Managing IT is about staying one step ahead in time, says Kaseya
Many of the requirements of technology users end up percolating up the IT “chain”.
End-users trying to achieve a day’s work need a reliable and safe platform on which to work, and one that’s capable of altering (sometimes with little notice) to cope with changes in business demand or work practices.
It’s up to the IT function in an organization (a managed service provider or internal IT department) to make the necessary changes or bring new hardware and software to empower the users. Therefore, companies supplying MSPs or IT departments with the tools that are demanded tend to be one step ahead of the game; to be viable in business terms, they need to be on top of market trends and aware of where the technological landscape is headed.
A powerful way of measuring direction and assimilating the changing picture of demands is via the annual survey of MSPs undertaken by Kaseya, a company that specializes in supplying IT infrastructure and management solutions to MSPs and IT departments all over APAC. The company, headquartered in New York, learns from IT managers what end-users and management demands are presented and is, therefore, well-positioned to supply solutions capable of satisfying five demanding criteria, as follows.
Kaseya’s success relies on the company offering solutions that are, without fail:
- Capable of fitting into a wide range of legacy technology stacks.
- Safe in terms of cybersecurity and legislative governance, in different geographies.
- Simple to manage, but not at the expense of overall capability.
- Able to provide an ROI in purely practical business terms.
- Fit for a future measured in years, not months.
With the 2019 survey soon to be published, at Tech Wire Asia we were lucky enough to talk to the professionals compiling the survey results and are able, therefore, to show some of the ways that the landscape is changing for MSPs and IT managers all over the APAC region.
Additionally, Kaseya produces a whitepaper on the differences in approach exhibited by MSPs it terms of “bionic MSPs” – those companies that are considered exceptional performers in supplying IT services.
We hope that by combining the results from the “grass-roots” survey and drawing out the vital behavior patterns of the market leaders, we can show how your organization can make a significant difference to business functions in any sector.
Remote monitoring & management is changing
While still at the absolute core of maintaining a viable IT infrastructure, the tools being used are adapting as topologies and working methods change over time. While there’s been a great deal of talk in the technology press about a so-called stampede to cloud platforms, the reality is not quite that.
Organizations are moving some (but by no means all) of their IT stack in public or private clouds. RMM solutions, therefore, need to be capable of coping with a flexible infrastructure: on-premise, public cloud, or most commonly, hybrid cloud.
End-users in the business tend not to differentiate between locally-hosted services and those running elsewhere, be that an Azure SharePoint instance on the other side of the globe, or an app running on an Alibaba-hosted cluster. However, they require the same levels of low-overhead yet effective monitoring and protection.
The latest tools available provide automated, ad hoc and/or policy-driven deployment of remediation, software deployments, patches, and infrastructure management across complex networks from a single point of reference.
The changing definition of ‘service’
IT functions in the business and MSPs historically offered a reactive, break-fix service. Increasingly there is demand, driven at least in part by XaaS (anything-as-a-service) mindsets, for a regular all-encompassing service that brings on board new technologies as and when they’re required, according to the end-users’ needs. Under a single umbrella scheme, for example, IT might offer possibilities in multi-factor authentication or snapshot backups of vital applications generated by abstraction of storage in the data center.
Security is more than monthly DR drills
With pressures placed on (especially smaller) private data center providers by the larger cloud providers, many are starting to extend the BDR (backup disaster recovery) to include physical infrastructures as stand-by provisions. Ready-to-go offices, complete with dedicated compute & store, client hardware, and virtualized desktops are looking increasingly attractive in a world increasingly plagued by malware & ransomware.
Endpoint protection remains a very high priority, but the nature of endpoints has shifted significantly to include ubiquitous handhelds being walked daily into workspaces to join the LAN. Personalized protection solutions are coming on-stream that cover off multiple Android versions, iOS phones and tablets: even the Linux laptops found in IT offices can also be protected.
In hybrid topologies, network monitoring is as vital a way of detecting anomalies as it is in ensuring smooth and scalable traffic flows. As hardware becomes more powerful, software abstraction of network layers becomes more viable for even smaller businesses. However, whether the network platform is physical hardware or virtualized, cybersecurity protection is an ongoing stalwart of IT provision, with the latest technologies required at endpoints, on the perimeter, and inside the network (so-called east-west traffic monitoring).
“password” is not a password
With apps and services spun up with ease by companies, departments, working groups or even individuals, password management is becoming very important in today’s workplace, Kaseya has found. Single Sign-On (SSO) solutions are becoming increasingly necessary, as users can now forget more passwords than ever before (!) and therefore increasingly use easy-to-remember credentials (read ‘insecure’), share passwords with colleagues, and use the same credentials on personal apps and websites as those in the workplace.
Even in reasonably basic Office 365 systems, individuals can set up Groups and Teams and share credentials to create shortcuts to collaboration, outside of IT’s policy guidelines.
Single sign-on, and multi-factor authentication management systems help protect organizations’ security and make life easier for workers. Additionally, password management becomes self-service, with IT departments or contracted MSPs able to create and shut down multi-layered, granular privilege accounts with ease.
In some cases, single-vendor stack environments can be protected by that vendor’s offerings, but this is not always the case, and in any event, 99 percent of organizations use many different applications and services, so third-party MFA/SSO solutions are necessary.
As and when Kaseya’s 2019 survey becomes available, it’s sure to be featured on these pages – watch this space! But until then, you can learn more from Kaseya about transforming your business into a bionic MSP, or if you’d like to talk about the services available from Asia & Australasia’s best supplier to IT departments and MSPs, get in touch with a representative local to you, today.
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