Three terms describe BigFix: Real-time visibility, Rapid response, and Continuous enforcement. If you listen to a BigFix administrator talk about the platform they eventually arrive at the statement, “It just works!” because it does. From asset discovery and patch management, to software distribution, inventory, security compliance and configuration management, BigFix provides real-time visibility, rapid response and continuous compliance.
BigFix. It just works!
As we approach 2021 however, three new terms or trends are making news: People Centricity, Location Independence, and Resilient Delivery. They are mentioned in a paper just released by Gartner entitled “Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021”. In the paper, Brian Burke addresses what we learned in this singularly unique year of 2020, and how these trends will shape the way we do business for years to come. Burke says “these strategic technology trends do not operate independently of each other, but rather they build on and reinforce each other. Together they enable organizational plasticity that will help guide organizations in the next five years”. This plasticity means being flexible enough to support the existing business processes through the changing business landscape while still retaining its original shape. Throughout 2020 we have seen countless examples of organizations finding out the tools they were using simply did not support their business processes in a highly remote workforce environment. We also saw BigFix help organizations pivot and effectively manage remote endpoints, just as it helped IT operations and security for the past 23 years.
People Centricity. In his paper, Burke points out that despite the amount of change that has happened this year, “people are still at the center of all business — and they need digitalized processes to function in today’s environment.” In that light, we must account for the human factor in the business, and the way they react, or respond, to the tools we provide them, as well as the tools we use to manage the business infrastructure. According to a recent Ponemon Institute study, the average company employs about 47 different cybersecurity tools in their environment. Do we do a good enough job of educating our end-users on these tools? Do our end-users know what’s real and what’s not when prompted with what looks like a “system message” on their computer? We spend so much time educating our users about vigilance and security and then expect them to trust the myriad of solutions and processes running in the background of their computers. Burke also points out the emergence of the Total experience – combining different disciplines to create a better experience for all concerned.
BigFix enables businesses to consolidate endpoint management tools from different vendors, reducing the management tool sprawl from an operations perspective, increasing visibility from a security perspective, and decreasing the number of solutions that the end users must interact with. With BigFix, organizations will have fewer tools to manage, less disruption for the end-user, and better user experience overall.
Location Independence. This point should come as no surprise to anyone: everyone has been affected in some way by the changed work landscape in 2020. In April, CSO Magazine published figures that indicated the distributed “work from home” environment had increased almost 500%. We will see some of this shift back to normal in 2021, but in many cases, the distributed work environment is here to stay. Burke points out the distributed cloud as a prime example, with the different types of ecosystems that companies must manage, and anywhere operations that must be seamless, but also provide value. He says that businesses must adapt to these changes and implement solutions that can manage these distributed environments.
BigFix provides this distributed management capability, and always has. BigFix was designed specifically to provide visibility and control across large geographically distributed environments, not a tool to simply manage computers within one specific location. In essence, that’s what the business landscape has become this year. Prior to 2020, we saw distributed environments – there wasn’t just one single building with computers connected to one network. Rather, there were remote offices connected with various WAN connections and different connection speeds. The endpoints have also moved beyond the corporate office, and can be typically found in home offices, as well as coffee shops, hotels and airports, and even in the cloud, all connected with different types of networks, and we need to be able to manage all of them, all the time. The BigFix Platform gives us the unique ability to manage endpoints in real-time, even endpoints that are not connected to the network. BigFix is domain-aware, but not domain-dependent, which means endpoints are not required to authenticate with a domain controller for security policies to be enforced. The BigFix Agent is a multi-function agent, which means that it runs in the background of the managed endpoint, interrogates the endpoint continuously to gather and maintain status, applies fixes you’ve specified, and enforces policies on the endpoint that you’ve put in place. Regardless of the task you are trying to perform – like patching, software distribution, configuration management, or system inventory, the one agent handles all these tasks. This means it is easier to deploy and maintain, consumes fewer resources on the endpoint, and delivers more reliability and management flexibility.
Resilient Delivery. Burke points out the need for intelligent, composable business, which he defines as “…an architecture that enables better access to information, can augment that information with new insights, and is composable, modular, and can change and respond more quickly as decisions are made.”
Burke points out that AI engineering and Hyperautomation will be invaluable. Traditionally, AI development has resided in the DevOps environment, which was not typically managed with traditional IT endpoint management tools. This introduced an element of risk, one that was usually mitigated by the disconnected nature of the environment, and the fact that it was, after all, born out of a test-type environment, and not a permanent production environment.
With the increased fabric of AI engineering, the DevOps environment is gradually growing, its borders extending beyond the disposable, disconnected environment, and it must be protected. However, the protection afforded must not inhibit development or interfere with the process.
Burke points out that organizations have a problem with “Organizational debt”, which he defines as “…an extensive and expensive set of business processes underpinned by a patchwork of technologies that are often not optimized, lean, connected or consistent.” In short, the tools that support the business are not flexible enough to allow them to automate processes, which in turn, creates unnecessary manual work.
BigFix is the most flexible endpoint management tool I have ever used, and I have spent the past 20 years working with, administering, selling, and learning just about every endpoint management tool on the market. BigFix provides traditional agent-based management of endpoints, as well as agentless, over-the-air enrollment for those remote, distributed endpoints. The BigFix architecture is built to manage endpoints anywhere, regardless of connection type or speed. Additionally, BigFix provides tens of thousands of policy templates that handle almost any type of scenario. These templates can also be modified, or new ones can be created, to address additional needs. BigFix supports the processes you define that you need to run your business, not the other way around.
In 2020, unexpected challenges arose for many businesses, and almost everyone realizes that changes are needed in 2021 to support people centricity, location independence and resilient delivery. Maybe 2021 is the year to look at an endpoint management platform that will enable you to manage your infrastructure the way you want to manage it. Maybe 2021 is the year to look at BigFix!
For more information about BigFix, visit BigFix.com or contact your HCL Software Sales Specialist.