In the IT services business there is one concept which stands above all else – automation. Nobody wants to be manually working on hundreds or even thousands of computers in a network or across multiple networks and regions when the very thing which computers are perfectly designed for is automating repetitive processes. Realistically the only viable way to manage a large number of computers is with deployment tools which can automate the process.
In a small network it may well be possible to rely on manual updates, it may not be advisable but still it is doable. However it is not at all scalable and on a large network or collection of assets, whether they be desktop PC’s or Internet Servers and Appliances of various kinds, smart deployment systems are pretty much an essential requirement, not just for the business but also for the sanity of the IT staff responsible for rolling out the updates.
Using automated deployment tools significantly reduces maintenance times and allows a single person at a centralized and often remote location to manage extremely large numbers of assets which of course leads to much lower costs. However the cost reductions are not just as a result of less salaries to pay per assets managed but also in terms of reduced or (hopefully) eliminated losses due to malfunctions, downtime or even data loss caused by human error.
Humans are not machines and it is easy to forget to install something or configure correctly or update on time. An unpatched system is basically an open door with an invitation to passing hackers to come in and take what they want or generally wreak havoc, so timely deployment of security updates is critical.
Using deployment tools makes it much simpler to build and maintain standardized systems so instead of a crazy mix of software and configurations with every computer being different, they can all be kept the same, or at least have a small number of standard configurations to work with, further reducing system management time and costs.
Thus by employing suitable deployment automation tools, the potential for human error is vastly reduced, IT efficiency is increased dramatically, security is maximized and reliability of all systems managed is much improved.
There are quite a few deployment solutions out there, from the RMM services such as GFIMAX to the powerful configuration management and deployment systems like Ansible and which one is best is down to your specific requirements , experiences and of course personal preferences.
Needless to say, automated deployment of software updates to 10,000 computers is potentially risky so it is important to test deployments thoroughly before unleashing!