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SaaS or On-prem – which option is best for ITAM / SAM Solutions?

May 13, 2022

Migrating workloads to the cloud certainly has its benefits, but can also be a double-edged sword if solutions you rely on either don’t perform as expected from the cloud, or are fundamentally not suited to being hosted off-prem.

IT hardware and software asset management solutions can certainly fall into this problematic category and early stabs at creating functional cloud-hosted ITAM / SAM solutions by major vendors was not great.

Most were little more than a cloud-hosted reporting portal in front of what was still very much a traditional on-prem solution, because there was no way for network discovery / inventory functions to work from the cloud. Others were dressed as simply a cloud-hosted version of the on-prem solution but in reality, worked very differently. Gaps in data and frequent unexpected losses of service when maintenance work needed to be carried out in the background are common. In severe cases, some customers were unable to issue a much-needed fix to their solution, because they unknowingly shared a tenant with another customer who didn’t want to upgrade. Clearly, it’s not as simple as selecting a solution on face-value and vendors have addressed these concerns in different ways.

So, if you’re looking to maximize the benefit of a new SaaS-hosted ITAM/SAM solution, we’ve listed some of the questions you may wish to be aware of to avoid taking a leap of faith…

Will migrating ITAM / SAM to the cloud help to control costs?

SaaS models help to remove significant infrastructure overheads as well the less-predictable total cost of maintaining and managing solutions.  So yes – with a SaaS ITAM and SAM solution, such as Certero, you have a simple, transparent annual total cost model for hosting, enabling far easier budget planning and cost-benefit analysis against an optimally performing solution.

…Does a hosted ITAM / SAM solution accelerate Time-to-value

Another yes – SaaS also directly translates to speed and with ITAM/SAM cost-savings. The faster a solution can be up, running and delivering value, the better. By removing the lengthy internal processes and scheduling of multiple departments, you can reduce the time it takes to start delivering value to the business.  Certero on-prem customers already report the fastest implementation times of any major vendor*, and now with SaaS you can simply turn-on the solutions you need in minutes. For an unbiased, direct comparison of leading SAM solutions by real-life customers, we’d always recommend visiting Gartner’s Peer Insights for valuable reference.

(*Source – Gartner Peer Insights)

Would a Cloud-Hosted ITAM / SAM solution offer greater accessibility?

Another yes – SaaS also directly translates to speed and with ITAM/SAM cost-savings. The faster a solution can be up, running and delivering value, the better. By removing the lengthy internal processes and scheduling of multiple departments, you can reduce the time it takes to start delivering value to the business.  Certero on-prem customers already report the fastest implementation times of any major vendor*, and now with SaaS you can simply turn-on the solutions you need in minutes. For an unbiased, direct comparison of leading SAM solutions by real-life customers, we’d always recommend visiting Gartner’s Peer Insights for valuable reference.

(*Source – Gartner Peer Insights)

Would we lose any data or functionality if we choose a SaaS hosted ITAM and SAM solution?

This is potentially the big one to investigate thoroughly, as not all solutions are equal and for some, this is a massive challenge that simply can’t be addressed without significant re-development work. The market is crying out for SaaS, and so what is offered is a significantly compromised solution.

In the case of Certero, you can expect the same functionality, depth and detail from a SaaS provisioned solution as you would get on prem. This is because the Certero unified platform was created to be fully functional in the cloud and it’s 100% in-house development means it’s free from any acquired, 3rd party or legacy code. That makes a massive difference in how stable and easy to expand the platform is and also means that it’s not an on-prem solution that has been adapted to be cloud-provisioned; Certero was conceived and developed to support being provisioned for customers as SaaS.

Our recommendation would be to spend some time doing your research on this, test any potential candidates and make sure you’re really getting the information you need. Don’t just accept vendors pre-canned reports, as they can be misleading. An ITAM & SAM solution should be able to tell you what you want to know, not limit what queries you can ask. Therefore, test some real-life scenarios and see how easily you can achieve the information you need.

Does SaaS Provisioning restrict how we can access, upgrade and use the solution?

