Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Darren Anstee, Pat Romanski

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety,...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo 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 to wait for long dev...