Incident Response: A Common Pitfall that Can be Avoided

Incident ResponseThese days, it seems we cannot turn on the news or go online without learning about another major security breach. The most recent and disastrous being those that occurred to a number of popular retailers, like Target and Home Depot. What is the common thread amongst those affected by cyber-attacks? According to investigators, the problem can be linked back to a lack of incident response in nearly every single case.

Yet despite the fact that countless news articles and reports have indicated this as the root problem, many organizations are still not taking proactive measures to protect themselves, their employees and their customers. There are plenty of reasons why, but the main ones seem to be:

They believe their current protection is adequate. Many IT professionals feel that the plan they already have in place is capable of thwarting any would-be attacks. The problem is, most of these existing plans only include preventative measures, such as malware. As the entire world learned from Target’s experience, this isn’t always enough to get the job done. Incident management that involves identifying, verifying, prioritizing and sending appropriate notification of incoming alerts is essential.

They don’t believe it can or will happen to them. Some companies feel that because they are smaller, they aren’t at risk. This is simply not true. Others – such as those in Europe – feel that they aren’t as targeted as businesses in other countries, like the US. The fact is, the only reason more breaches are reported in the US is because the government requires it. There are a similar or equal amount of incidents occurring in countries across the globe.

They don’t understand the real damage an attack can have. Some otherwise intelligent professionals put blinders on when it comes to the subject of cyber-attacks. Sure, retail giants felt a huge impact – as did their customer-base of millions. It’s important to note, however, that smaller organizations, even those who do not have to worry about sensitive client data, have valuable assets that could prove to be disastrous if they fall into the wrong hands. For instance, internal employee information and even trade secrets could be stolen if the company is not properly protected.

For these reasons (and countless others), many businesses fail to recognize the importance and overall value of a quality incident response plan. If you’re reading this and happen to fall into this category, let’s take a closer look at some of the many benefits of developing and implementing an incident response strategy for your business.

  • Reduce downtime. What impact would an entire system shut-down have on your business? One thing is for certain, the longer it takes to bring things back up and running, the worse the consequences will be. By managing incidents more effectively, issues can be responded to immediately, ultimately reducing the amount of downtime your organization will have to face.
  • Improve recovery time. Just as important as bringing systems back up and running is the task of rolling out a recovery plan. It only stands to reason that the more downtime, the more extensive the potential damage. Because quality incident response lets you address issues right away, the time and resources it takes to fully recover are limited.
  • Stay ahead of problems. With the right incident response plan (preferably one that involves IT process automation to field incoming alerts), you can take a more proactive approach to handling potential security breaches. This can mean avoiding any downtime altogether and protecting precious assets in the process.

The key to success, of course, goes well beyond knowing the benefits and even rolling out a plan. It takes ongoing testing to ensure that all pistons are firing on all cylinders at all times. This will further protect your firm from incoming risks and place you one step ahead of the problems that are befalling others all around the world.

With new, more sophisticated cyber-attacks being hatched almost daily, there’s never been a more important time to invest in a quality incident response strategy. It starts with the infrastructure of prevention and IT process automation to ensure a closed-loop process. This will vastly reduce the risks of anything slipping through the cracks (like what happened to Target) and keep your business protected over the long-term.

Don’t wait until your company has become a victim of an online security breach. 





eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




Why CIO’s See Automation as Essential for Improving IT Operations Efficiencies and You Should Too!

Why CIO’s See Automation as Essential for Improving IT Operations Efficiencies and You Should Too!More and more CIO’s are leveraging IT automation to improve operational efficiency and subsequently reduce company expenditure across the board.

In today’s still-unstable economic environment, it’s no surprise that businesses in every industry are focusing on cutting costs. Unfortunately, some view IT as a costly investment and an area in which the metaphorical belt can be tightened. What these people don’t realize, and what an increasing number of CIO’s are embracing, is that implementing automation of IT operations can actually result in reduced expenditure overall.

CIO’s that are concentrating on IT as a force of operational automation, integration and control are losing ground to executives who see technology as a business amplifier and a source of innovation. Ongoing advances in technology are now providing forward-thinking CIO’s a much broader spectrum with which to work in terms of cutting costs across the entire organizational platform.

It has nothing to do with cutting IT capability, but rather finding ways to make IT operations more efficient. This is primarily achieved through automation, which significantly reduces the time and resources needed to run routine, repetitive and time-consuming tasks. When these tasks and workflows are automated, IT personnel are freed up to focus on other, more critical matters, thereby improving the overall operations of the department and subsequently the company as a whole.

