In a recent survey conducted by Kaseya, 75% of education IT leaders said that software upgrades and patches were their top 2011 targets for automation.
School district and university IT administrators recognize that demand for automated patch management is escalating due to the proliferation of new vulnerabilities and the continual emergence of associated threats. Conditions require that they not only deploy more patches than ever before, but that they do so with a greater degree of urgency. Periodically applying patches is the only sure way to keep vulnerable systems from being exploited.
Imagine this scenario: Microsoft releases a major patch update of Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 and Office. Some of the patches are labeled critical, so speed is essential because unpatched systems pose a significant risk. Downed systems would mean a loss of productivity for students, faculty and administrators.
What if a single IT administrator could access a pre-populated patch policy that was customized months before? With the press of a single button, he’d be able to download the patches from Microsoft’s website, install them on a test machine and test for compatibility issues. Meanwhile, an automated patch management inventory check could search for systems with the affected software, wake them up, check their readiness and push the verified patches out to waiting machines. The patches would then be automatically installed on each system, and they’d reboot as necessary.
Every machine that needs the patch can be automatically identified, updated and systems that aren’t updated can be flagged for remediation. With automated patch management, an IT management task that used to take days now takes minutes. A single IT administrator can proactively manage thousands of systems tasks in the same amount of time it took an entire team to do the tasks manually.
It just makes sense to implement an automated patch management solution within education IT environments. The most significant quantifiable benefit is the reduction in administrator effort that results from automating a labor intensive process. Patch updates can be scheduled when students and teachers aren’t using the devices. More productivity and less pain for education IT administrators and end-users is achieved with the use of an automated patch management solution.