Cloud Asset Management – An Introduction

20 Nov 2019

Home / Expert Advice / Cloud Asset Management – An Introduction

Robin Cronan, Marketing Director, Certero

Originally posted in November 2017, revised in November 2019.

What is Cloud Asset Management?

Cloud Asset Management (CAM), should not be confused with cloud-based asset management, which is about managing IT assets using SaaS-based SAM and ITAM solutions. 

CAM is primarily about managing the challenges of cloud applications, platforms and infrastructure (SaaS, PaaS and IaaS). For instance:

  • inability to track and manage the growing use of SaaS applications and providers
  • lack of a centralized view of Cloud resources and consumption
  • limited access to SaaS subscription data
  • limited access to actual SaaS, IaaS and PaaS usage data

With so many organizations adopting ‘Cloud First’ strategies, taking control of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS is increasingly important. It is also vital, however, that Cloud Asset Management is not viewed in isolation. It should be part of your overall ITAM program or strategy.


The Challenges of Cloud

The introduction of cloud-based software, hardware and services means it has never been easier for employees to create unsanctioned technology consumption. This used to be known as ‘Shadow IT’, but today is becoming increasingly ‘business as usual’.

This ability to self-serve technology has created significant issues around visibility, awareness and control increase for IT departments. As a result, the gap between what IT Managers think they know and what is actually true is constantly increasing – which also means that risk and cost increase.

The nature of these risks and costs changes as cloud adoption increases. Historic priorities such as compliance and license management give way to more focus on cost controls, cyber security and technology governance.

Organizations need an understanding of what applications, platforms and infrastructure is being used when, where, how and by whom. However, the challenges of Cloud Asset Management require a different approach to traditional Software Asset Management and ITAM. Traditional SAM focuses on the life cycle of software assets with on-premise licensing models. Extending that approach to cloud simply isn’t appropriate because the two are very different and need different solutions.

To successfully manage cloud assets, key questions need to be addressed:

  • Do you have a full understanding of most expensive cloud-based applications, platforms and infrastructure used across your organization?
  • Are you fully aware of the impact on governance and security?
  • Do you know how much your organization is spending in the Cloud?
  • Are you actually using what you’re paying for?
  • Can you easily obtain subscription or usage data and access valuable management reports?
  • Are you getting value for money from your Cloud investment?
  • Can you successfully plan any future Cloud migration?
  • Can you easily access all the information you need to ensure a successful transition?


Benefits of Cloud Asset Management (CAM)

An effective Cloud Asset Management program should address the questions above and deliver a host of benefits, including:

  • Accurate tracking of key applications delivered in the Cloud
  • Overcome the limitations of Cloud portals, by providing access to a single centralized view
  • Expanded access to data and improved analysis and reporting
  • Granular insight into SaaS, IaaS and PaaS usage across your organization
  • Combine Cloud and on-premise deployment data for a complete end-to-end view of your IT ecosystem
  • Accurate, complete view of investments and their usage across the whole IT estate enables better cost control
  • Access all the information needed to ensure a successful migration to the Cloud


Integrated CAM, ITAM and SAM

Although cloud-based applications and resources require different technologies and practices, it is important that they are not managed in isolation. Instead, cloud software and instances should be part of your organization’s wider Software Asset Management and IT Asset Management programs, enabling you to build a holistic view of all technology usage, regardless of platform, location, budget holder or consumer.

Certero’s Unified Platform provides all the tools necessary for organizations to deliver holistic SAM and ITAM across the entire technology estate. The platform comprises the following core components:

  • Certero for Enterprise ITAM – full visibility of on-premise hardware and software plus inventory of resources in Azure and AWS.
  • Certero for Enterprise SAM – complete coverage of on-premise software for all strategic software publishers including Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Autodesk etc.
  • Certero for Cloud – manage your key SaaS expenditure including Office 365, Salesforce, Adobe Creative Cloud, G Suite, Okta etc.

Speak to one of our experts about your CAM challenges