Does deploying patches cause your company unnecessary downtime?

53 per cent of companies are affected by downtime when it comes to deploying patches, according to a survey of UK businesses. A further 29 per cent of companies had IT teams conduct patching out of hours, leading to significant increase in costs and impact on work-life balance. Only 17 per cent of organisations were able to carry out patching without impact on the business or its IT staff.

44 per cent of respondents said the biggest pain point around patching is the frequency of patch releases, followed by supporting remote users (39 per cent) and the time taken to deploy (38 per cent).

When asked what one process would make patching easier, the biggest request was for greater automation around deployment of patches (37 per cent of respondents), followed by more time for testing (20 per cent) and reducing time for deploying patches (18 per cent). Being able to get all necessary patches from one central place was also a popular request, with 14 per cent selecting this.

Patching takes up a lot of time for businesses of all sizes, and they are keen to look at ways that they can reduce this burden on their IT teams. Automating patching and deployment can take away both the manual labour that is required to get updates out to end-users, while reducing the impact that patching can have on both end-users and the IT staff.

Taking the right systems management approach can help streamline the process of getting patches out to end-user machines, giving IT more time to concentrate on value-generating activities for the business.

Other major points from the survey are:

  • When asked about testing patches, 20 per cent of respondents admitted that their organisations had been hit by a security issue due to a patch not being in place.
  • 45 per cent of respondents spend up to two hours testing each patch before it is deployed to the business, while 36 per cent allotted between two and four hours’ testing time per patch. Six per cent of respondents spent more than four hours per patch. This compares to 16 per cent of respondents who did not test patches at all before they were implemented, and 20 per cent of companies that only tested critical ones.

The survey results are based on responses from 276 IT decision makers based in the UK. Of those surveyed, 41 per cent came from small businesses (1 – 99 employees), 38 per cent were mid-size businesses (100 – 4,999 employees) and 22 per cent were from large enterprises (more than 5,000 employees). The survey was conducted by eMedia.

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Seann Gardiner, EMEA Regional Sales Director, is responsible for running Dell KACE's operations in EMEA, covering sales and channel development as well as supporting existing customer service. Seann has moved over to managing European operations after being responsible for overseeing the KACE channel network worldwide.