What is System Management?

Written by Kelsey Kinzer on May 15, 2024

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Every organization relies on technological systems to generate value. These systems work according to company policies that dictate their use. System management solutions allow IT leaders and their teams to enforce those policies in a consistent way across the organization.

What Is System Management?

System management is the process of ensuring enterprise IT systems meet business needs. It involves managing individual workstations, cloud environments, and network assets according to robust policies. Effective system management enhances security, improves productivity, and makes tech-enabled workflows more efficient.

The IT infrastructure and operations team is usually responsible for system management. This team has the following responsibilities:

  • Collecting system requirements from the rest of the organization.
  • Buying equipment and software that meets those requirements.
  • Deploying, configuring and maintaining IT assets.
  • Resolving implementation problems and provisioning services.
  • Monitoring IT performance and determining whether IT systems are meeting business goals.

Successful system management is vital for ensuring every user has the correct software and hardware for their role. It provides a framework for supplying users with properly configured devices and apps while ensuring security policies are enforced consistently at every level of the organization.

Why Does System Management Matter?

System management plays an important role helping IT admins and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) ensure their tools and services are operating efficiently. Customers, employees, and third-party partners all expect the organization’s systems to run smoothly.

Benefits of Effective System Management

Excellent systems management simplifies the delivery of IT services and improves productivity across the board while reducing costs. When IT systems work as expected, employees spend more time being productive and less time fixing unexpected problems.

Good system management enables the organization to quickly adopt new and emerging technologies. Implementing new tools in a well-managed IT environment is much easier and less risky than trying to bolt-on new processes to a workload that is already strained past its limits.

Impact of Poor System Management

As organizations grow, their IT infrastructure can become incredibly complex. If systems management processes don’t keep up with this growth, routine operations become inefficient. System performance issues and downtime can become serious costs — one study estimates an hour of downtime can cost more than $8000 per hour for a small business, and more than $1 million for a large enterprise.

Additionally, employees who can’t rely on the IT team for support might develop their own workarounds to productivity obstacles. Those workarounds may bypass important security policies or lead to unpredictable results.

Common Challenges in System Management

System management teams need to overcome several obstacles before they can realize the benefits of excellent system management. These problems tend to grow as the organization becomes more complex, giving IT leaders good reason to address them early on.

1. Lack of Centralized Control and Visibility

Few organizations use centralized IT infrastructure. Most have IT assets spread across many locations and formats, making it difficult for the system management team to understand the status of the entire environment at a glance. Gaining visibility and control over IT infrastructure is vital to effective long-term system management.

2. Difficulty in Managing Diverse IT Environments

Modern IT environments use virtualized devices, cloud-hosted applications, and hybrid architectures to achieve complex goals. This gives the organization flexibility and allows it to scale its IT operations easily, but it comes at a cost. Managing such a diverse assortment of assets can be difficult and time-consuming.

3. Ensuring System Performance and Reliability

The more complex an IT environment is, the more frequent new updates and adjustments will be. System management teams must support software patches, system upgrades, and equipment replacements. This requires a well-designed approach to change management that enables the entire organization to keep pace with performance issues and security vulnerabilities over time.

Best Practices for System Management

Effective system management is all about making sure IT infrastructure meets business needs. Achieving that goal requires deep knowledge of the organization’s workflows and the technologies that support them. IT leaders who understand what the organization expects of them can then begin implementing these system management best practices:

1. Implementing a Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy

Complete visibility is a must-have for any system management team. There is no way to effectively guide your organization’s use of IT assets if you can’t see those assets or find out how they are used. Your monitoring strategy should include solutions for collecting performance metrics as well as security data from every asset and device on your network.

2. Regular System Updates and Patch Management

System configurations are not permanent. New updates and security patches will change the way they work over time. This may lead to unexpected consequences that require your attention. Great system management strategies include resources and workflows for effective change management processes.

3. Proactive System Maintenance and Troubleshooting

IT support does not have to be a purely reactive task. Instead of waiting for things to break before fixing them, your system management team can proactively configure IT assets to avoid breaking in the first place. This is easier said than done, but it provides significant benefits to overall performance and reliability.

System Management With JumpCloud

JumpCloud gives IT leaders clear, comprehensive data on the assets and devices that make up their IT ecosystem. The JumpCloud Directory Platform grants visibility into every device (across Windows, macOS, various Linux distros, iOS, and Android) in the IT environment and enables the system management team to automate some of its most time-consuming tasks.

How JumpCloud Simplifies System Management

With JumpCloud, you can remotely execute commands across Mac, Linux, and Windows systems using pre-configured automation scripts. Enable highly organized patch management operations with scheduling, external triggers, or ad-hoc processes.

JumpCloud also enables IT leaders to improve endpoint security with modern device management features. Deploy Zero Trust principles while maintaining the usability of mobile device fleets using multiple operating systems. Reduce inefficiency by deploying policies across entire device groups at once. 

Benefits of Using JumpCloud for IT Professionals and MSPs

Modern endpoint fleets rely on a variety of operating systems, hardware manufacturers, and software applications. JumpCloud enables cross-OS device management for organizations and MSPs with large, complex IT infrastructures. 

Unifying IT security and asset management with well-designed workflows for patch management, security updates, and policy configurations makes the entire organization more efficient and secure. JumpCloud ensures users can access the resources they need to complete their work quickly and reliably.

Learn More About JumpCloud

Want to see exactly how JumpCloud can accomplish all of this? At JumpCloud University, you can preview the JumpCloud platform in action through dozens of guided simulations. Implement role-based security controls, enhance visibility and reduce error-prone ad-hoc system management tasks, or just gain visibility into your mobile device fleet to better support business growth. Check out JumpCloud’s guided simulations to find out how our solution can help you achieve your system management goals.

Kelsey Kinzer

Kelsey is a passionate storyteller and Content Writer at JumpCloud. She is particularly inspired by the people who drive innovation in B2B tech. When away from her screen, you can find her climbing mountains and (unsuccessfully) trying to quit cold brew coffee.

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