Learn about service and configuration management tools that can be used to improve user experience.
Imagine being an employee who relies on your laptop to get your job done (just about all of us, right?). Now imagine receiving a text or email with a bar code and a message that your hard drive is showing signs of failure so you can swap the old unit for an identical, fully prepared replacement on your way into the office on your next day ‘in.’
How does this user experience compare to booting up your laptop one morning and having it fail? Now you have to open a ticket and wait for a replacement without a computer.
Which experience delights you? Are you offering this level of support to employees in your organization?
Next, imagine trying to secure the enterprise without ensuring that user devices are fully secure and/or without any links to HR transactions that enable you to know about changes in a person’s role or that they’re leaving the company.
The solutions to both are available, but they require knowing how to pull common IT tools together for an excellent user experience.
The Toolbox: There are a few tools that may need to be integrated to secure the enterprise and proactively manage the user experience:
Identity Access Management and HR Systems:
The first two are Identity Access Management and HR systems. These products allow organizations to provide access using HR triggers like onboarding, job changes, and terminations but also enable the provisioning of access based on an individual’s role. The key is to define the roles and integrate the access provisioning, modification, and termination directly to the HR systems that manage the transactions so they can be fully automated.
This is the only way to plug the gap when we rely on managers or HR to tell IT that someone has been terminated. From the moment an organization terminates someone, the organization is at risk of a malicious attack or data theft. No matter how much effort is placed on infrastructure vulnerability management and education, successful security programs rely on plugging the end-user gap caused by manual effort.
Delight New and Transitioning Employees
Once the organization has gone this far, the employee experience can also be transformed: it’s no small thing to ensure that a new hire or transitioning employee has the right equipment, software, and access on day 1. Determining a role’s birthright needs should extend beyond access to equipment and software, and the HR system should also be integrated into the service management or ticketing application. In this way, an onboarding, job change, or termination request can be automatically opened with workflow to ensure all the other needs are managed: badge access, desk/cube space, computing and telephony equipment, software, and accessories, for example. This delights employees with the ease of their transition.
User Device / Configuration Management Integration
The final part of the experience tripod is achieving true configuration management to the user device level and integrating it with artificial intelligence / robotic automation through the service management or ticketing tools along with software distribution software, lockers, and other innovative technologies. This how that first experience described comes together.
Service management and configuration management tools are adding dashboards with “device health scores” that can be taken to the user device level. Consider two sets of health measures: one for device health based on performance and error logs and a security vulnerability score for the date of last virus scan, software update, and check of patches needed for known vulnerabilities.
This can become daunting to manage, but integration and artificial intelligence can act on these scores automatically. Once thresholds are set with rules, an integrated software distribution system can deliver updates automatically to address missing patches, and outdated virus signatures.
When errors are noticed, incidents can be automatically opened, scripted for resolution where possible, or delivered to a desktop technician for proactive repairs. If needed, equipment is shipped or swapped via an integrated locker.
Both of these are examples of excellence in configuration management. They represent a mature state but one that is no longer optional.
Positive Business and Financial Results:
These solutions involve tools and integrations, which could become costly, but added together, a strong financial business case can be made:
- Mature configuration management of infrastructure against baselines and understanding the services a device supports are critical for effective vulnerability management. Combining this with lowered risk at the user device and access level increases the success of an organization’s security practice exponentially. One breach would cost more than the cost of purchasing and configuring the tools needed to achieve the results described in this blog.
- While helping to secure the enterprise, the device health scores and job transition automation improve the employee experience exponentially. Happy employees stay, and unhappy employees leave. Thus, by automating provisioning and getting proactive with end-user device management, employee retention improves, saving more money for the organization.
Security and employee satisfaction are the next mantras for IT. It’s time to become excellent.