MSP Today Expert Feature
October 06, 2016

Ayehu's Guy Nadivi Talks Automation & MSP Expo


IT departments today are plagued by an urgency to keep networks and infrastructure efficient and secure at all times. Added to the mix is the reality that there is a shortage of skilled talent ready to meet these needs. Regardless however, security in today’s times cannot be an afterthought, and businesses that are not efficient will inevitably fail.

Automation means struggle and fear don’t have to be the reality. Instead of relying totally on humans to manually respond to alerts, IT process automation can be used for greater control and better, faster response.

Ayehu, a provider of IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and security professionals, makes it possible to more quickly and efficiently identify and resolve critical incidents so businesses can contain, eradicate, and recover from cyber security breaches.

To hear more, we recently caught up with Guy Nadivi, Ayehu’s Director of Business Development in North America.

The company is participating at the upcoming ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale, FL from Feb. 8 – 10. Nadivi will present during the collocated MSP Expo at a session titled, “Why Automation is Critical for MSPs to Succeed.”

Our exchange follows.

 How have technology changes over the past 12 months helped businesses grow?

The biggest change over the past 12 months that will help businesses grow is not rooted in technology, but psychology.  For example, over the past year, we've seen IT executives and middle managers exhibit much greater receptiveness to embracing automation in MSPs, NOCs, SOCs.  This shift is likely due in part to the realization that there are simply not enough qualified technical professionals with the necessary expertise available to carry out network and security operations properly.  Given the surge in demand for computing resources, and the ever-increasing volume of cyber security attacks, automation is the only practical option for plugging that gap.  Businesses that adopt automation solutions, such as Ayehu’s eyeShare, are finding that they are more efficient and can grow their operations even in the midst of the skilled labor challenge.

 How can artificial intelligence best be used in business applications?

Ayehu believes that some of the hype currently surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) is not warranted given the performance metrics and cost/value benefits we've seen.  There is a place for AI in business applications, and that role will continue to grow, but right now the best way to earn a positive ROI on AI is by applying it to very specific use cases with narrow, well-defined objectives.

How have the growing number of high-visibility security breaches impacted your outlook on security?  Which breach is of greatest concern?

It has become increasingly clear that simply focusing on stopping the security breaches is inadequate.  There needs to be an equally vigorous focus on detection and eradication as well, along with recognition of the fact that many of the attacks launched against organizations are automated.  This is important to note because many organizations still rely on slow, laborious, manual responses to these incidents, which are insufficient when something like a ransomware virus is rapidly encrypting your organization's hard drives.  In this scenario, automation can play an important defensive role by ensuring best practice responses to cyber security incidents 24/7/365 while enabling faster containment, eradication, and recovery. This holds true even for the breach which is still of greatest concern - an insider job.

 How has the growth in the managed services market impacted your business?

Managed service providers’ growth is in part fueling ours.  As a Research VP from Gartner (News - Alert) recently told us, they expect that by 2020, MSPs will have reduced their employee headcount by 20 percent, thanks to automation, while still maintaining the same (or even higher) levels of performance.  Those savings in labor will flow directly to the MSPs’ bottom line, not only making them more profitable, but more agile and more competitive.  MSPs who are early adopters of automation tools like ours are gaining a head start on their competitors, giving them a critical advantage in a commodity-priced market.

 Is the cloud / MSP model a realistic one for reliable IT security?

Yes.  Organizations in industries that have stringent regulatory compliance regimes (i.e. financial services, healthcare, utilities, etc.) often don't have the advanced expertise in-house needed to ensure reliable IT security.  This is especially true for the smaller to mid-size organizations with limited IT staff.  In these cases, outsourcing security operations to a cloud/MSP/MSSP can be the best option.

What emerging technology has the potential to have a disruptive impact on businesses in the coming years?

With such rapid advancement in technology we are certain new disruptive technology is close on the horizon.  One great example is Brain-Computer Interfaces (wetware).  This technology has the potential to not only restore vision to the blind and hearing to the deaf, but also provide unimaginable new cognitive functions as well.  The age of the bionic man is truly upon us.

Are channel partners keeping up with the latest trends and developments?  Is more education needed and how can they better leverage the latest technologies to grow?

Many channel partners are customer-driven, adopting the technologies their clients embrace, thus making them somewhat more conservative by nature.  Increased education can help expose them to more of the latest technologies, but ultimately, due to the nature of the business it makes sense that most will follow the market, rather than lead it.

What is your session at ITEXPO (News - Alert) about and who should plan on attending?  Why should this be a must-attend session for the week?

My session “Why Automation is Critical for MSPs to Succeed” is designed for MSP executives and operations staff trying to remain competitive in the rapidly changing MSP landscape.  They'll want to attend because the session will cover such topics as:

  • Enabling Scalability without Increasing Head Count
  • Putting an End to Firefighting
  • Eliminating the Need for Complicated Scripting and more

  What are you most looking forward to at ITEXPO 2017?

Seeing the newest technology, hearing about the latest trends, meeting lots of new people, and sharing the good news about automation with all of them.




Edited by Alicia Young



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