As IT infrastructures have continued to develop and increase in complexity over time, so have the challenges of managing the associated hardware and software assets.
Successfully addressing these challenges required new solutions which in turn tended to be introduced and adopted sequentially. SAM tool set vendors have traditionally introduced solutions which only cover a certain part of the overall SAM problem e.g. to manage licensing on Windows desktops, or optimize Oracle licensing in the data center. As a consequence, many organizations have had no choice but to provision multiple solutions from multiple vendors. All these different systems have disparate data sources, infrastructure, interfaces, resources, stakeholders and no way of gaining one single view: all resulting in massive cost and confusion. There is also no opportunity to even start to analyze a single set of interlinked data and establish intelligence which could be so valuable to decision making and planning.
Let’s look at some of the key challenges in a bit more detail.
Unnecessary cost and complexity of managing multiple products from different vendors
The constant struggle of managing multiple, disparate solutions from numerous providers puts a continual strain on IT management and adds unnecessary levels of cost and complexity. Each solution will often have its own deployment requirements, needing specific infrastructure and associated support; so just making it work in the first place can be challenging. But what happens when things go wrong? What if there are inter-dependencies between systems? Add in multiple data feeds and the different needs of particular users. What about introducing and integrating additional solutions required to address new challenges as IT infrastructure continues to evolve? What if solutions are based on legacy technology; product updates or version upgrades will probably involve costly migration. It can all quickly add up to a nightmare and finding a quick resolution to even the smallest problem can be impossible. A true, single platform solution is the answer.
Multiple user interfaces and no common user experience
Different solutions have different user interfaces and often vary considerably in functionality. Not only are users faced with the inconvenience and disruption of switching between systems, there is the need for training and on-going familiarization as updates or new versions are introduced. The overall user experience is inconsistent and can quickly lead to dissatisfaction, which in turn can result in poor performance, errors and inaccurate results. Imagine if you could have one common user interface providing the ability to manage all your assets, in real time and across the whole of your IT estate.
Disparate data and no access
Multiple solutions means multiple data sources and a continual uphill struggle to access the information you need to enable effective management, improve control, manage risk and deliver cost savings. In fact, studies have shown that SAM Managers spend up to 70% of their time trying to access data simply for the purposes of management reporting. Even if data can be found, it’ll still be disparate, require repeated cleansing and only represents a point in time view. Accurate, highly granular, dynamic data, traversing multiple systems, is vital for effective decision making. This is the opportunity presented by big data and it can only be realized with a single platform solution.
Poor reporting and business intelligence
Following on from the issue of access to a single source of data, is the requirement to be able to translate data into meaningful information. A powerful business intelligence and flexible reporting engine is essential in order to cut and dice data in any way and display the results as clearly as possible. The ability to undertake scenario planning and easily compare and contrast results simply isn’t possible without the necessary reporting capability. Such powerful, flexible reporting is often lacking for even standalone systems, never mind across multiple systems. This can only be addressed with a single platform solution.
Inability to integrate with ITSM or other systems
The benefits of having a single platform doesn’t stop with ITAM/SAM. We can take a broader view and consider the whole discipline of ITAM, SAM and ITSM (which of course are all in the same category of ITIL). Imagine being able to have a fully integrated solution working across the three towers and delivering the best possible user/management experience, all highly automated and providing a wealth of data that is easily transportable into knowledge dynamically and available exactly when needed.
Don’t believe the hype!
You’ve probably already heard some SAM tool set vendors saying that they have a platform, even a platform solution, but what do they mean by platform? If what is offered is a portal which provides a basic point of access to subsets of data which is actually taken from separate products or disparate solutions, then this is more akin to a portal. It is a front, a veneer which addresses none of the key challenges that a platform would solve.
Certero’s unified platform
The Certero platform has been designed from the ground up to specifically address the challenges you face in the world of asset management and software licensing. It allows you to manage and report effectively across your entire IT estate, whether it be on-premises, mobile or in the cloud. Certero’s best of breed, genuinely free from legacy, solutions run on the Certero Platform, meaning they can operate individually or alongside other Certero solutions; but crucially, together they perform optimally and holistically as one single solution: truly unique. This delivers one common data source, underpinned by a comprehensive business intelligence and reporting engine, giving users and decision makers the ability to cut and dice a vast array of highly granular data which in turn facilitates improved planning, management and control. A common user interface also removes the need for multiple ongoing training expense and disruption.