Slowed down by Sneakernet
Rolling out, installing and managing software is a bit like a football championship game. You know it’s coming. You look forward to it and it’s just as exciting every time. But that’s where the similarities end. Because in software deployment, the computer always wins. And you may think that the advent of the Internet would solve every problem. Unfortunately not. It actually creates new challenges in software deployment.
This is Part 2 in our software deployment series. You can find the other episodes here:
What is software deployment? Part 1 – From mainframe to the Internet
What is software deployment? Part 3 – Login scripts, GPOs or install it yourself?
What is software deployment? Part 4 – Software deployment tools
Since it’s easy to distribute software through the Internet, it has become easier especially for users. Which is fine for your home computers. But if you own a business, you want a bit more control. System administrators know that employees are used to downloading and installing software, and they like to do it a lot. In addition to managing the computers, it has become a major task in software management for twenty years.
You’d be surprised to know how many system administrators still use the “Sneakernet” process. This is when they walk through an entire office from desk-to-desk just to install software. Because let’s face it, most software can still only be installed by the administrator thanks to security, permissions, configuration, folder structure and way more issues. That’s why businesses consider security a major priority for every software update, as they should.
But the Sneakernet is expensive. It prevents employees from having access to their computers for a while, which is quite disruptive. It also takes a long time from a manager’s perspective whose motto is, “Time is money!” Fortunately, more organizations including SMEs, now realize that the Sneakernet is not an efficient way to manage software.
In 1994, Microsoft had already launched Systems Management Server (SMS), a tool that automatically rolls out software. In 2007 it became System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and has been renamed once more as Endpoint Configuration Manager (ECM). But no matter what it’s called, the function remains the same. It was designed to update and maintain Windows software, applications, patches, Windows updates and of course, the Windows operating system too.
This gap in the market has now been filled by many companies. But you already know that or you wouldn’t be here, reading this blog. Bottom line? You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to software deployment tools.
Early on, the first tools were developed just for internal use. Now there are tools that work using WAN connections, and software from the cloud: Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and AWS. We are not exaggerating by saying there are literally dozens of software deployment solutions available.
See the forest through the trees
In this blog series, we’ll help you get to know the world of software deployment tools. What tools are there? What can they do? This is good to know because not all software tools are alike or made for everyone. You’ll need to consider their features and functionality, costs and what each tool is designed to do. Once you know the key differences, you’ll know which tool is most suitable for your business.
You’ll also learn more about our solution, which also may not be the best choice for everyone. But we think it’s ideal for many organizations and system administrators who we designed it for. Either way, it’s up to you to judge them for yourself.