The Basics Of Evergreen IT Management — A 101 Crash Course

If I would take the conversations I have with our clients, prospects, and partners as an indication, I would say that about 90% of enterprise IT teams are interested in Evergreen IT, but maybe only about 20% of them fully grasp the concept enough to know how to practically implement it. And it is an ambiguous concept unless you take the time to research it. This is made harder by the fact that, besides very few information sources, there isn't much information out there.

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Reduce Your IT Support Tickets With Automated Self-Service

According to a Zendesk study, organizations receive an average of 492 tickets per month — 69% of which could be resolved with a single touch. On average, these tickets cost $15.56 per ticket and take more than 24 hours to first respond. Based on my experience, it could take an additional 2-3 days to get the ticket resolved after the initial response has been sent.

Considering that the majority of tickets could be resolved within minutes rather than a full day, there is much room for improvement. Without improvement, there are drastic consequences for your organizations: 22 minutes of lost productivity per day per employee! And lost productivity means lost revenue.

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6 Simple, But Time-Consuming IT Tasks You Need To Automate Today

Between maintaining the current IT environment and driving innovation, IT departments have had to figure out how to manage their increasingly complex environments with fewer resources and less budget and time.

Automating otherwise time-consuming and labor-intensive tasks can not only enable you to chip away at your ever-growing workload faster, but can increase your ability to adapt to changes in your environment — two crucial success factors in today's evergreen IT landscapes.

But where do you start? Here are six simple, yet highly effective IT automation opportunities that you might not have explored yet, but are easily accomplished:

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4 Ways To Future-Proof Your Endpoint Management Automation Investment

When considering endpoint management automation, it is hard to know what you are getting into. There are various solutions that all have a slightly different angle and focus. Oftentimes, it is only afterwards that you realize you should have paid more attention to a specific feature that turns out to be crucial or made a certain integration a must-have requirement in the Request-for-Proposal process. 

But one thing is for sure: you will want to make sure that you pick an IT automation solution that is future-proof, scalable and agile enough. In the past few years, I found that it really comes down to four main considerations:

  • Your new solution needs to integrate with your existing infrastructure to provide an end-to-end solution. 
  • It needs to be extremely flexible and customizable to fit your needs — today and in the future — while centralizing fixes in an ever-growing repository. 
  • IT automation should also allow smart targeting by a large range of filters to enable you to apply automation to a few, to most, or to all of your devices. 
  • Lastly, it should be easy to use for your administrative staff as well as your end users to encourage adoption and wide-spread usage. 

Let's have a closer look at each of those points below.

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What These IT Support KPI's Are Telling You About Endpoint Management Automation

One of the biggest objections that IT professionals and executives face when trying to sell Endpoint Management Automation is: "WHY do we need it?" While the question from an executive management point of view is understandable, it can be frustrating as well. Deep down you are convinced of the benefits this will bring, but how can you convince them?

The good news is that this objection is easily answered by cold, hard numbers that can prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that implementing endpoint management automation isn't only a good idea, but will show tangible business results in terms of hard and soft saves. 

While every situation is unique, there are some crucial IT help desk key performance indicators that allow you to create a waterproof business case quickly and easily. 

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IT Help Desk: How To Nail Day 1 Of Your Windows 10 Migration Or Windows Servicing Rollout

Getting end users bought in and excited about moving to Windows 10 isn't always easy — not to speak of getting them on-board and actively engaged in a new Windows 10 version every six months! 

However, for many organizations, active user engagement is the key to Windows-as-a-Service deployment success. Instead of forcing updates on their end users, these companies, these enterprises are turning the tables and deliberately giving the end user not only a say as to when he or she wants to upgrade, but also the opportunity to play an active role in ensuring that everything is done to their satisfaction. 

Today, I want to walk you through three ways that you, as the IT help desk, can ensure that your users are getting the best user experience possible on "Day 1" of the upgrade.

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5 IT Support Preparedness Lessons Learned From The DOD Windows 10 Migration

Earlier this year, in April 2018, the US Department of Defense (DOD) reached a massive milestone that was a long, looong time coming: the (almost) completion of the Windows 10 migration!

Microsoft had announced in February 2016 that the DOD was committed to migrate all of its over four million devices to Windows 10 within one year (target deadline of  January 2017) — "an unprecedented move for a customer with the size and complexity of the DoD", as Microsoft called it.

For an agency that was spending approximately $38 billion annually on cyber-security and IT to protect sensitive security data that if breached or leaked could pose a service national security risk, running machines on unsupported or unsafe operating systems, such as Windows XP and Windows 7, is a disaster waiting to happen. 

Given the unimaginable complexity of their environment, it is a huge achievement — and an incredibly important one: The number one goal was "to strengthen our cyber security posture while concurrently streamlining the IT operating environment."

Looking at the migration project more carefully, there are very valuable lessons that we can learn for our "regular" Windows 10 migration and Servicing management! We picked out the five most impactful ones:

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Answered: The 15 Most Frequently Asked Questions During An Access Agent Demo

 If you have been thinking about scheduling your Access Agent demo and seeing our endpoint management automation tool in action, you probably have a million questions. While some of those probably pertain to your company's unique situation, a lot of questions are asked by almost everyone whom we give a product demo for.

These are very important and they have to be answered, but we feel your time with us is much better spent talking about your special concerns, so we answered the most frequently asked generic questions today so you don't have to ask them.

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How To Immediately Tighten Up Your Endpoint Security With IT Automation

2018 started off with a big bang for the IT industry because the newly-discovered CPU flaws, Meltdown and Spectre, could affect almost any processors in computers and mobile devices made in the past 20 years.

This is especially scary since these flaws can be exploited to gain access to encryption keys, passwords and other sensitive information by breaking the critical operating system memory defenses and then bypassing fundamental isolation layers — including those used by virtualization and container technologies!

Flaws like these quickly become part of a hacker's standard toolkit and it's only a question of time when these get exploited by ransomware attacks or in other malicious scenarios. Now Microsoft and other OS and CPU manufacturers are scrambling to create patches to fix the flaws — which in turn means IT has to hustle to deploy these patches as soon as possible.

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