The term “big data” is thrown around these days as though it’s been around for a long time – the concept gained momentum in the early 2000s, but the term itself is still relatively new. The act of storing large amounts of information for analysis is ages old, but with the amount of big data being generated and stored growing exponentially day by day, there are three important factors to consider when choosing a big data plan that saves you time and money:
As IT Asset Management has grown in sophistication and ITAM tools have become better at tracking hardware and software assets, the volume of data collected from all the hardware and software deployed within the organization has ballooned significantly. ITAM data can now be considered “big data.” More than systems and software, ITAM data includes storage, the network and all mobile devices and applications. Inventory or discovery tools will provide visibility into what software and hardware assets are installed and which are actively being used to first understand what is installed and used across your IT estate. When this data has been collected, a license specialist will start to reconcile the install information against your entitlement data and bring any areas of concern to the surface. While this is happening, a hardware specialist will examine the hardware across your estate and compare this with your hardware entitlement information, again, bringing any areas of concern to the surface.
Once you have up-to-date information around what assets are being used, you are in a prime position to discuss licensing terms and contractual agreements with your chosen vendors. This is the power of big data in ITAM.
In order to be truly effective, this gathering/analyzing process needs to be on-going as your estate doesn’t sit still. As staff move and new starters join, and new technologies are implemented (whether authorized or not), your compliance position will be exposed to risk. Asset management forms part of the day-to-day management of your IT environment. To keep up with the changes we have to keep improving our gathering/analyzing processes, which will help your organization to mature and manage technical and financial resources more effectively.
Most organizations have contracts in place with different vendors and understanding what is being used across the board is vital to managing your IT assets. Due to the complexities of some installed software and hardware, understanding what is being used can become as complicated as the install itself! Add to that the use of cloud, mobiles and virtualization, it is clear to see that software usage has become much more fragmented in recent years.
Chief Analytics Officer Spring 2017
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