Another way that CIO’s are leveraging IT automation for the benefit of their entire operation is through improvement of incident management and mean time to resolution (MTTR). Critical system errors are costly and can have a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line. IT automation is allowing businesses to manage incidents and downtime scenarios more efficiently and in a much timelier manner, which means less risk of negative impact, both on the business and on the end user.

IT automation isn’t just becoming a tool for cutting costs. It’s also significantly improving business performance, which plays a key role in increasing revenue. According to a recent survey conducted by Gartner Executive Programs, the main focus of CIO’s in the current climate is growth. They want to attract new customers and effectively retain their current ones. IT automation helps to improve service levels, thereby improving the customer experience.

In a time when budgets are at the forefront of every manager’s mind, from the top down to those on the front line, finding areas to improve service and lower expenditure has become a necessity. IT automation has opened up a number of opportunities for streamlining operations and improving efficiency, which ultimately achieves the goal of reducing costs and boosting enterprise growth. By applying technology as an amplifier to business operations, rather than as simply an individual component, organizations that are embracing IT automation are already reaping the benefits and are poised for ongoing success as we move toward the future.

Are you leveraging technology to streamline your business operations? 





eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




IT Process Automation – How to Keep Your IT Department from Wasting Time and Money

IT Process Automation new ideaIt seems as though the concept of doing more with less came around rather recently. In reality, however, managing a lot of IT tasks on a budget is nothing new. In fact, it’s been a priority for businesses across just about every industry for decades now. When the economy took a nose-dive several years ago and companies had no choice but to lay off large chunks of their workforce, there was no other option than to figure out a way to get the work done with whatever personnel was left. The solution is simple, IT process automation.

Yet, to this very day, countless businesses are still chasing their tails, being bogged down with manual work that can (and should be) handled through IT process automation. Right now, as you are reading this article, IT departments in all corners of the globe are busy writing scripts and going through workflows, step by painful step. Meanwhile, their productivity is suffering, as is the bottom line of their organizations as a whole.

So, what’s the solution? Could it really be as simple as choosing an IT  process automation tool?

The answers to these questions lies in the reality of what your IT department looks like at the moment. Are your team members spending hours upon hours fielding incoming alerts and processing workflows that require little to know “skill”? What could your department accomplish if the majority of your workers weren’t tied to their desks going through the drudgery of doing things by hand all day?

While the ultimate goal would be to develop an IT process automation strategy that is sophisticated enough to streamline all of your operations, what you can do right now is take that first step. It doesn’t have to involve a year’s worth of research and testing to find the perfect solution to all your IT woes. Yes – that’s the overarching objective, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated to start. The first, and most important step, is choosing to make a change – even if it’s just automating one tiny task.

How to Measure IT Process Automation Return on Investment (ROI)

Your challenge for the week is to observe those who work in IT and identify one or two small tasks that are being performed manually (more than twice per day). When you see these things, ask yourself why they are being handled this way. Calculate the costs associated with the time it takes your worker to complete. Let’s say the employee in question makes $30 per hour. If it takes 3 hours a day to complete one manual task, you’re dishing out nearly $100 for something that a computer could do in mere minutes.

By identifying key areas that are costing your business time and money, you can then look for an IT automation solution that can improve those processes. Start small, then work your way up. Once you’ve successfully automated those first few activities, expand your horizons to bigger, more complex processes. Before you know it, your business will be operating much more efficiently. As a bonus, your skilled IT professionals will be freed up to focus on more important business matters.


eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




How IT Automation Can Help eCommerce Businesses Improve SLA and Availability

ecommerce_IT_AutomationIn the eCommerce industry, time is money. Your business can’t afford to suffer lengthy systems downtime, or you’ll most certainly lose revenue. In the past, this meant the need for IT professionals to be in-house and at the ready should a problem occur, which also meant a significant cost to the company. What if there were a way for your IT group to keep all of your systems under control, whenever and wherever they happened to be at any given moment? There is! It’s called IT automation, and it’s changing the way eCommerce companies do business.

How Does  IT automation Work?

Despite the fact that IT automation can handle complex functions, the process itself is really rather simple, at least in terms of the end user. Whenever a critical systems issue arises, the IT automation software notifies the relevant team member, allowing them full control over the recovery process. The way this is carried out involves a series of steps that are all systematically managed by the software. As soon as the software receives an alert from the monitoring system, a new incident is created and the appropriate workflow is initiated. Once the software has conducted a series of checks, the first point of contact that is designated for that issue will receive an accurate message pin point to the problem.

