World Perspective: Cloud Technology – the Cloud Changes IT Asset Management Philosophy

By Lukas Gabrys & Monika Wasilewska-Serwiak, BTC

Big Changes around the Corner

The forecast for the cloud computing market in Poland for the coming years seems to be promising. According to the IDC Report concerning private and public clouds, the Polish cloud market accounts for 7% of the service and IT asset outsourcing market in terms of its value. According to experts, during the next two to three years, the average annual growth rate for the cloud computing sector will be around 33%. This means that it will exceed six times the average figure for the entire IT service market. IT directors and managers increasingly recognize the fact that adoption of the cloud model brings significant changes in the organization and operation of IT services and processes as a whole.

“Cloud is a natural direction for development of the modern technology market. Increasingly important role of mobile work and the market of people referred to as ‘digital natives’, people born after 1980 who since their childhood had a contact with modern technologies and feel comfortable with them, are decisive factors contributing to growing popularity of those solutions,” says Michał Olan, Cloud Products Manager, BTC, a capital group providing services such as software compliance audit or hardware audit using the cloud model.

Software under Scrutiny

Remote IT asset management, which is possible due to an innovative cloud technology, is a step towards more efficient and effective software tracking and its compliance. Software asset management offered by cloud solutions helps to monitor software used in an organization regardless its size. The service enables:

  • Defining prohibited applications
  • Monitoring license subscription periods
  • Analyzing license updates
  • Dividing software into applications and packages
  • Developing history regarding licenses assigned to a given application
  • Adding software which has not been identified previously and defining a license model

Standard deliverables for this service includes reporting on activities and results as well as providing a graphic presentation of data.

A compliance audit is also important since it provides an inventory of all applications and collates them with the licenses purchased. In addition to the license balance, the audit analyzes freeware, shareware, adware and verifies the possibility of using free applications in the commercial environment. The audit process may end with obtaining compliance certificates from selected software manufacturers. A company may also resort to the support of an auditor to improve compliance and obtain not only a graphic presentation of audit findings but also a detailed audit report. It is also possible to provide internal and external audits. Moreover, cloud solutions provide hardware and file audits.

Equally important as the audit capabilities is that users are not left with the regulations and technology alone in the cloud. On the contrary, they have access to the knowledge of experts to guide them through the complexity of licensing and to go through the audit process.

It is Safer in the Cloud!

Cloud computing solutions provide a new dimension of security in IT asset management. Full data security is ensured by the SSL communication and comprehensive assess monitoring. All processes require dual authorization and servers are continuously monitored. At the same time, several backup copies are developed and stored and data processing monitored. An unquestioned advantage of the technology is its enhanced reliability as compared with traditional IT asset management.

Additionally, cloud services provide customers with the opportunity to develop their own private cloud dedicated to the company. This improves control over cloud architecture and enables ad hoc personalization.

Cost Efficiency

The key to the success of every business is profit maximization and cost cutting. The greatest advantage of cloud solutions is the possibility of full control of costs which, as a consequence of that control, leads to their decrease. Step by step, cloud technology has revolutionized IT asset management in terms of its cost efficiency. It primarily improves the use of time, space and money. It is no longer necessary to develop IT infrastructure, dedicate space for servers or build data warehouses. There is no need to spend time removing failures in the IT infrastructure. You pay for what you use and not what you own. Traditional technologies in some cases were not fully implemented after purchase and, over time, they often ceased to be used.

Cloud solutions allow for accurate cost estimates as well as cost forecasting and optimization, which translates into new savings. Moreover, the low implementation cost makes the cloud computing model available for virtually any organization. Therefore, SMEs gain access to solutions previously available to large corporations only.

Unrestricted Access

Not so long ago, computers were big in size, but technology now lets us enjoy the opportunities of laptops, notebooks, tablets or smartphones. Mobile devices had an undefined future, but today, most of us cannot imagine functioning without them.

Today, it is cloud computing that is developing in a dynamic way – and by all indications, servers and cloud services will be chosen by a greater and greater number of users in the coming years. The technology ranges from simple hosting services to modern servers in the cloud with services such as Dropbox or online documents. The driving force for these changes is innovation. According to Gartner research, by 2014, virtualization of server workloads will reach 60%. Mimecast findings claim that seven out of 10 companies are planning to use cloud solutions in the future. Thanks to creative ideas and the power of the human mind, cloud solutions are a dynamically developing branch of IT.

According to IDC, in 2009, the number of people in the global mobile work market reached the level of about 25% of all employed. The work and operation of companies is increasingly moving to the virtual space. Cloud computing technology fits perfectly into this trend, responding to the needs of contemporary managers and employees. Users of the cloud service gain access to their IT assets at any place: at home, at work, while travelling or while participating in meetings at another company’s location. For instance, an IT Manager may remotely check which software is downloaded by his/her subordinates. In general, access to assets and their management is possible everywhere there is access to the internet.

Cloud technology enhances employee competency and level of communication. We have observed a visible change in the approach to IT departments and their operation that is increasing. With the additional access, IT personnel gain new competencies and participate in managing asset while managers understand the role of IT specialists to a greater extent and become capable of managing hardware. What will come next?

Reference

Cloud statistics quoted from Cloud Spectator, www.cloudspectator.com

About the Author

Monika Wasilewska-Serwiak is the International Sales and Marketing Director for BTC Sp. z o.o.