Automation is an integral part of modern tech and has rapidly replaced several manual tasks with speedy, effortless workflows that not only help in saving productive human hours but are usher in more accuracy, dependability, and consistency for mission-critical tasks. The reality of automation is, however, not so straightforward. Having an MDM solution with automation capabilities is the safest bet the IT admins can take in order to successfully implement IT automation. In this article, let us discuss quick pointers to implement IT automation with ease.
Need for automation in device management
When it comes to IT device management or overall mobility management in an organization, the IT tasks are complex, repetitive, and need customization. The need for automation is real- the IT teams are burdened with tasks that include provisioning of a large device inventory, pushing security configurations and digital certificates for easy authentication, monitoring the entire device inventory for location, security, and compliance. Further, they also have to create device/task-specific reports to analyze and streamline the device management further. Automation of several tasks means hours of complex coding, testing, and troubleshooting. The IT teams involved in automating device management often shy away from automation because of the coding it involves and the probability of everything going downhill is high, which further creates complexities, as well as security and compliance concerns that they do not want to deal with.
Automation is nothing but mapping the human tasks and creating structured patterns that the machine can imitate without human intervention, hence it is also critical that the task patterns are created with utmost accuracy, with shortest paths and the desired results are well-evaluated in order to have the base for automation. When companies embark on the mobility journey, they do not want to include the additional responsibility of automating the device management tasks on their development teams, hence investing in the right MDM partner that has automation capabilities can be incremental in saving productive IT time with minimum effort.
Importance of successful automation implementation
Automation is not necessarily (and possibly) an all-encompassing activity, at least not at the moment. Automation might be available for a few parts of the tasks or operations in device management and you should leverage whatever automation available. Identify the most common, repetitive tasks that take a lot of IT time and are yet not 100% accurate. These are the tasks you should opt to automate first, before moving to the rest. This includes tasks such as update management or rebooting unattended devices for instance. Identifying the key automation areas can help in narrowing down the automation efforts and significantly help in reducing the time spent in automation development in general
You also need to integrate these tasks with software processes and web services to streamline your overall workflow. For example, you could use readymade PHP scripts to schedule and execute various operational processes such as appointment booking, delivery and rentals through an online system
The next step is to evaluate the workflows, understanding the primary difficulties and challenges that come in the way of automation, and starting on a small set of devices for testing out automation before rolling out the automation for the entire device inventory. This can help the IT team in identifying the degree of success, mitigating errors in the automation processes if any, and then
Let us see how Scalefusion helps in implementing automation for key areas to save productive IT efforts:
1. MDM sign up and adding users using active directory
Automating the process of dashboard access with the help of AD integration such as G-Suite, Office 365, Azure AD or SAML Sign-up using Okta can help in saving multiple signup steps, enabling your IT admins to seamlessly get started with device management on Scalefusion. Using AD integration, inviting users to the platform can also be automated.
2. Automated Device provisioning
Device policy applications can be automated using Zero-touch, Apple DEP, or IMEI/serial numbers. This helps IT teams in automating device provisioning without individually configuring the devices and the devices can be directly shipped from the factory to the end-user.
3. Policy configuration and application for multiple devices in groups
With automation for group policy applications, multiple devices in the group can be enforced with security configurations and app settings. Against individual configuration of devices done via the dashboard, policies can be applied to multiple devices in one go.
4. Bulk app distribution using programs such as Apple VPP
For application management on Apple devices, IT admins can make use of Apple Volume Purchase Program which helps in pushing apps (and app configurations) on multiple devices in one step. Multiple licenses can be purchased together and automating app provisioning on iPhones, iPads, and macOS devices can be achieved.
5. Dynamic policy application based on location/schedule
Location tracking is an integral part of mobile device management, especially for the frontline workforce. Similarly, shared devices between the frontline workforce or at schools are necessary for device optimization. For enabling device sharing or doubling the device usage, dynamic policy application is critical. As opposed to individually applying dynamic policies at a particular time or when a device enters geolocation is time-consuming. Hence, automated dynamic policy application based on location/schedule is essential for saving manual IT efforts.
6. Automated OS updates
Streamlining OS updates on devices remotely is one critical IT task. By automating update management IT admins can exercise better control over device performance driven by the OS. IT admins can defer OS updates or automate OS updates whenever new updates are launched.
7. Automation for device tasks
IT teams have to perform several device-related tasks, especially for unattended devices such as kiosks. Manually performing these tasks- for example, a device reboot is impossible, when devices are spread across diverse locations. Automating these tasks using workflows to imitate the action path of the IT admins can not only help in saving manual IT efforts but also ensuring more accuracy and no room for oversight.
8. Scheduled compliance and security alerts
For a diverse, widely-spread device inventory, maintaining security and compliance is of utmost priority. IT admins are on the constant lookout for any impending threats to security or any error with compliance. With scheduled compliance and security alerts, keeping a constant check on the device and data security, tracking location based on geofences, keeping an eye on battery, data, and usage level can help in bringing accuracy to the IT tasks pertinent to security and compliance.
9. Device and dashboard reporting
IT admins have to obtain device analytics to evaluate the success or the failure of the mobility exercise. With automated device and dashboard reporting, IT admins can receive reports with context-aware information related to the device. These reports can be obtained for several parameters and can be received over email for ease of access.
With Scalefusion, implementing IT automation for device management is a cake-walk. Experience seamless device management with IT accuracy using Scalefusion MDM.