The beauty of this type of IT automation is that two-way notifications can be sent a variety of ways, including email, SMS, phone call and IM – or better yet – all of these things can be triggered simultaneously. This allows the appropriate parties to be able to independently handle any incidents that occur in a timely manner – whether they’re in the office, at home or on the road. Once the user responds to the initial notification, the software then responds with a series of possible actions. The user replies with the chosen action, and the software instantly follows the command.

Let’s say your eCommerce website were to crash in the middle of the night. Anyone who conducts business on the web understands that consumers aren’t only active online during normal business hours. With IT automation, a notification of this crash would be immediately sent to the appropriate party, who could then respond with the action required to correct the problem. The system receives said message, executes the command, conducts another check and then notifies the user that the problem has been resolved. What’s more, if the first point of contact fails to respond in a specified time period, the system then escalates to a second contact that will be notified of the problem.

What Are the Benefits of  IT automation?

Besides the obvious benefits of faster incident recovery, the mobility of IT automation also provides the following benefits:

Any eCommerce business knows that the better the SLA and availability, the happier the customers. Happy customers make loyal customers, so it’s a trickle down effect that can have a significant impact on your organization’s bottom line. So, the question then becomes not whether you should consider using IT automation for your eCommerce business, but why haven’t you already done so?



eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




How IT Automation Can Help You Meet IT Governance Risk and Compliance?

Meet IT Governance Risk and ComplianceOne of the biggest challenges organizations face when comes to IT governance risk and compliance is the fact that it is difficult to understand the real and ongoing risks organizations faces. Keeping abreast of every change and nuance of each new or modified regulation can be exhausting, whether your organization is responsible to meet one or several compliance initiatives. This challenge is made even more complicated when IT processes are handled manually, which opens up a tremendous risk of human error.

IT automation helps to eliminate this risk and improve the chances of consistently passing regulatory compliance.

Today’s technology has made it increasingly important that businesses meet both external regulatory compliance requirements as well as the internal security mandates of their own organizations. This means protecting sensitive data and abiding by all of the complex and ever-changing requirements that are set forth by government and other regulatory agencies.

When an organization handles their IT functions manually, they inherently open themselves up to risk. That’s because human errors can result in things like sensitive data being exposed to internal or external threats and confidential material potentially being compromised. The resulting non-compliance can cost your organization more than just a hefty fine – it can cost you your profitability and future success.

By automating repetitive, manual tasks your organization is better able to maintain a continuous state of compliance.

What’s more, IT automation also helps to quickly identify any possible compliance breaches so that you can address and correct them in a timely manner, before they become a costly problem. Instead of backtracking to pinpoint a breach, regular assessments allow you to manage your compliance in real-time.

When an audit comes up, businesses often find themselves scrambling to correct existing problems and quickly generate enough proof of controls to satisfy auditors. The result is a significant waste of time, effort and resources, and it usually falls short of what the auditors are looking for anyway. So, not only is the business increasing costs and reducing productivity by trying to manage their compliance at the last minute, but they’re likely not going to succeed in doing so.

IT automation eliminates this last-minute scramble because instead of compliance being a separate task, it becomes a part of the day to day operations of your business. That means when an audit arises, you won’t have to worry – compliance is already incorporated in your IT operations. Audit-trails have already been created, making the process quick and efficient, and improving the possibility of passing all the requirements.

So, then the question becomes not whether you should automate your IT activities, both for reducing costs and improving productivity, but can you afford not to? Non-compliance is more than just a risk to your employees and clients – it’s a risk to your organization as a whole. IT process automation takes the guesswork out of this complex subject and helps keep your business in line so that when those auditors knock, you’ll be ready.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




Jerry Thompson of Handgards is the IT Process Automation Super Hero

IT process automation Superhero of the MonthAyehu is pleased to announce the latest recipient of its Super Hero of the Month award. This month, the company has chosen to recognize Jerry Thompson of Handgards. Thompson was selected because of his innovative use of IT automation to streamline operations and dramatically save time and resources.

