more organizations accepting user-owned or user-managed devices into the configuration, IT teams can use mobile device management platforms to empower individuals to enroll their own devices into the setup. From there, IT can monitor, track and enforce compliance across these devices, but without all the operational overhead of manually enrolling and updating each device.

  3. Mobile Application Management (MAM)

    Let’s face it, mobile devices aren’t just popular because they’re cool – they’re popular because they’re useful. Supporting the wide range of apps that today’s users need can be overwhelming for IT teams. In a bring your own device or choose your own device plan, your IT department will need to:

    • Enforce update and patching processes across all apps on registered devices.
    • Monitor usage to ensure you aren’t paying for licenses users don’t take advantage of.
    • Release apps and provision them to authorized devices.
    • Manage network and device settings that dictate which users can purchase and install apps and what processes they must complete before doing so.
    • Create and monitor security and authentication best practices across the mobile app environment.
  4. Application Control

    Big-picture application management isn’t the only issue you need to consider. With multiple sites and mobile users moving between locations, you’ll also need to ensure users don’t download apps that aren’t authorized for your ecosystem. Building security controls into your app environment includes whitelisting apps and creating kiosks that ensure different user groups can easily get the applications they need while preventing them from completing unauthorized downloads.

    Beyond controlling the app environment, organizations must also consider how they track advanced threats, sophisticated malware and zero-day attacks out to the application layer. Look for solutions that empower you to put a barrier around your secure environment, track signs of an attack within systems, quarantine compromised assets and restore application or device settings as part of a remediation strategy.

  5. Simple Baseline Restoration

    Restoring a malfunctioning system can be one of the most time-consuming processes IT teams face. You need to identify what users did change, pin down why those alterations caused damages, undo the issues that emerged in the system and reconfigure settings to get the device back to full health. Reboot-to-restore tools, on the other hand, simply restore a system back to its last healthy settings by restarting the machine. This effectively makes a baseline configuration indestructible and automatically wipes out potential malware and similar threats.

    Managing a multi-site IT environment usually comes with a lot of operational overhead. The Deep Freeze Cloud platform comes equipped with these aforementioned tools to enable your team to embrace lean methodologies and simplify IT operations. And to get the control needed without overburdening IT or non-tech users with cumbersome policies and practices.

Original post from Faronics