Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

The Lost Stepping Stone to the Cloud

We propose that ITAM is on the cloud radar and in direct view straight ahead

IT Asset Management, or ITAM if you prefer, is the lost link to the cloud. There, now we've said it, do you feel better?

Before we can decide whether this is true, we need to understand what ITAM really is of course.

Sometimes called EAM (Enterprise Asset Management), the practice of asset management is quite a broad term used to describe the process of auditing and subsequently overseeing the total number of IT assets inside a company.

Encompassing hardware, but predominantly focused (these days) on software, asset management allows IT managers to improve cost control, perform maintenance scheduling, manage upgrades and look downstream towards decommissioning and replacement.

This last element of ITAM, i.e., ‘decommissioning and replacement' probably (more than any other aspect) comes from the traditional view of asset management where software, servers, desktops and mobile devices might be retired once they can be said to be obsolete.

From Retirement, to Upgrade
In the new service-based world of computing as typified by the cloud model we move to a point where retirement becomes a less tangible or visible process as services from our hosting provider of choice are simply upgraded. At the user end, there is often no visible difference (at either the datacenter or the desktop) apart from an improvement in performance.

But asset management goes beyond simple questions of system upgrade. With ITAM we are able to analyze the productive contribution made by every element of our IT stack to a higher-level business algorithm. Inside this calculation we can correlate and cross-correlate every IT asset against a financial model that encompasses contracts, profitability and trading figures right across the business.

...and Then Comes the Cloud
Analyst firm Gartner IT held its second Financial, Procurement & Asset Management Summit 2012 in London this October to discuss the impact of ITAM in light of the convergence of cloud, virtualization and bring your own device (BYOD) technologies.

So the connection starts to become clear. A migration to the cloud should be undertaken in order to improve computing flexibility and agility yes, but it should also be done with a view to optimizing costs and moving to a new virtualized computing framework where buying power is also improved.

Put simply, we have a new way of buying our IT assets in the form of services, so this means that we also have a new responsibility for managing those assets. In this scenario, we need ITAM to get us to the cloud, we need ITAM to manage us in the cloud and we need ITAM to keep us productively and profitably housed within the cloud as well.

What the Industry Says
Quoted on dedicated IT asset management website The ITAM Review, CTO and founder of iQuate Jason Keogh argues that asset management and the cloud must now focus on each other if we are to negotiate this missing stepping stone to virtual computing efficiency. Keogh describes ITAM and its place upon the stepping stones to cloud migration.

"A proper understanding of the risks and costs involved in moving expensive, datacenter and server [level] software into shared services and cloud-based infrastructures will save large enterprises millions of dollars, while reducing risk. If you don't agree strongly with that sentence, let me invert it for you: migrating expensive, server software to shared services and cloud-based infrastructure without a proper understanding of the risks involved will cost enterprises millions of dollars. Do you agree now?"

Cloud vendors and/or hosting providers largely concur and so advocate a diligent approach to asset management analysis to oversee (and help manage on an onward basis) the movement to a services-based computing structure.

"The ability to locate, audit, quantify and qualify the total scope of any firm's IT stack is a critical part of any progressive cloud adoption program," says Garry Prior, senior product manager at Rackspace.

"When firms have a clear understanding what it takes to transition their IT assets to the cloud and move to a utility billing model, there opens up a real opportunity to provision only the resources needed and avoid the future expense of depreciating or upgrading IT hardware. Adapting IT management for the cloud is central to our customers' deployments of virtualized hosted solutions and we welcome the burgeoning and strengthening of offerings in this sector."

Where Can I Buy Cloud ITAM?
Cloud ITAM offerings come in many shapes and sizes with Gartner defining many of these solutions as coming from the so-called ‘megavendors.' HP for its part offers HP Asset Manager software to automate best practices across the IT asset lifecycle and integrate with firms' IT processes.

According to the company's website, "With HP Asset Manager you can implement analytics to optimize the value of IT assets and services. You can improve audit compliance by controlling where assets are and who is using them throughout the life cycle. You can control purchasing and chargeback, and compare the performance of your vendors. HP Asset Manager provides IT service cost information along with the data and governance necessary for all your IT processes to function optimally."

Perhaps the fact that the aforementioned Gartner conference is now only in its second year should speak volumes to us in this space? The analyst firm doesn't need much encouragement to pump out its seemingly limitless market predictions. Equally, the firm can get a conference together to discuss emerging trends pretty fast - but we're only in year two!

We propose that ITAM is on the cloud radar and in direct view straight ahead.

•   •   •

This post first appeared on Enterprise CIO Forum.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.