As Director of New Systems and Networks, one of Thompson’s most important tasks involves facilitating a smooth Warehouse Management process from start to finish. Prior to implementing the eyeShare product, Thompson’s team had to build a series of SQL programs which would allow them to un-plan and remove orders from their system. One set of SQL programs was required to verify which records were affected and another was needed to ensure that all records were subsequently cleared out of the system. The problem was, in order to initiate these processes an email was required for each step. If IT wasn’t available, the warehouse team had no choice but to wait.

After conducting extensive online research, the team settled on the eyeShare product. They started on a trial basis, working with the Ayehu representatives to build a customized solution that would streamline the Warehouse Management process through automation. Now, when the warehouse team sends an email with a specific subject, eyeShare automatically initiates the necessary steps without the need for input from IT personnel. Since initial implementation, a total of 6 automated workflows have been set up, further improving operational efficiency.

 “The eyeShare software has drastically reduced down-time by removing bottlenecks from our internal processes,” comments Thompson. “With the IT process automation that we currently have in place, our systems are able to run with minimal intervention from the IT department. As a result, the warehouse team is much more productive.  And because our Document Control System has fewer communication issues with our ERP system, everyone is able to perform their duties more effectively.”

The Super Hero of the Month award is given by Ayehu as a way to recognize those forward-thinking leaders that are using automation to propel their organizations forward. Anyone who uses the eyeShare product is eligible to receive this coveted award.

About Handgards

For over 40 years, Handgards Inc. has been the North American leader in food service plastic disposables. The company has flourished by providing products which protect against infectious diseases transmitted by hand contact, and by retaining its industry leading ability to develop new lines of food saving and time saving food storage and food handling bags, as well as a number of other products. To learn more about the company, please visit: http://www.handgards.com/




eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




When it Comes to IT Security, Incident Response is Key

Incident Response

When it Comes to IT Security, Incident Response is Key

As many well-known organizations learned the hard way this year, security breaches can not only impact the bottom line, but they can severely damage your reputation. If people feel they cannot trust a retailer like Target or Home Depot without risk of their financial information being compromised, they simply won’t do business with them. It’s enough to put even the most successful company on the road to ruin. The problem is, security breaches like this happen on a much smaller scale by the millions each and every year.

Organizations of every shape, size and industry are vulnerable to hackers and would-be online thieves who prey on any opportunity they can get their hands on. So, how can businesses protect themselves from such a disaster? The answer lies in quality incident response.

What many companies mistakenly do is place all their trust in detection, like malware. But, as the entire world learned following the Target debacle, this strategy isn’t always fool proof. In fact, if you’re not handling incoming incidents the right way, you could be placing your business in the same position as the others that have traveled down this dangerous and costly path.

Simply put, when it comes to maintaining the integrity of your sensitive data, prevention is always the best approach. Of course, there is no way to achieve 100% protection. You can come close, however, by designing a complementary incident management strategy that marries prevention with sound IT security practices. This ensures that in those instances when attacks manage to slip through the security measures that are in place, the incident response process will serve as a second line of defense.

Tips for Setting Up Your Own Incident Response Team
  • Choose the right personnel. This can include employees from within the organization who are at different levels and possess various skillsets. Generally speaking, most incident response teams are made up of workers with the following credentials:

o   System Administrators
o   Network Administrators
o   IT Managers
o   Software Developers
o   Auditors
o   Security Architects
o   Disaster Recovery Specialists
o   Chief Technology Officers (CTOs)
Maintain accurate logs of applications, networks and operating systems. These should be checked daily by network administrators to ensure that all software is logging properly. Use of log analysis programs is also recommended

  • Logs should be automatically backed up and stored not only locally, but also externally. This is essential to proper recording and analysis
  • Ensure that all incidents are documented, both for auditing and compliance purposes as well as for future enhancements to IT best practices
  • Use quality software products that can improve the process and visibility of incident ownership
  • Incorporate  IT automation into the alert management process to improve prioritization, delivery and escalation of critical incidents
  • Establish a balance between reactive services (incident management and documentation) and proactive services (security audits, intrusion detection system maintenance, security strategy development, pre-incident analysis)
  • Set and implement schedules for all proactive service activities
  • Enlist a third party to conduct penetration tests at least once a year
Additionally, the team tasked with handling incident response should be made up of the following subsets:
  • Team Lead – member in charge of all incident management activities
  • Incident Lead – member who reports directly to the Team Lead and coordinates all incident responses
  • IT Contact – coordinates communications between the Incident Response Team and IT Department
  • Legal Representative – member possessing experience in IT security policy and incident response tasked with mitigating risk of litigation
  • Public Relations Officer – handles all communications regarding security incidents

