What Is Provisioning?
Provisioning is the process of setting up information technology (IT) infrastructure within an organization. Provisioning includes the deployment of on-premise resources such as computers, servers, software, networks, and the establishment of virtual or cloud-based resources like virtual machines and cloud instances. It also includes managing access to compute resources through user accounts and permissions. Provisioning helps companies efficiently manage their compute resources, maintain system security, and increase the scalability of their IT infrastructure.
Types of Provisioning
Server provisioning is the establishment of servers within a network and ensuring new servers have the necessary resources to accomplish their designated task. Server provisioning tasks include procuring hardware, installing operating systems and other necessary software, and managing settings and control panels.
User provisioning deals with user accounts and access to IT infrastructure. It manages the creation, modification, and deletion of user accounts while ensuring that rights and permissions within a system are in line with the role of each user.
Network provisioning is the creation of networks to securely connect devices and users across an organization. It involves setting up components such as routers, switches, and firewalls, and allocating device IP addresses.
Cloud provisioning deals with the infrastructure of an organization's cloud environment. This includes the establishment of the cloud itself, as well as the establishment of resources and applications within the cloud.
Service provisioning refers to the set up of IT-related services for an end user. This could include granting access to software or other tools and managing credentials and system privileges for various services.
What are the Benefits of Automated Provisioning?
Automated provisioning is the automation of user provisioning processes such as onboarding, offboarding, and updating. Automated provisioning saves administrators time, by alleviating the manual work necessary to perform these functions. Benefits of automated provisioning include:
- Reduced human error - Manual user provisioning usually requires sharing information such as login credentials between IT employees and users. Whether through email, communication platforms, or notes, these communications create a potential for human error. In the setup of an account, human error can lead to users having incorrect or insufficient permissions within a system which would present a security concern. The automation of user provisioning can decrease human error and limit the sharing of private information.
- Elimination of security gaps - The human involvement in user provisioning creates security gaps that could allow outside parties to take control of system permissions or create new permissions. The automation of provisioning closes these security gaps and creates a single channel through which additional access can be created.
- Scalability - As organizations grow, manual provisioning can become a bottleneck for the onboarding process for new employees. Automated provisioning can allow companies to easily accommodate rapid growth and adopt new roles easily.
- Money Savings - Automated provisioning systems save companies money in the long term by reducing manual administrative costs and reducing errors. They also help increase new employee productivity, as changes to user permissions and privileges are processed more quickly.
Provisioning is a crucial process in IT infrastructure management that involves setting up and configuring various resources and services such as servers, networks, and user accounts. Provisioning plays a role in the deployment of all IT resources including servers, user accounts, networks, clouds, and services. Through provisioning, organizations can optimize their IT infrastructure and drive greater business value. Some provisioning tasks can be automated to reduce administrative load while reducing human error, closing security gaps, and enhancing scalability. As organizations continue to embrace automation and cloud-based solutions, the importance of effective provisioning will continue to grow.