System administrators know that managing desktops and endpoints can be a time-consuming and often overwhelming task. Whether they are responsible for a few dozen endpoints or several hundred, the daily grind of managing updates, software deployments, and security policies can easily consume your entire day. Fortunately, with the right tools and strategies, IT admins can automate many of these tasks and free up their time to focus on more important initiatives. In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of automating IT tasks with desktop management software.
What is task automation?
Task automation essentially takes the robot out of the human. It is the use of technology to minimize the manual efforts required to perform both simple and complex tasks. For example, visiting a quick-service restaurant requires patrons to stand in line to place their orders with a front-line taker. Today, these tasks are automated by self-ordering kiosks: customers can place their food orders at the touch-screen kiosk without the involvement of a cashier or server. Customers can customize their orders, make payments, and get receipts from the self-servie kiosk.
What type of tasks can be automated?
Any task that follows a certain sequence of rules or steps can be automated. Certain characteristics of a task suggest it could (or should) be easily controlled by automation.
- Repetitive tasks – Any task that involves a particular number of steps and must be performed multiple times in a period can be automated.
- Frequent tasks – Large volume tasks that need to be carried out multiple times in an hour, day, or week (e.g., data backups in the IT industry).
- Simple tasks – Any task that does not require problem-solving or complex information can be easily automated (e.g., post job openings on multiple sites).
- Scheduled tasks – Tasks that regularly occur at the same time on a particular day of each week or month (e.g., scheduling social media posts).
- Predictable task – A planned element of regular workflow or process is a predictable task (e.g., document workflow management).
- Collaborative task – Collaborative tasks are planned tasks and activities run by a group of people with the help of systems and tools (e.g., assigning a list of tasks to a user).
- Trigger-based tasks – Any task that involves a particular action to trigger a specific response can be automated (e.g., Out-of-Office email responses).
- Labor intensive – When activities require intensive manual efforts and do not need decision-making abilities, they can be automated (e.g., data entry tasks).
IT tasks you can automate today
Automation can apply to a wide range of IT tasks, from software deployments and patch management to inventory management and security policy enforcement. By automating these tasks, businesses can save time and resources, reduce errors, and improve the overall quality of their IT services. Let’s take a closer look at tasks that can be automated by desktop management software:
- Patching – Keeping endpoints such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones up to date with the latest security patches is important for maintaining a secure environment. The automated patch management process allows IT admins to completely automate the different stages of patching.
System administrators can schedule scans to identify patches on computers and download missing patches automatically from respective vendors. After deploying necessary patches across the network of computers, teams can schedule reports to keep them notified about the success of the patching process.
- Software deployment – Deploying software to multiple devices spread out across different parts of the world is a challenging task. Some desktop management software tools have predefined software templates that can be used to automate the software package creation.
These software templates can be used to create a package and deploy it on target computers at once. This can save hours of manual effort, and it ensures that all endpoints are using the same version of the software.
- Inventory management – IT inventory management involves identifying, managing, and maintaining the hardware and software assets of an organization. With a manual inventory system, teams need to manually compile and reconcile all assets, which is often labor-intensive and prone to errors.
Desktop management tools can set scanning intervals to automatically collect inventory information from each endpoint, making it easy to keep track of software licenses and hardware configurations. IT teams get up-to-date IT inventory information at any time, with no manual intervention.
- Security policy automation – Manual monitoring responsibilities put stress on the IT staff. Policy automation helps companies monitor the security status of their systems to ensure systems do not become points of data exfiltration and security threats are kept at bay.
Desktop management software automates the process of applying security updates, configuring firewalls, and enforcing strong password controls, making it easier to maintain a secure environment.
- Remote control and support – Providing remote support is a critical part of a system administrator’s job. With remote desktop management software, administrators can provide remote control and support capabilities, allowing them to troubleshoot issues and assist users without needing to be physically present.
With the right desktop management software, IT admins and organizations can experience the following benefits from automation:
- Time Savings
- Error Reduction
- Business Efficiency
- Process Excellence
- Audit Readiness
- Continuous Process Improvement
Automating IT tasks with desktop management software can help system administrators save time, reduce errors, and improve the overall quality of IT services. IT teams can use their time, resources, and mental prowess in strategic initiatives.
When selecting desktop management software, it’s important to consider factors such as feature set, scalability, ease of use, compatibility, and cost. With the right tools and strategies, IT teams can experience significant improvements in efficiency, security, and compliance, and keep your IT environment running smoothly.