Privileged Task Automation Frees Up Time for Stressed Out IT Teams


June 2020

By: Orhan Yildirim

Automation technologies, from Robotic Process Automation (RPA), to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), are transforming business processes and operating models. These are relatively new categories, and most enterprises do not yet have the skills to implement automation technologies successfully, including Privileged Task Automation (PTA) associated with a robust Privileged Access Management (PAM) posture.

Automation that significantly drives business outcomes focuses on the evolving relationship between humans and machines and, in the case of PTA, is based on solid logic, probabilistic thinking, and building a “trustless” approach – all while building trust in the policies that drive automation methodologies as PTA becomes more pervasive.

CIOs and other IT leaders spend valuable time and effort choosing the right technology to deploy in this space. The large enterprise clients we serve look at workforce planning to ensure the company has the skills and capabilities needed and the evolving culture within IT teams – are they ready to embrace and appreciate software that will help them get more done, and drive better business outcomes, even if this means replacing mundane but important work with intelligent solutions?

Generating support for investing in automation – which reduces risk and related costs – also brings challenges, and requires IT, leaders, to make a business case that is not based on how the software works (for example AI algorithms), but based on how the business will benefit through reduced risk, and more insight into activities inside the network, including potential insider attacks.

Developing a budget for PTA is also a new art form: lack of budget can kill innovation projects, while a lack of alignment (between technology and business leaders, for example) can stop them from being fully effective. The good news is – the ROI for PTA is stunning (something we are happy to illustrate through our complimentary analysis which shows how PAM policies, methodologies, and automation drives forward better governance and compliance and lowers risks when done correctly.

The future of work, including more employees working remotely, involves human employees working side by side with increasingly intelligent machines.

Success in delivering human-machine cooperation with the rise of autonomous systems can be measured by this simple equation: how will human employees in their existing IT roles move from being the performers of the process to being the exception handlers of that same process?  This works best in an environment that promotes continuous improvement, strives for operational consistency and standards, and embraces automation for both routine and more sophisticated tasks.

Automation technologies, by definition, displace old ways of doing things and can lead to both the restructuring and/or elimination of jobs. Depending on the size of the enterprise, number of users, number of network devices under management, and industry requirements, PTA can dramatically reduce the cost of labor, while repetitive manual work is taken care of more accurately by machines. Our clients are addressing this change by training and mentoring team members and rewarding those future leaders who embrace the value of automation. They are building trust, then enthusiasm.

With the world’s most cost-efficient, flexible, and easily deployed PTA software, Ironsphere’s technology supports many global telecom service providers and large enterprises. We directly serve large banks and other financial services firms, including insurance companies, communication service providers, and more. We partner with cloud and managed network solution providers, with independent software vendors and large systems integrators.

Our Privileged Task Automation Manager simplifies and automates daily routine tasks and provides a smart programmable interface that supports pre-check, execute, post-check, and roll-back steps. We are pioneers in automating important tasks, to improve precision and productivity. Given the growth and distribution of network and cloud infrastructure and the explosion of data, applications, and devices in enterprises, there is no choice but to automate as many formerly routine tasks as possible. 

With Ironsphere’s PTA solution, once a task is designed or a script is uploaded to Ironsphere, it can be easily delegated to users to be run on-demand, scheduled, or recurring, without any interactive access to mission-critical systems. Ironsphere ensures the required level of trust is established before or during a task with built-in capabilities, including managerial approval, multi-factor-authentication, ITSM ticket validation (e.g. ServiceNow), and geo-fencing.

The high-level benefit of PTA is allowing for the automation of system administrators’ tasks, preventing the need to allow access to critical infrastructure. We enable IT managers and network admins to efficiently gain secure access, control configurations, and indisputably record all activities within their enterprise infrastructure, preventing the material impact a breach may have on business operations and continuity.

Our task automation suite for staff augmentation and granular access control:

  • Keeps users isolated from critical systems and infrastructure
  • Delegates tasks instead of access privileges to critical systems
  • Increases the efficiency by automating repetitive tasks
  • Enables trust and accountability when running tasks
  • Unifies visibility of privileged activities
  • Hides enterprise infrastructure topology
  • Avoids human errors that may result in security gap or service outages
  • Provides unified visibility of scripts and changes made
  • Centralizes control of who can run which script
  • Ensures required level of trust and accountability to run scripts
  • Automates repetitive privileged tasks (e.g. IT/Network operations automation)
  • Schedules tasks

Let’s engage and discuss how PTA can help your IT team grow and deliver more value to the business, as routine tasks are managed with automation software, freeing up time and reducing costs, even as assets are more effectively protected in an increasingly challenging cybersecurity environment.

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