Robin Cronan, Marketing Director, Certero
Originally posted in November 2017, revised in November 2019.
What is Cloud Asset Management?
Cloud Asset Management, or CAM, is not to be confused with cloud-based asset management, which is about managing IT assets using SaaS-based SAM and ITAM solutions. CAM is about managing the challenges of cloud applications, platforms and infrastructure (SaaS, PaaS and IaaS). For instance:
- poor visibility of organizational uptake
- inability to build a centralized view of Cloud coverage
- limited access to subscription data
- limited access to actual usage data
Many predict over 80% of IT budgets will be committed to Cloud applications and solutions by mid-next year. As a result, with so many organizations adopting Cloud First strategies, taking control of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS is increasingly important.
The Challenges of Cloud
It is important to be aware that unsanctioned access to SaaS, PaaS and IaaS is easy for employees. What this means is 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 also increases – therefore risk and cost also increase.
While compliance concerns continue, the focus shifts to optimization. What this means is 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. 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 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 discovery, inventory and consumption tracking of 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 IaaS, PaaS and SaaS 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