Addressing 2023 IT Challenges
February 20, 2023
Catching up on some reading over the holiday weekend, and I can’t be alone in already being a month behind on things just six weeks into the year!
CIO Magazine has a feature about the top 9 challenges IT leaders will face in ’23.
It’s worth reading. They’re not very detailed points, but they form an overall feeling about what we can expect in ’23:
- Smart spending, in part leveraging the cloud
- Finding ways to make work rewarding, in part to heal from burnout
As I said, there are others, I’m summarizing because BackBox addresses both the technology issues and the social issues IT leaders face. In fact, real leaders don’t separate the technical from the social as I share how BackBox blends both below.
Technology is getting more complex, and people want to work on the latest stuff. Cloud (technical) is important, and it’s where people want (social) to spend their time.
The BackBox Network Automation Platform deals with network and security device complexity. Companies often start with simple outcomes: reliable backups, simple software updates, and technical inventory. Then they find value in more advanced automations like compliance and inventory management.
With BackBox, companies can get better results on the activities people don’t want to spend time on, while allowing people to work in the areas that draw their interest. From a company perspective, employees get to spend time on activities that move the business forward, while BackBox automates day-to-day time-consuming administrative work.
It’s not always obvious to those on the outside of automation that automation can have a huge impact on security.
Automation helps with security in two key ways:
- Device software updates. Software is updated for one of two reasons. (1) new features, and (2) security vulnerability patches. Needless to say, the second is more common. Unfortunately, updates don’t happen as often as they should because they’re needlessly complex, even while the cyber security experts agree:
patching remains the single most important thing you can do to secure your technology, and is why applying patches is often described as ‘doing the basics’
- Manual network configuration mistakes cost companies about 9% of revenue. This is a powerful stat because it’s specific to network configurations. Other stats are less specific, like Verizon’s study that shows 13% of breaches happen because of configuration errors.
BackBox simplifies software updates, even for older versions of software that require “multi-step” updates. And, automations keep your network safer, and keep your business running more cost effectively.
Companies need more diversity. They need to hire people without the necessary skills and train them. They need to acknowledge the crazy workloads and help humans (not ‘resources’!) with burnout.
From a practical perspective, companies need also to protect themselves as there seems to be a skills shortage, in particular around technical network operations and network security.
How does BackBox help?
Again, two ways.
First, we can automate the drudgery. Let’s face it, logging into 100’s of routers, or 10’s of firewalls, to make a minor administrative change (say, changing a password rule, or turning off or on a port) can be mind-numbing. Hence the high costs from the commonality of manual errors.
Automating the drudgery reduces the complexity, improves security, makes people do their jobs faster and better (and yes, cheaper too)… and it also enables people to have time to work on “better things”.
Better for them. Better for the company.
Second, we have some unique access management capabilities.
We can record terminal sessions for auditing and training. We make heavy use of roles so that only the right people can perform the right tasks.
Our automations are script-less. No coding required. This means that people can understand what’s happening without learning python or whatever.
Working with BackBox support, teams can take existing automations, clone them, and customize them to their own needs. BackBox support will be right there to help enabling new people to easily come up to speed and automate operations.
One Final Point
I was at Palo Alto Ignite recently with one of our top North American sales engineers. While doing a demo for a booth visitor he remarked “I can get you setup and have a backup running on all of your devices in 30 minutes”.
After the visitor left, I looked at him and said, “I’ll promise 60 minutes just to keep it safe”.