Given the fact that cyber risks are at an all-time high, and with criminals learning newer, more sophisticated ways to hack, there has never been a more critical time for businesses to employ proper security measures. The most effective way to do so is by developing and implementing a quality incident response strategy. The tips highlighted above should provide a good foundation and help establish your organization in a much more secure position moving forward.





eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




Compliance Doesn’t Have to be a Headache with IT Process Automation

IT Process AutomationIn today’s fast paced business environment, it can be a hassle to keep track of all the important data you’re dealing with, but it’s an absolute necessity if you are to remain compliant. Regardless whether it’s an external regulatory body, like HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley, or even the occasional internal audit to ensure that regulations are consistently being met, you’re on the hook for maintaining proper documentation and producing that documentation if and when it’s needed. So how can you ease this burden and make staying in compliance much more manageable? Easy – you employ IT process automation.

It’s all about transparency.

With the right IT process automation solution in place, you don’t have to worry about manually keeping track of every important piece of data. In the event of an audit, either internal or external, you can easily access what you need, when you need it. There’s really no better way to remain in compliance than through automation.

Create an environment of consistency and uniformity.

One of the biggest challenges for a business to remain compliant is dealing with inconsistencies across the organizational structure as a whole. One department may be extremely diligent about documentation, while another may be lacking. Still others may do things completely differently than their peers, which can make organizing and presenting requested documentation to an external auditor a nightmare. IT automation creates a uniform process that helps to keep every area of your business consistently compliant.

Get the freedom to focus on what’s most important.

Not only does process automation help with organizing, storing and accessing important data and documentation, but because you and your personnel are no longer forced to waste valuable time on mundane, repetitive tasks, you will be better able to focus on business critical issues – including compliance. So, it becomes a win-win in terms of staying compliant from start to finish.

Tackle problems before they become an issue.

Don’t let an auditor be the one to catch a problem within your organization. IT process automation provides the ability to receive real-time and accurate notifications so that critical business issues can be identified and addressed in a timely manner, before they develop into a more serious or costly problem for your business. Fewer things falling through the cracks equates to a more compliant business overall.

Test, test and test again.

The best way to prepare for a potential audit is to conduct occasional internal tests. Not only will this help identify areas of weakness so they can be addressed immediately, before they become a serious concern, but it will ensure that your data can be quickly and easily accessed when and if an external audit should become necessary.

Make audits quick and painless.

If you’ve ever experienced an audit, you know that it can be a long, drawn out and painful process – especially if you weren’t well-prepared ahead of time. Without the right technology in place, audits can force you to pull your personnel away from their day to day tasks, causing production delays and an increased burden of workload on the rest of the team. Days, weeks, or months of digging up data and producing documentation could easily spell a loss of profits for your organization, not to mention the consequences of failing any area of your compliance check. Automation makes the process of an audit go much more smoothly, which means less disruption to workflow and a faster turnaround.

For most organizations, regardless of industry, compliance is a challenging but necessary part of doing business. The good news is it doesn’t have to be a costly, workflow disrupting headache for you or your team. With the right IT process automation software in place, you can uniformly organize and access all of your important data without having to waste precious time and resources, so that if and when an audit comes up, you’ll be ready!

IT process automation makes the process of staying compliant a breeze. Learn how it can help your business today 

IT Process Automation Survival Guide




Removing ITSM limitations with IT process automation

Guest post by Michael Slabodnick – ITSM and Me

A strange thing happened last week when I sat down with a couple of coworkers to discuss the recent purchase of an IT automation tool.  We didn’t talk about the tool.  Well, we didn’t talk about it beyond a few minutes of stating “awesome, we bought it.”  Instead of discussing the software, we talked about process and strategy, and how the organization will now be forced to mature its event and incident management in order to gain the most ROI on our investment. Removing ITSM limitations with IT automation

To give you a little bit of a background, the software is called eyeShare and it was developed by a boutique software company called Ayehu (http://www.ayehu.com/).  I first came across this software over a year ago and through the wonderful world of social media (I’ll give LinkedIn credit on this one), I had a chance to meet with the Founder and CEO of Ayehu to get a personal demo on how the technology works.  The reason why I’m so excited to be part of a meeting focused on an IT tool, and not talk about the actual tool, is because this is a case where limitations have been removed, ease and flexibility have been introduced, and now people at my workplace don’t have the option of stating “we don’t have the system we need” as to why we cannot push for any process improvements.  Ok, I understand ITSM is more about the people, processes, and products, and in that order of most to least important, but let’s not ignore the fact that we do live within limitations of technology.  I’ll go on to boldly state that one of the reasons why ServiceNow is so successful (I’ve worked on the product so I’m confident in being fairly correct on this one) is because it also removes limitations and makes my job infinitely easier by changing the question of “can we do it?” into the question of “should we do it?”  That simple change in questioning now forces us to change the focus of our improvements.  Since technology is no longer in the spotlight, we only see our processes and culture as being the hindrance to success.

