Systems Management

Q & A with SysAdmin Superstars: Jannik Reinhard

Topics: Systems Management

In this edition of Q & A with SysAdmin Superstars, we delve into the world of endpoint management and IT security with Enterprise Mobility MVP, Jannik Reinhard. At just 26 years old, Jannik has quickly ascended to the forefront of modern device management and AI-powered IT operations as a Senior Solution Architect and technical lead of AIOPS at BASF, the world’s largest chemical company.

Jannik’s dedication to innovation and knowledge-sharing has positioned him as a pivotal figure in the IT community. Beyond his professional accolades, he contributes significantly to the largest LinkedIn and Discord Intune forums. From his base in Annweiler, Germany, Jannik not only shapes the future of endpoint management at BASF, but also actively engages with a global audience, sharing his expertise, insights, and pioneering solutions. Join us as we explore Jannik Reinhard’s journey, from his early fascination with technology to his status as an MVP, and his vision for the future of IT operations and security.

Jannik Reinhard

Paint a picture of your household growing up. Could 10-year-old Jannik imagine your current successes within the Microsoft arena, including your MVP status? Could your family?

From a young age, technology and computers fascinated me, making my career not just my job but my passion. Despite being only 26, I’ve dedicated a decade to IT. Achieving MVP status was beyond my and my parents’ expectations—it was not my initial goal with blogging, yet it’s a milestone I hold in high regard.

Reflecting on your journey, could you share a moment or project that steered you towards specializing in Intune and modern device management? How has this focus shaped your career path?

Since the inception of Microsoft Intune, I was captivated by its potential, even choosing it as the subject of my final educational project. After briefly working in another area, I returned to this field, aiming to delve as deeply as possible into the product and Azure, and to learn as much as I could. I was fortunate to participate in a project where almost all our endpoints were migrated to a cloud-only management system.

With your experience in AIOPS and leveraging AI for IT operations, what strategies would you recommend for SysAdmins to shift from reactive to more proactive operations? How can tools be optimized in this approach?

I envision an increasing role for AI across all sectors in the years ahead, offering boundless potential and opportunities. I also foresee a transformation in device management, for example, with tools like the Security Co-Pilot, as well as changes in how both administrators and users will work in the future. My vision is to achieve a state where the environment is so well automated that problems are detected early and resolved automatically. Additionally, administrators will gain rapid insights that would not be possible without this new technology.

Given your recent work on creating an Intune Co-Pilot using Azure OpenAI Studio and GPT Remediation creator, what do you see as the next (or current) frontier for AI and machine learning in endpoint management and security?

Generally, I see no limits—only more opportunities. I think with the Security CoPilot, Microsoft has launched a very good product that effectively combines their offerings, and this is precisely the potential of AI. There are more and more tools and data available and integrating them will likely be one of the next trends. An administrator should no longer have to search for data sources or identify current problems; the AI should deliver this information directly to them.

From your perspective, what are the most frequent oversights you see organizations make in managing and securing their endpoints? Could you share best practices?

A common oversight is not adopting a cloud-native mindset. I think if you go in the direction of Intune management but can’t separate yourself from the on-premise way of thinking, I see this as a mistake. Of course there is software, devices, requirements that cannot or are not allowed to go into the cloud, but there are solutions for everything.

While your expertise centers on Microsoft technologies, are there any non-Microsoft tools or practices you integrate to enhance endpoint security and management? How do these complement your work with Intune?

I think Microsoft has very good products and answers for most requirements. Of course, the larger an environment, the more requirements there are that cannot always be covered out of the box. Azure presents limitless opportunities for crafting custom solutions to bridge these gaps.

However, there are also some great 3rd party solutions like Recast, Patch my PC, and others on the market. With the Intune Suite, Microsoft also has a good strategy to collect many 3rd party products. I’m generally a fan of the “less is more” philosophy.

What advice would you give to young professionals aiming to excel in IT and potentially earn recognition as an MVP one day?

Find joy in your work. I don’t think it’s good to set the goal of becoming an MVP for yourself and only do community work for that reason. In IT, I think it’s very important to have the right mindset. Always be open to learning new things and to sharing what you’ve learned.

That’s also how I started blogging. My goal was to deal with new things, to write them down so that I can read about them and share them with others.

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