Cloud Computing Drives Need For A Common Language Of IT

Cloud Computing Drives Need For A Common Language Of IT

The IT landscape has changed significantly over the last few years and not only includes on-premise hardware and applications, but also virtual systems, employee-owned mobile devices, and cloud offerings. The increased adoption of cloud computing in particular provides enterprises with an opportunity to assess their application landscape and make better business decisions about what to keep on premise and what to move to the cloud. But the disparate nature of the rest of IT’s assets obscures its view of the environment and threatens a team’s ability to make informed decisions. Moreover, the inability to connect the dots and analyze the data across technical, financial and operational system silos leads to inaccurate analysis, thus increasing both the cost and risk of moving to the cloud.

How do you ensure that you have the right information and analysis to make sound decisions? The critical first steps in the analysis process include knowing which products the enterprise owns, connecting these assets to financial data such as licensing and contract terms, and mapping them against usage patterns. This type of information and analysis is not only critical for migration to the cloud, but is also essential for other initiatives such as IT audits, Windows 7 migration, data center consolidation and application transformation.

There are three key reasons why it is a challenge to establish a comprehensive view that spans operational, technical and financial systems and to connect the data across these systems.

1. Nomenclature mismatch across systems

To connect the data dots across your systems, the nomenclature must align. For example, your IT asset management (ITAM) system says that you purchased Dreamweaver, made by the vendor MacroMedia (since acquired by Adobe), but your operational system, which extracts much of its information directly from the software’s executable files, says that the product is from Adobe. To compound problems further, your purchasing systems might show slightly different nomenclature for MacroMedia, Inc., which was the company name when the software was purchased. Fixing such discrepancies requires painful manual reconciliation and makes data analysis expensive and error-prone.

2. Inability to measure the accurate cost, usage and vendor spend

Cloud decisions must be made based on accurate cost and usage information. However, measuring the true cost of software is challenging due to the inability to rationalize the software you purchased with the software that’s installed and the software that’s actually in use. Further, the inability to accurately aggregate your spend for each vendor impedes your ability to negotiate favorable vendor contracts as you consider moving to the cloud. In an ideal world, IT managers would run a report in an ITAM or financial system to understand products that are licensed, license costs and installed products. However, it is not that simple.

In addition to the matching nomenclatures, enterprises also need to understand the business lineage of software and software bundling options in order to aggregate and analyze data across these systems. For example, if you’ve been working with a vendor like Adobe, many of your employees may have purchased the Adobe Creative Suite or Design Suite. Other users may have installed individual products such as Photoshop or Illustrator. So your ITAM systems and your operational systems are no longer speaking the same language. Your asset management system thinks you have installed Creative Suite and Design Suite from Adobe, but your operational system can only see Photoshop and Illustrator. You need full knowledge of the business lineage, bundles and actual usage to derive the right cost metrics.

3. Lack of market information

In addition to pricing information, you need market data to make good business decisions. This includes:

  • Compatibility information – IT managers must consider any existing software’s compatibility or availability in a cloud offering.
  • Licensing alternatives – If the software in question can be purchased as a part of a suite, it is important to know which licensing alternatives will allow you to migrate at the lowest possible cost.
  • Support lifecycle information – Knowing where you are in the support lifecycle and total amount spent on support helps with decisions about which applications to migrate and when.

All the above criteria must be met across hundreds of vendors and tens of thousands of software titles in order to make the right trade-off decisions.

How does a common language of IT address the problem?

A common language of IT is essentially a comprehensive, current and common taxonomy of everything in IT. The taxonomy is neatly categorized into appropriate software and hardware types, vendor names, products, version numbers, bundles, business lineage and more. This guide map is an essential starting point. With a common taxonomy, IT teams can normalize data from any repository against data from any other repository. Further, by enriching this guide map with missing market data information, you can carry out sophisticated analysis that was never before possible on a consistent or accurate basis.

Since new products are introduced every day and product ownership changes often due to mergers and acquisitions and other business events, it is critical to continuously update this information on an ongoing basis to ensure up-to-date analysis of IT information. Having a common language of IT enables enterprises to solve big data issues, simplify IT projects and reduce waste.

By Walker White

Walker White is the chief technology officer of BDNA Corporation, creator of Technopedia, the world’s largest IT reference catalog, with more than 450,000 hardware and software products listed from over 11,000 vendors.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups Cloud platforms have become a necessary part of modern business with the benefits far outweighing the risks. However, the risks are real and account for billions of dollars in losses across the globe per year. If you’ve been hacked, you’re not alone. Here are some other companies in the past…

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

Embracing The Cloud We love the stories of big complacent industry leaders having their positions sledge hammered by nimble cloud-based competitors. Saleforce.com chews up Oracle’s CRM business. Airbnb has a bigger market cap than Marriott. Amazon crushes Walmart (and pretty much every other retailer). We say: “How could they have not seen this coming?” But, more…

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Federal Government Cloud Adoption No one has ever accused the U.S. government of being technologically savvy. Aging software, systems and processes, internal politics, restricted budgets and a cultural resistance to change have set the federal sector years behind its private sector counterparts. Data and information security concerns have also been a major contributing factor inhibiting the…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises The surface costs might give you pause, but the cost of diminishing your differentiators is far greater. Will a shift to the cloud save you money? Potential savings are historically the main business driver cited when companies move to the cloud, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a cost-saving exercise. There…

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Machine Learning and Data Scientists In a recent study, almost all the businesses surveyed stated that big data analytics were fundamental to their business strategies. Although the field of computer and information research scientists is growing faster than any other occupation, the increasing applicability of data science across business sectors is leading to an exponential…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…