So here I am with two powerful and flexible tools in my wonderful world of ITSM.

Could it get any better?  Absolutely!  The best part is that eyeShare has integration with ServiceNow.  So the tool that is handling event management with automated workflow is now talking to the platform used for managing tasks, pulling metrics and running the entire ITSM program.  It’s this integration I want to emphasize as being the key to success.  While it’s possible to purchase several different tools and technologies to cover the entire gamut of IT needs, I still want a single “go to” source for assessing the current state of our processes.  In essence, I don’t mind the purchase of another product as long as it integrates nicely into our existing infrastructure without taking any resources from our staff.

So I’m wondering; where do we go from here?  The answer is easy, however the work will be difficult and cumbersome.  We now get to start classifying our events, prioritizing those classifications based on our incident management process, streamlining the event management process, and eventually throwing in some automatic ticket assignments based on CI ownership.  As is the case with all ITSM process improvements, the journey will be long and arduous, but at least I’m confident we have the right tools for the job…which is something I don’t ever want to think about.

The above blog was originally posted in Michael’s blog http://www.itilandme.com/?p=624





5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation




How Leveraging a Virtual Operator Could Transform IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

Managed Service ProvidersIt’s happened time and time again: large corporations wavering between total in-house IT and complete outsourcing, only to discover that neither option provides a truly cost effective and efficient solution. Such was the case with European oil company Rompetrol, who seesawed between both approaches, all the while wasting value time, money and resources only to lose control over their IT altogether. This all changed, however, when CIO Marcel Chiriac took over in 2012.

Upon discovering that the outsourcing firm the company had hired had grossly mishandled things, Chiriac took on the daunting task of getting things back under control as quickly as possible. Weighing his options, and considering the fact that shifting everything back to in-house again that fast would be just short of impossible, Chiriac opted instead for a hybrid IT environment. This provided the “best of both worlds” in terms of control and efficiency.

The first step in the process involved putting together a team of IT professionals with whom he could work to renegotiate contracts with the many software vendors Rompetrol dealt with. Chiriac’s in-house team then had the job of evaluating the state of the company’s IT infrastructure since it had been managed by the previous provider. The results were disheartening. Additionally, the outsourcing provider refused to cooperate with the transition, making the process extremely frustrating and arduous.

Knowing he was working with a timeframe of just 3 months, Chiriac knew that using traditional technologies simply wouldn’t be sufficient to gain control over and document the asset transfer process. He decided that IT process automation might be his best option for meeting the tight deadline and getting the company’s IT performance back up to par. The new IT provider got to work extracting the information needed to allow Rompetrol to begin securing their scattered and vulnerable infrastructure.

Perhaps the most important step taken during this 3 month period was the introduction of “virtual operators”. These are essentially just IT service robots which helped to quickly identify the exact network composition. In addition to facilitating the consolidation and optimization of the company’s infrastructure, these virtual engineers also enabled in-house IT professionals to manage incidents more proactively. This allowed problems to be resolved quickly and efficiently, improving performance and service levels.

Within just one month’s time, automated solutions had been put in place for more than 2,000 items, including switches and servers for over 750 of Rompetrol’s gas stations. There has only been one single outage since the shift to the new hybrid model, and it’s succeeded in reducing operating costs by 27%. At this point, the internal IT team is able to focus on further optimization needs.

Beyond what this means for other companies looking to cut costs and improve IT operations, the use of virtual operators is poised to revolutionize things for managed service providers.  IT Automation will open up new avenues of opportunity to provide enhanced levels of support, maximize internal resources, lower costs and maintain competitive advantage. As businesses begin to recognize this hybrid approach, they will begin to once again look to managed service providers to help them achieve the best of both worlds in terms of control, IT security and efficiency.

Are you an managed service provider that would like to become part of a success story like that of Rompetrol?  IT Automation is the tool you need to jump ahead of the game. 





eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s