Modern IT environments typically support Mac, Windows, and Linux devices, and those devices each contain a variety of applications, utilities, and other pieces of software to fulfil their function. Every one of these can pose significant risk to an organization’s security if left unmanaged by IT — unmanaged meaning devices may not be configured, secured, or updated properly.
One specific concern that stems from unmanaged devices is update and patch management or a lack thereof. If any critical updates to software or the underlying operating system are left in the hands of users to monitor and update at their own discretion, it’s unlikely that your organization will be in compliance with various standards, nor will your overall security posture be at its best.
To keep issues like this at bay, it’s important to adopt organization-wide policies regarding user and device management — especially in the realm of software and operating system updates. On top of that, it’s crucial to implement a modern, robust device management system that gives IT admins the ability to install, manage, update, and remove applications and software no matter where a device is located or what type of device is being used.
Looking at the big picture, the user and device management system that your organization chooses to employ should include the following five key components and capabilities:
- Zero-touch enrollment and deployment
- Full user management control
- Remote device configuration
- Remote software and OS update management
- Device health and telemetry monitoring
In this article, we’ll dive into why modern IT environments need an equally modern device management system in place that enables remote software and OS management, what components should be included in a cloud device management system to keep software current and out of harm’s way, and how JumpCloud® turns these necessities into reality with a single platform.
Why Modern Device Management Systems Need Remote Software and OS Management Capabilities
Long gone are the days when in-office attendance and on-prem IT infrastructure were essentially the one and only option for work. Now, some employees are in the office, some are at home, and others are working from a different location every week while they travel. Plus, all of these employees need access to a wide variety of resources that IT has to manage. Not only that, but many organizations manage a wide variety of operating systems across employee devices, from macOS to Windows to Linux (not to mention mobile device OSs such as iOS and Android), which makes device management that much more difficult compared to the traditional all-Windows setup that could more easily hone in on a specific list of support software that existed 20 years ago.
To keep up with the ever-evolving IT ecosystem, IT admins need a modern device management system that allows teams to view what software and apps are installed on remote devices as well as seamlessly control, monitor, manage, and update all of it without interrupting users.
To ensure that certain software is not installed on any company machines, patch approved software, and update operating systems as new versions are pushed out, IT admins need to have centralized control over remote devices. This part of modern device management is integral to passing audits and achieving continued compliance with remote users and varying operating systems across devices, as well as to keeping your organization’s security top-of-mind while mitigating the chances of a breach through continuous remote monitoring and updating.
Keeping Things Up-to-Date With a Robust Remote Device Management System
A modern, cloud-based device management system should have the following capabilities when it comes to managing software:
- Software versioning management
- Patch management
- Operating system management
- Holistic view of the software and the OS version installed across all devices
- Admin abilities to remove, install, manage, and update software on any device
When each of these capabilities combine within a remote device management system, it leads to a more secure and streamlined experience for IT admins, allowing them to spend more time on other pressing issues while enjoying the relief that comes with keeping devices configured, secured, and updated properly.
Whether a device needs an operating system update, a widely used piece of software has an update available, or a crucial patch is scheduled to come out the next day for software or infrastructure that your DevOps team is responsible for, a modern device management system can help you handle all of this. Being able to use this kind of system to get a holistic view of what’s going on in your IT environment allows you to make the best decisions in terms of when to apply updates, patches, and changes to software without hurting user productivity. Then, being able to schedule or immediately deploy the changes to remote devices under that same platform makes life across the IT team much more manageable.
This type of all-encompassing device management system also ensures maximum system uptime and improved employee productivity because ongoing software and operating system management happens behind the scenes, from any location. There is no need to rely on having devices physically present, and IT admins can push patches, updates, and changes to devices whenever necessary.
JumpCloud’s Remote Software and OS Management Solution
JumpCloud is a comprehensive identity and access management solution that gives admins holistic insights into what’s happening across the organization’s IT infrastructure. The platform has Zero-Touch capabilities so that your organization’s managed apps can be installed on a machine before the user even finishes logging in for the first time. Once everything is installed, JumpCloud makes it easy to monitor, update, and report on OS patch cycles and app updates.
After seeing notifications via the JumpCloud Console that a piece of software or the operating system on a device or group of devices needs to be updated, choose to manually or automatically push out updates to remote machines by setting up policies or running commands to ensure delivery. From the end user’s perspective, communication via update notifications provides the necessary information to ensure they follow through with critical updates without losing work or momentum.
Get Started With a Modern Device Management Solution
Although the ability to remotely manage software and operating systems is incredibly important, we think that a modern device management solution should include much more. At JumpCloud, we believe that there are five key components of modern device management that cannot be overlooked. Each component works hand-in-hand with the others to ensure that your web of devices remains secure, compliant, and efficient.