Ivanti’s traditional service management is complemented by a cloud offering focused on hyper-automation and the many faces it can take on in the company

The entry into play of the TA Associates fund, which joined the Clearlake Capital fund in control of the company, gave a new impetus to Ivanti’s activitiesin August. That in addition to the traditional part of service and endpoint management had put in the crosshairs, with a different but complementary approach, the growing world of automation. Of hyper-automation,indeed, planning to extend the range of action of software automatisms in the company to the maximum possible.

The acceleration came not by chance immediately after the key months of the first lockdown. When companies had already seen how a forcibly distributed and heterogeneous IT, due to remote working, could not be managed without a high degree of automatisms. And since the anomalous IT scenarios of March-April promise to be in many ways a new normal, here is the idea of hyper-automation is increasingly making inroads. Ivanti Neurons was launched last July as a cloud platform that brings hyper-automation functions to enterprises.

A few months later, in October, Ivanti announced an enhancement with cyber security features. Thanks also to the fact that, in the meantime, it has acquired MobileIron and Pulse Secure. Another sign of how much Ivanti is trying to speed up her run.

“Remote working has certainly represented an acceleration and has become a common and now consolidated practice – explains Aldo Rimondo,Country Manager Italy & Iberia of Ivanti – but even before there were phenomena that pushed towards automation. Like the need to give IT a more consumer-like experience, the growth of endpoints in number and type,the arrival of IoT… the management of such complex environments, on the application side and for the infrastructural part, now takes too much time away from IT teams”.

Starting from security

In this sense, the most recent addition to Ivanti Neurons – the part of cyber security and in particular of patch management automation – could be the one of most immediate understanding for enterprises. Any company now uses a very large number of applications, software and middleware. Thinking of manually managing patches is impossible. Also because patch management is an activity considered key by those who deal with cyber security, but not by the whole company. “Patchmanagement is often underestimated, itis one of those operations that are not perceived in value compared to other issues that are much more understood and requested by the business,”rimondo points out.

In this scenario we rely on the automatic mechanisms of the vendors of the products to be “patched”.

But the number of patches is high and patches cannot be applied regardless of everything:each patch can have undesirable consequences on other applications and therefore, ultimately, on the business. “Youhave to have the ability to select the main patches among maybe thousands, planning their application correctly,”Rimondo explains. IT staff can’t do it, Ivanti Neurons takes care of it thanks to machine learning components that know where to intervene first and where not.

The patch management component complements the functions with which Ivanti Neurons was

born. Together with another new component dedicated to spend management,in essence a census of the software used in the company, to verify if this use is safe, compliant with the rules and optimized with regard to licensing. This is in the architectural logic of the platform, which is and will be composed of a growing series of modules that address specific themes.

Initially, there were four key themes. Ivanti Neurons for Discovery addresses the issue of visibility: knowing exactly what is inside a network perimeter that has become vast, especially with the arrival of IoT. Ivanti Neurons for Healing offers IT diagnostics and troubleshooting features before they appear. Ivanti Neurons for Edge Intelligence aims at real-time monitoring (including geolocation) of networked devices. Ivanti Neurons Workspace goes further and wants to give a 360-degree view of devices, applications, services, users.

For all modules the value is not only to collect information from the network but above all to normalize it. “Tobe able to have a database – highlights Rimondo – in which the information is consistent with each other. Information that is found in an agentless way, even by connecting to other systems, not necessarily Ivanti. And with the same capacity for dialogue even at the exit, passing the information to other platforms”.

Focus on openness

Openness and modularity are important features for Ivanti Neurons: both facilitate the entry of Neurons into enterprises. A company can start from the module that interests it most – now, probably, the most appealing is Ivanti Neurons for Patch Intelligence – and then support others as needed. Without – and here lies the value of openness – necessarily having to replace pre-existing solutions. “Neurons is a platform in a sense ‘above’ our traditional offer because it can also be inserted on technologies of other vendors, as a kind of umbrella that gives consolidation and automation”,explains Rimondo.

And on the other hand, undermining IT governance solutions is not trivial at all. “Thistype of solution has a fairly limited technological turnover: trying to force a change of something chosen for technical-historical or licensing reasons is difficult. It is possible if anything if the Ivanti solution is more in line with how the company is changing and growing,”explains Rimondo. Neurons basically has this perspective,focusing on the ability of a cloud platform to grow over time and adapt to potential usage profiles by companies.