Systems Management

Webinar Recap: Unveiling IT Blind Spots

Topics: Systems Management

A Candid Conversation with IT Pros 

We recently hosted a customer panel webinar, “Unveiling IT Blind Spots,” moderated by Danny Wheeler, Director of IT at Recast Software. The panelists included Nick Oliver, Deployment Administrator at DLR Group; Damien Solodow, Senior Systems Engineer at Gaylor Electric, Inc.; and Casey Clifton, Manager of Information Technology at Synovus. The discussion was rich with insights, challenges, and strategies around endpoint management and IT security. Let’s review the highlights of their conversation. 

Is Full Visibility a Pipe Dream? 

The panelists agreed that achieving 100% visibility in endpoint management is nearly impossible due to the ever-changing landscape of devices, software, and user behavior. Nick Oliver opened by stating, “It’s an ever-moving target. I don’t think it’s ever going to be a mission-accomplished scenario. The tools keep evolving. The devices keep multiplying.” 

Casey Clifton emphasized that both people and technology contribute to the complexity of tackling this challenge. The number of variables and the movement of those variables combine to create a web of complexity. The quest for complete endpoint visibility is not just a technical challenge but a dynamic puzzle that involves adapting to both human and machine variables. It’s a continuous endeavor, not a one-time achievement, requiring SysAdmins and IT Directors to stay agile. 

The Challenge of Harmonizing Tools 

When it comes to integrating multiple endpoint management tools, the panelists shared their struggles. Nick mentioned the difficulties in exporting and merging data from different tools, while Casey highlighted the silos within companies that often lead to redundant efforts.  

Casey elaborated on his reality and lived experience: “Every product claims to be the best in the space, right? But maybe we have some older stuff laying around or we have three or four different products that we’re trying to get all to communicate in one. And that has proven very difficult.” 

Additionally, when moderator Danny Wheeler asked Nick about challenges implementing new software tools, Nick responded, “The one roadblock that we run into with any new tool is what I call the ‘people roadblock’ where you might not have the right people to manage it . . . or not enough people.” 

In essence, the integration of multiple endpoint management tools isn’t just a technical hurdle; it’s also an organizational challenge marked by data silos and staffing issues. SysAdmins and IT Directors must navigate not only the complexities of disparate systems, but also the human factors that can stymie effective implementation. 

IT blind spots webinar recap

Unauthorized Devices and Applications 

The panelists agreed that managing unauthorized devices and applications starts with a strong policy backed by upper management. Nick Oliver shared how they found a middle ground between user needs and security policies, making the users feel like they were part of the solution.  

Damien then suggested where managers should start: “First, draw a line in the sand, and stop the hemorrhaging. You know, strip out admin rights and force people through a company portal or software center or some other app store where you can control what’s available to who.” 

The key to managing unauthorized devices and applications lies in a balanced approach that combines robust policies with user engagement. IT teams should aim for a strategy that not only enforces security, but also empowers users to be part of the compliance process. 

Key Takeaways 

  1. Visibility is a Moving Target: Don’t aim for 100% visibility; aim for manageable visibility. 
  1. Tool Harmonization is Tough: Be prepared for the challenges of integrating multiple tools and ensure you have a strategy for data reconciliation and the necessary skills on your team to utilize your software tools. 
  1. Policy is King: Before you can enforce any rules about unauthorized devices or applications, you need a clear policy. 
  1. User Involvement is Crucial: Engage with end-users to understand their needs and make them part of the solution. 

The Reality of Unveiling IT Blind Spots 

For those who missed the webinar, we highly recommend watching the full recording here to get the nuanced perspectives from our panelists. It’s not just about the tools you have; it’s also about how you use them and the strategies you employ to make the most out of your IT environment. 

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