7 Challenges to Getting an Accurate Baseline for IT Cost Optimization

  • Posted by: Bruce Aboudara

Trustworthy data is vital for IT Finance and Procurement to be able to manage and control costs. In order for IT Asset Managers to identify opportunities for rationalization and improved planning, an IT Asset baseline is critical – but one more granular than is generally available.

Many organizations rely on out-of-date CMDBs and spreadsheets to provide a baseline. Worse yet, they employ spreadsheet kung- fu to combine multiple discovery sets of data. These “business as usual” baseline approaches are further challenged by cloud, virtual and mobile technologies that are rapidly embedding themselves in I&O architectures.

Here are 7 top challenges we have seen to creating a truly accurate and actionable baseline, one that can be relied upon to support IT cost optimization initiatives.

  1. “Shadow IT” in both the LOB and IT itself. It’s no secret that out-of-policy SaaS and device adoption is growing exponentially. If an asset and associated costs (be it SaaS or otherwise) are not part of the standard procurement and inventory process, unexpected liability and compliance issues arise.
  2. SaaS applications. Baseline data won’t be actionable without deep automatic discovery of web application use. It then requires usage tracking to identify the amount of time a user spends interacting with an identifiable page, coupled with normalization of that page to a meaningful app name. Traditional approaches can’t provide this level of accuracy and granularity.
  3. Virtualized desktops and applications. The lack of persistent images and the rapidly changing relationships between hosts, hypervisors, guests, virtual networks, and virtual storage are created at a rate that traditional tools were not built to handle.
  4. Virtualization in the datacenter. Virtualization creates unique challenges to determining the database features enabled, the machines upon which the database runs, and the clustering and virtualization arrangement. These are all necessary to accurately assess costs. Traditional approaches to creating an actionable baseline have not dealt well with this level of complexity or the degree to which these virtual applications can move.
  5. Accurately determining intensity of usage. Intensity of usage can help IT tell the difference between an application or device that’s vital to the organization and one that can be recycled or retired. Merely tracking application opens or browser views can generate “false positives” and skew baselines.
  6. LOB and “ad hoc” BYOD. According to a leading analyst group, line of business management may adopt or retire their own IT assets outside the direct view of IT. In addition, “ad hoc” (for example, people enabling personal smartphones to access company email systems) creates further baseline complexity.
  7. Keeping up with the rate of change. The most significant issue when it comes to creating a truly actionable and accurate asset baseline is the failure of traditional approaches in ITAM tools to be able to keep up with the rate of change in the IT (in-policy or out-of-policy) environment.

One Proven, Scalable Approach to Creating Actionable IT Asset Baselines

Asset Vision® can give you the intelligence you need, the ease of implementation you require, and the adaptable reporting to both creating and maintaining a precise IT asset baseline. You’ll get forensic-level activity analysis of traditional and virtual applications, applications running on virtual desktops, web applications, and high-value server resources such as Oracle and SQL Server databases.

Take a look at Asset Vision in action in this video, “Baseline Creation and Maintenance.”

Author: Bruce Aboudara

Leave a Reply