Many organizations are rushing to the cloud and exploring new ways to manage remote employees. Office 365 automation tools have always been important for the purposes of productivity and efficiency, and they can be vital if you’re moving to the cloud faster than you’d originally planned. Here’s how Active Directory and Office 365 automation can help ensure business continuity.
What is Active Directory or Office 365 Automation?
Most of the activities that make up day-to-day Active Directory, hybrid AD/Office 365, or Office 365 management are excellent candidates for automation. These tasks are repetitive, mundane, or otherwise obey a strict and easy-to-define set of rules. When tasks are repetitive and follow rules, they are the best tasks to be automated.
When organizations automate administrative tasks, they are able to reduce overhead and improve consistency. They can protect the fidelity of their data sources, and reduce security issues related to user identity and access.
The Benefits of Active Directory or Office 365 Automation
Organizations are now thinking differently about what key activities could (or should) be automated. Active Directory provides automation services that can dramatically improve the way that businesses operate.
- Automation buys time. Automation can handle many required tasks and help free employees for other tasks that are not-so-easily-automated. Automation helps organizations to do more with less.
- Automation improves security. Automation can be used for identity and access management, and the management of user accounts. Not only can automation facilitate the general business process, but it can also improve upon user provisioning and other administrative and management tasks. When employees are increasingly operating remotely, this type of improved security is essential.
Any time-consuming management tasks can be easily automated through Office 365 automation tools.
What about PowerShell Automation?
PowerShell does provide automation capabilities, but only if you have the programming knowledge to use it. Purpose-built tools for specific tasks are always a better alternative, as they have the embedded capabilities to perform the specific required tasks. Scripting is the opposite because the programmer must write, test, debug and maintain the scripting code. Complex (and potentially dangerous) scripts are probably not a good alternative, especially if you’re seeking efficiency. Scripting can, however, be a way to fill in gaps that automation tools do not due to your organization’s specific needs.
The Best Candidates for Office 365 Automation
What are the best candidates for Office 365 automation? You can automate Office 365 management, collect data in real-time and complete user provisioning on-the-fly. Here are a few of the best automated processes.
Remember: When tasks are complex or may need human intervention, they aren’t good candidates for automation.
- User Provisioning and Deprovisioning. It’s advisable to automate user lifecycle management, updating and removing user accounts quickly and efficiently while sustaining critical security and compliance requirements
- Updates to Data. Cloud-based and on-premises systems can be updated, such as addresses based on office location. Automation is particularly useful when updating and operating with particularly large sets of data.
- Updates to Group Memberships. For managing users and automated user management, updates to group memberships can be made. Assign group memberships by attributes or parse a CSV file and other data files into user settings.
- Updates to Microsoft Teams. Assign members by attributes, rather than taking control manually, which can be time consuming. Communication is often the most important aspect of urgent situations.
- IT Policy Enforcement for Security and Governance. Automated processes can be used to collect security-related data, as well as for managing users who are operating remotely. If necessary, an individual Office 365 user, or all Office 365 users, could be placed on hold, like a legal hold. During a legal hold, the Exchange online mailbox and other data systems will not be modifiable.
- Administrative Visibility. Visibility enables you to proactively monitor health and adoption, as well as to react swiftly to threats.
Cayosoft for Hybrid Office 365 Automation
Rules-based administration is at the core of Cayosoft Administrator. Dozens of out-of-the box rule templates can be quickly configured to automate common tasks and complex scenarios. One common task is to use Cayosoft Administrator to automate user provisioning for the hybrid Microsoft Office 365 enterprise.
For years, many organization built “automation” with Powershell scripting, which requires specific development skills, is time-consuming, and leaves organizations at risk. By choosing AD and Office 365 automation tools to help with everything from updating Office 365 license settings to automating processes, IT teams can keep up and help ensure security.
To learn more about 3 Ways Automation Improves Control, check out our on-demand webinar.