Busy Work versus Thinking Work

Published: 30 August 2016

Andy Harris, Busy Work versus Thinking Work

By Andy Harris

In the world of DevOps there are two types of work, 'busy work' and 'thinking work'. Your staff will be very clear about which they prefer doing.

At the core of Osirium's development principles there are two key views about the SysAdmins and Devops that are on the receiving side of our Privileged Access Management product. These are:

  • Protect the SysAdmin/DevOps against attacks on their account and the device account they use.
  • Shield the SysAdmin/DevOps from as much 'busy work' as possible.

By 'busy work' we mean all the effort required before they can get on with the tasks needed to fix and improve systems. We have a mantra in the office, if you find yourself doing (or needing to do) something three times - get a computer to do it. We follow this philosphy through into our products, here are some examples:

  • Looking up IP addresses, domain names and login credentials for a system you are about to work on: Get Osirium to do this for you, and do the single sign-on whilst your there.
  • Changing passwords, securely recording them, informing all that need to know: Get Osirium to change the passwords, record the historical changes in case a device is restored from backup. When people are separated from passwords there's no need to inform them of the change.
  • Setting up third party access and taking it down when they've finished: Get Osirium to do this for you, and whilst your're at it have the sessions recorded.
  • Filling in the incident logs: Get Osirium to do a fair bit for you, when a SysAdmin/DevOps selects a system to work on, Osirium can ask for the change/incident ticket, check its validity and fill in the start and stop times of sessions.
  • Compliance reporting, need a list of all accounts on all systems across your estate along with their last changed date and who is authorised to use them: Get Osirium to do it.
  • Keep doing the same thing to the same systems: Wrap it up in a task and get Osirium to do it for you, reducing time and errors along the way.

It's worth remembering that it's the 'thinking work' that makes the real changes and improvements to your systems and infrastructure. It's the results of 'thinking work' that improve your organisation's profitability or operational efficiency. Therefore getting Osirium to help with all the 'busy work' benefits everyone except those attacking your systems.

Release Date: 
Tuesday, 30 August 2016
Article Type: 
Blog Post
Andy Harris