Updated: Apr 1, 2020
How insights into healthcare IT systems and the expedited acquisition of game-changing tech led us to revolutionize software deployment and patch management.
Until just weeks ago, transitioning to Work-From-Home (WFH) was a slow process, peacefully and methodically occurring throughout industry as a matter of either deliberate cost-cutting or job satisfaction initiatives. With WFH programs being rolled-out more frequently in recent years, companies regularly faced issues with software maintenance, updates, IT security, and compliance. Outfitting employees with new PCs, or implementing BYOD, too quickly could easily lead to a workforce riddled with software compatibility and information security issues. Throughout the PC age, and even with more modern mobile devices, handling the challenges and inefficiencies associated with software deployment and patch management has generally been regarded as acceptable losses of IT staff’s valuable time.
In the new era, that of COVID-19, inefficiencies in acquiring and deploying the technology needed to empower our healthcare workers and first responders are no longer acceptable. What once was a matter of annoyance has now turned to a matter of life and death.
High-tech and software companies are nimble-by-nature and were more prepared than any other industries for the transition from an office environment to a WFH model. On the other end of the spectrum are many healthcare organizations, especially non-profit agencies, that are struggling to make the shift. MassDeploy®, delivers software deployment and patch management automation, used by top technology companies and financial services firms for years, to keep their networks in compliance and enhance their security posture. After working with this robust technology for over two years, Business Technology Partners (“BTP”) is bringing the MassDeploy solution to healthcare IT with unprecedented speed and reliability.
MassDeploy ROI & Use-Cases
Building and maintaining Microsoft Windows servers and PCs is a time-consuming task, and one that is often regarded as having too low a degree of efficacy. Even once they’re built and all the tools are in place, complex computer networks require routine investments of time to keep software up-to-date, secure, and within organizational compliance.
Outfitting workers and distributing new (or repurposed) hardware traditionally leaves IT staff stuck for hours reconciling the myriad of requirements for each device. Of course, that's not the only time-draining issue IT staff has to deal with – adding onto the time-suck is the array of roles within an organization and determining what each user (or department) needs versus another. Once all requirements are understood, engineers spend tons of effort creating images for system builds or, worse, building computers manually. Plus, this effort must be repeated each time a key program (e.g. software, key drivers, security tools, system utilities, etc.) is replaced or updated.
Privacy of sensitive data is paramount to any organization dealing with consumers, particularly healthcare institutions with vast PHI and PII. In healthcare, concerns about privacy and security are continually evolving and strict HIPAA regulations are cause for rigor in standard operating procedures. In responding to COVID-19, these procedures are changing rapidly—sometimes daily. This means that the needs for IT systems to support these efforts, while still delivering on security and compliance, are also changing with increased velocity.
In most enterprises and even SMBs, IT infrastructure professionals use deployment tools from Microsoft, such as SCCM, Intune, and WSUS, or in many cases use third-party tools like ServiceNow, ManageEngine, or Ivanti to distribute and maintain software. But, even with these tools in place, rolling-out new servers and PCs still requires tremendous effort in imaging system configurations, scripting complex targeting rules, packaging of software, and tedious testing of the entire process end-to-end to support new or repurposed devices.
MassDeploy provides an elevated layer of technology, while remaining agnostic to each environment’s deployment tools and infrastructure, that quickly allows IT to automate routine deployment configurations, targeting, packaging, and testing to keep systems updated and more secure. It frees IT to deal with more pressing support issues by programmatically building Windows endpoints from bare metal and continually checking all programs running on them for compliance with organizational standards, critical patches, and security updates.
With MassDeploy, BTP now offers a unique service (some have called, “crowdsourced packaging”) to outsource tedious work and optimize these processes via automation. With over 20 years in the MSP business, our team is highly proficient at analyzing and defining organizational requirements for computers, setting up MassDeploy, and maintaining computers remotely.
The MassDeploy Innovation
This is a paradigm shift – real DevOps for PCs (not just servers) – so, how can we think about this new advancement? If software deployment tools were pipes, MassDeploy would be the water rushing through them – clean, tested, and purely delicious water!
With a sudden and seismic shift of new systems and operating procedures, cybersecurity threats are certain to arrive and, in many cases, have already landed. Exacerbating the situation is the widely increased attack surface for malicious hackers brought about by WFH, which has required workers to use home networks (and in some cases home devices) for accessing company data. Security scanning tools, like Nessus, may allow IT teams to identify numerous vulnerabilities on computers, but remediation of these vulnerabilities has historically required significant time and engineering manpower. MassDeploy continuously keeps machines in compliance with company, regulatory, and industry standards to strengthen the security posture of any organization, no matter where their computers are located; it both identifies and remediates vulnerabilities automatically.
Caring for Those Who Care for Us
A word from our President, Joshua Aaron:
I know I speak for the all of us at BTP when I say there are few people we respect and want to support more than healthcare workers and first responders. Our efforts are focused on getting the MassDeploy solution into the hands of healthcare organizations to help them meet this moment.
Knowing the power MassDeploy delivers to healthcare providers that rely upon Microsoft Windows and realizing that getting their attention is our challenge, we are offering MassDeploy until we “flatten the curve” to the first 20 non-profit healthcare organizations who demonstrate a need free for 90-days. Thereafter they, and all other non-profit healthcare organizations, will be able to access MassDeploy at 50% off for up to two-years.
Times of crisis call for a specific type of unity. We at BTP are innovators, thinkers, and engineers, with not only a strong commitment to the welfare of our own team members, our clients and their constituents, but also to the greater world in which we live. In understanding the current stress on the healthcare sector as society battles against the novel coronavirus pandemic, we know it’s our responsibility to do what we can to help as many healthcare providers as possible to operate at peak productivity.
Book a call with us if you'd like to apply for access to MassDeploy for you or one of your clients and we look forward to helping you.