With too many routine tasks, such as patch management and
network auditing, there's little time left for IT teams to lead
in innovation. Fortunately, automation tools come to the
There's a theory among some IT experts that many
organizations are stuck with a "two-speed" IT, where only half of
time of IT experts is spent on working with leading edge
technologies that can provide competitive advantage for the
company, while the other half is spent on dull maintenance tasks
such as patching and upgrading. Actually, the real problem is that
this boring half can take up about 80% of IT department's time,
making it difficult for IT staff "just to keep the lights on".
Maintenance work is essential, especially in securing your
network, but should this really take up 80% of your team's
resources, so there's no time (or energy) left to evaluate new
products and technologies? There are other methods to spend less
time on the mundane. DevOps is one, where in-house developers work
hand in hand with the operations folks. The end-result is less
support requests for the infrastructure needs of the developers,
and the fact that many of their environments are moved to the cloud
contributes to this result. The move into the cloud in general also
cuts down on IT work, as the cloud provider manages hardware,
storage and software updates, and is responsible for securing the
applications they host.
But what if your company is "stuck" with on premise IT
infrastructure? If you need to take special care of compliance,
data retention, user-data security (who said HIPAA?), or your management is just not buying
in into the cloud story, then there's no other way for you to
improve operations but to call in automation to the rescue.
Sysadmins today have a lot of tools available, which can automate
patching, seamlessly keep anti-virus definitions up to date, and
block data breaches in the background without a lot of human
How can you automate daily maintenance tasks?
If you want to spend more time on fun, cool, leading edge
technologies that can be useful for your or your business, it's
obvious you need to find a way to spend less time on IT
infrastructure maintenance. But can you do so without sacrificing
security, stability, or usability?
Let's look at what Dr. Rob Carruthers did. Dr. Carruthers
runs Bayview Medical Clinic, a family practice in Nanaimo, BC,
Canada, and acts as the de facto IT chief of this institution. As
many other healthcare organizations with scarce IT support
resources, this clinic had trouble in keeping software up to date
and their infrastructure safe. With ransomware hitting US
healthcare sector hard – 96% of all ransomware is detected to be targeting
at medical treatment centers – it was essential to have
an IT system that is always patched and secured as much as
"Two PCs had Windows Update turned off completely for
almost two years, and on another two PCs anti-virus software had
stopped updating their anti-virus files six months earlier,"
says Dr. Carruthers describing just some of the issues he faced,
and adds: "In particular, Java and heavily used Adobe products
such as Acrobat, Reader and Flash Player were all basically
hopelessly out of date. We also had multiple browsers installed,
and there was no business need for this."
Looking for a way to reduce IT maintenance work and keep his PCs
patched, Dr. Carruthers tried out GFI's LanGuard. "All
obvious patches and vulnerabilities are now identified and actively
managed in a time efficient manner," explains Dr. Carruthers
the benefits of using
LanGuard. This tool proved to be a huge time saver, especially
on Microsoft's Patch Tuesday, when the software giant releases
its monthly set of patches and updates.
"I can now efficiently maintain the entire network of 12
PCs, and pushing upgrades on the weekends or evenings, while the
office is closed, is very easy. I benefited mainly in time, but
also in avoiding additional costs – if I contracted out patch
and vulnerability management to an external IT company, I would be
paying a $150 an hour for that service," concludes Dr. Rob
For more information about how Dr. Carruthers used GFI LanGuard
to create a secure IT environment in the clinic he leads, and to
save time and money, check out this
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