Do More with More (for Less)
December 19, 2022
I was listening to Ben Thompson’s interview with Satya Nadella the other day and something Satya said jumped out at me:
Microsoft helps you do more with less
Maybe it was Office 365 that helps you do that, or Teams (with it’s outstanding integration to Office 365 relative to competitors)? But the point is, it came up on their earnings call this week again.
Do more with less.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear “do more with less” I find it to be code for: “David, you’re gonna have to work harder to get the same things done.”
Aside from my personal biases, sometimes you simply can’t do with less.
Do More With More
Here at BackBox we automate network management and security in a multi-vendor, multi-deployment model, multi-device world.
Companies are not that simple. Whether it’s healthcare where decision making (and budgeting) is federated, or manufacturing where M&A constantly changes the internal network landscape… companies choose a variety of overlapping products.
They don’t always have the luxury of “streamlining” procurement. And, in my experience, even when they do, there are always exceptions.
If you have multiple vendors at the “network layer” you’ll have multiple vendor tools for backups and patch management (OS updates).
To be clear, that’s not all that we can do for network and security administrators, but let’s just focus on those two things for simplicity.
Admins have to go to their Cisco tools, write scripts, apply patches, make sure patches were successful, make sure backups were successful, etc.
Then they go to their Check Point tools, and do all that work to accomplish the same outcomes (a verified backup and patch management strategy) but because it’s a second vendor, it’s a second set of tools and techniques.
And so on. Each vendor has a slightly different way of doing things, a slightly different menu placement or syntax, or alert propagation.
While it would be nice to choose one vendor, it’s not nearly practical in any reasonable way. And, as I mentioned above, even when a company does standardize, there are always exceptions or new business activities that add complexity.
Complexity is the Silent Killer
Satya is obviously biased. He wants you to choose one vendor to make it easier, and wants it to be Microsoft!
He’s not wrong about his reasoning though. Complexity kills productivity. Complexity costs companies in very real ways:
87% of organizations have experienced an attempted exploit of an already-known, existing vulnerability” (Check Point Cyber Security Report)
Companies are vulnerable to things that have already been fixed! How can that be?! It’s the complexity of knowing what’s going on, managing it all in a multi-vendor environment, etc.
Satya would have you believe you can just get rid of the “multi” and go right back to doing more. I respectfully disagree.
Let’s think about what Satya is really selling.
He wants companies to do more with less, with the assumption that less = less expensive.
Do More WITH More FOR Less
BackBox helps network and security admins win by driving down costs without the prerequisite of reducing complexity.
There’s no reason to compromise on product choice, or twist your systems architecture into knots just to limit vendor choice. With BackBox you get the elegance of a single vendor solution without the limits that a single vendor solution imposes.
BackBox provides a single admin platform to keep track of your (unavoidable) multi-vendor, multi-cloud network landscape.
Need to restore from backup? You don’t ask your Cisco tools, and your Palo Alto Networks tools, and Check Point Tools… OK, you get the idea. You just restore from BackBox.
Need to make sure all security patches were properly applied? Again, same streamlined benefit.
One place to go to monitor, check, and fix saving admins time while ensuring better outcomes.
All that complexity and scripting and double checking each vendors’ tools for every backup and patch… that’s an expense that can be so easily avoided.
The cost of avoidable mistakes? Gone.
Here’s a report on cost reduction from automation for MSSPs, but the general math holds true for all complex environments so I encourage you to have a look.
Let me touch on the better outcomes bit because no one saves their way to growth. In the end, it’s about doing more in the most efficient way possible.
With BackBox there’s a single “pane of glass” view on all your network and firewall administration, resulting in fewer opportunities for errors. There’s less automation to manage, debug, version, etc.
Less repetitive manual automation work = less expensive + happier employees.
There’s also the opportunity to do deeper automation work because you’re doing it in one place, once, rather than multiple places and trying to be consistent across a variety of tools and platforms.
More automation = less expensive.
When you can’t do with less, you can get even more FOR less with BackBox, a tool trusted by over a thousand technology, MSP, and MSSP partners, and customers and used to manage more than 100,000 networks (and counting).