Whether we like it or not we are all IT users now. Through the ubiquity of networks of devices that we rely on for information, security and day-to-day transactions even those who eschew technology now rely on it, even if they do not acknowledge it. The failure of these networks can lead to widespread disruption, unhappy customers, unproductive employees and lost business. Ensuring their availability, security and efficiency is a job for experts who need powerful tools to carry out the task.
Remote IT management
- In the average business 65% of employees now regularly use IT, 20% access IT remotely at some point and many others work in branch offices
The IT infrastructure all these workers rely on needs to be managed remotely, not just for the sake of the employees but also for the partners, suppliers and customers they are constantly interacting with electronically.
- Remote IT management needs to be proactive, continually ensuring the security of remote devices and the adherence of their users to policy
Management tools must allow IT managers or the staff of managed service providers (MSP) to run tasks that address widely dispersed groups of users as well as providing individual attention when required.
- Those managing IT need flexible access to the tools and the data they rely on, and must be able to share data easily
Hardware failure and new equipment deployment will still require IT managers to leave their normal place of work and they, too, have a right to the flexibility of working that they are enabling for their colleagues-IT management tools must be accessible from anywhere.
- The data the tools rely on must be up to date and accessible to a range of users
If business managers change the status of employees then this information must be immediately reflected in the actions of IT managers. MSPs must be able to easily and securely share this data with their customers.
- Such wide ranging access to management tools and data that is held in-house behind a firewall is hard to provide
Just as with email, collaboration tools and many business applications (e.g. CRM), there is a strong case to be made for the deployment of IT management tools using the software as a service (SaaS) delivery model.
- Using SaaS has additional benefits for all users of the system as it allows an aggregated view of IT usage for the benefit of a community of customers
Whilst the security of the data owned by individual organisations is paramount, the aggregation of anonymised data across the community is of great value, answering questions about usage trends, upgrade issues and providing advice on other commonly encountered problems.