3 Reasons a Robust Portal is a Must for Hybrid IT Environments
As cloud computing continues to experience exponential growth within the enterprise and SMB markets (IDC projects a 50% CAGR between 2012 and 2016, totaling $24 billion in cloud revenue by 2016), the hybrid IT environment is becoming a reality for many businesses. To better manage geographically disparate data resources and computing silos, IT management portals are becoming mission-critical assets for IT managers and technology service providers, allowing them to collaborate and measure with certainty against company/customer goals and objectives.
Without a robust and reliable IT portal, technology professionals can waste countless hours addressing mundane tasks and working tirelessly to report on network performance as well as efficiency gains and losses. Three key areas in which IT managers/service providers can benefit from a robust IT management portal are:
- Patch Management and Updates. Just because a company’s data, apps, and/or IT infrastructure are moved to the cloud doesn’t mean those services are automatically managed by the cloud provider. And, manually managing these updates is not a viable security strategy. According to the Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigation Report, one of the top critical security controls (CSC) an organization can put in place is “Continuous Vulnerability Assessment and Remediation,” which includes automated vulnerability scanning, port checking, and patch management solutions. Being able to access servers, computers and other IT assets remotely via a robust portal and performing patch management updates, application upgrades, and other preventative maintenance tasks not only enables IT managers and service providers to reduce security threats, but it also reduces the time spent addressing IT issues.
- Backup status. Backup and disaster recovery are essential for any business. Yet, even the best BDR solution is useless if users’ machines aren’t connected to the network/Internet or machines aren’t working properly when backups are running. These scenarios are well known to users who are used to physically logging into a network to verify whether a backup was performed. Using a robust portal, on the other hand, users can validate backups remotely, and they can receive email and text alerts if a scheduled backup is missed, which enables them to be more proactive and minimize data vulnerability risks.
- Labor Costs/Billing. For small, single-location companies, a robust portal can be a valuable resource that reduces an IT user’s labor time and improves a business’ protection strategies. For companies with multiple facilities and IT workers, and IT service providers with multiple customers, a robust portal is non-negotiable. The portal is the perfect tool to allow business managers to view IT labor usage across multiple locations and to use this real-time information for cost-cutting and productivity improvement initiatives. For IT service providers, the portal is an important resource for building a scalable and profitable business that can accurately capture services performed, manage multiple customers from a single screen, and automate the billing processes.
As IT environments become more complex and more companies migrate to hybrid environments, IT admins and service providers need to adopt the right tools to ensure the benefits realized from the new environment are not negated by data silos and security vulnerabilities. Using a robust IT management portal is an essential first step to achieving that reality.
For more cloud backup tips to protect your customers’ hybrid IT environments, be sure to check out: “Measures of Success in Backup and Recovery.”
By Neal Bradbury, Co-Founder, Vice President of Channel Development, Intronis, Inc.