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Uncovering and Improving Control of IT Assets

Uncovering and Improving Control of IT Assets

By Sameer Padhye

The demise of the CIO has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, at one point, CIO stood for Career Is Over. Most people in the job can tell you that their focus and responsibilities has significantly evolved in the past several years in response to new business challenges and disruptive technologies. As technology has become embedded in most parts of the business, the position of the CIO has expanded. In fact, a 2018 Forbes Insight paper (The Challenges for Tomorrow’s CIO) reveals that…

“over four out of five CIOs believe their role has increased in importance over the last five years”.

CIO’s are more essential than ever.

While they are driving IT strategy across the enterprise, CIO’s are still responsible for day-to-day operations and budgets of the IT department. Maintaining a balance between these competing priorities can be a challenge.

Keeping a Lid on IT Assets and Investments

In response to the digitization of business processes, organizations are investing millions of dollars in IT infrastructure and tools, often without a clear view what they already own. This lack of visibility increases system vulnerabilities and security risks, as well as squander IT budgets and personnel.

Keeping tight controls on IT assets and infrastructure is one way that innovative CIO’s can safeguard and manage their complex disparate system environment.  To start, they need full disclosure and listing of their IT assets, including hardware, network, software, and IoT devices. But today’s distributed and hybrid IT infrastructure has become too complex and opaque to manage manually.

Auto discovery of data from all the disparate sources and devices across the IT environment helps IT leaders build and maintain a reliable, up-to-date inventory of resources. This knowledge will enable better budgeting, troubleshooting, capacity planning, maintenance and effective management of all system assets.

Detecting and Taming Technology Sprawl

When IT does not have full visibility into their environment, it exposes the business to risks and additional expenses. The problem is made worse by:

  • LOB Funding IT Purchase Decisions– In many businesses, funding for technology solutions has spread throughout the business. In the Forbes Insights survey mentioned above, 54% of CIOs noted that their company’s business units are more involved in selecting their own technology, and 74 percent say it’s more important to align with business stakeholders on IT acquisitions.
  • Shadow IT acquisitions– If IT isn’t providing a solution that employees want, chances are they will go off and obtain it anyway, without IT being involved in the decision. These “shadow IT” tools can create ongoing security, compliance and workflow vulnerabilities, along with driving up IT costs and workloads. Once those solutions become outdated or unsupported, they require expensive maintenance and don’t adapt to new business needs. And, while IT may not own all the IT purchase decisions, they are still responsible for making sure nothing goes wrong.
  • Redundant Solutions Drive Up Expenses– Point and/or redundant solutions are not just expensive to purchase, but to maintain and support. This diverts IT staff from value-creating activity; redundant technology can also waste money on software licenses that don’t deliver the right functionality to the business.
  • Overly complex IT environments are messy and vulnerable to problems– When business acquire new divisions, set up transactions with partners/vendors, or bring in new enterprise applications, some legacy solutions may be duplicated and no longer needed. They also drive the need for system interfaces and the number of platforms that must be supported. The more interfaces you have, the more fragile your system, and the harder that system is to maintain.

Key to Success: Gaining Insight into the full IT system architecture

The proliferation of IT systems and tools across the enterprise has created a more complex integration environment. But there are new tools available to help uncover system assets and simplify IT management. Auto discovery solutions can identify all the physical and virtual infrastructure components in a hybrid IT environment by automatically collecting data across the IT domain.

With auto discovery, you can develop a complete picture of the network, the IP devices on the network, the applications and services, along with their relationships and interdependencies. The result is an application map that illustrates the relationships among all IT entities, which will help with system diagnostics, migration planning, and root cause analysis down the line.

Updated insight into your organization’s application and IT infrastructure resources can lead to a better understanding of the interdependencies between system components. This Use Case illustrates how FixStream’s Auto Discovery solution helped a global semiconductor company increase visibility and develop dynamic topology maps of all their datacenters worldwide.

Sameer Padhye is founder and CEO of FixStream.

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