You’d hope not, wouldn’t you? However… this is where some major ITAM/SAM vendors have fallen down. Some solutions can be severely restricted by their provisioning architecture, particularly within shared tenants. This leads to an inflexibility to be able to update your solution and more often than not, the update required is to fix the solution rather than a desirable and none-urgent upgrade. Having a dedicated single tenant may work better, but that or course can come with significant extra cost. Therefore, make sure to ask the following questions:

  •  Can I have a dedicated tenant if I require?
  • If I want to upgrade my solution, can I do this independently without  effecting the other customers on the shared tenant?
  • If I want to add new products to my solution can I do this independently without effecting the other customers on the shared tenant?

The answer you’d receive from Certero would be ‘yes’ to all three. Certero offers standard multi-tenant and dedicated single tenant options, both give you complete freedom and agility to do what you want with your solution. Certero provisioning looks after the solution for you, but you’re in control – if you want to upgrade, add or remove features or products, you can do so easily. No lock-outs, no strange ties to other customers – just complete freedom and efficiency. The single dedicated tenant option with Certero is therefore offered for organizations requiring that level of security or sensitivity, it’s by no means necessary for your solution to work effectively.

Can we integrate our SaaS Provisioned ITAM & SAM solution into our Service Desk?

While we can’t speak for all SaaS provisioned solutions, we can confirm that Certero can certainly integrate with your service desk solution. We highly recommend doing this as Certero’s discovery and inventory has been described as ‘a complete view of our infrastructure that the business has never seen before’ – Certero sees everything. This makes the consolidated, cleansed and enriched data source within Certero the ideal source of information to populate a service desk CMDB. Any Service Desk. Hosting does not prevent this type of highly valuable integration.

What is the impact of hosting on processes like Software Recognition & Intelligence?

The information Certero provides is critical to many operational, managerial, financial and security / governance processes. Automated Software Recognition for example, provides constant identification of what software is discovered across your IT estate and is essential to understand potential security vulnerabilities. Therefore, knowing that the health of the solution and the processes that populate it with intelligence are being optimally performed, provides peace of mind.

Does hosting improve maintenance & availability?

Yes – The headache of solution maintenance and upgrades are a thing of the past. Certero provisioning takes care of that for you, providing an always-on and always up-to-date platform.

Certero’s mature SaaS solution architecture also means that there are none of unexpected drawbacks to opting for a hosted option that have plagued lesser SaaS platforms, such as being locked out while the solution is upgraded or being tied in any way to other customers sharing a tenant. Certero simply works as SaaS should and as you’d expect.

Is SaaS Provisioning secure?

While this varies from vendor to vendor and SaaS is a great way to increase security credentials, there are a couple of things that you can look out for. Formal testing and certifications prove that the vendor is investing in your security, as well as their own. For example, Certero maintain rigorous independent testing in order to remain certified for the following:

  • ISO 27001 Certification for Information Security Management
  • Cyber Essentials Plus Certification
  • Dedicated single tenant hosting
  • Regular off-site backup and recovery.

At Certero we take security extremely seriously as it’s core to our privileged position of trust with our customers and partners. Therefore, it isn’t enough to just consider the Cloud Service Provider’s credentials, the solution vendor also must be vetted.

In addition, SaaS provisioning is great for your disaster recovery / business continuity strategy. Certero provisioning provides off-site back up / recovery by default and through Certero’s partnerships with the major cloud platforms, you have control over how and where your data are held.

Certero provisioning also offers standard multi-tenant and dedicated single-tenant hosting for organizations with heightened security requirements.

Certero’s security credentials are market leading; our technology, internal operations, Cloud hosting and service delivery are delivered to the certified highest standards of Information Security Management. Certero accreditations include ISO 27001 compliance and the Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

What are Certero’s SaaS-Provisioned options on the Unified Platform?

The Certero unified platform simplifies how you see, report and manage IT assets everywhere, all through a single UI. It can be delivered to you as SaaS, providing a single source of detailed, highly-accessible and reliable IT asset intelligence through a single pane of glass.

 The Certero platform’s scope covers solutions for advanced discovery & inventory, hardware, software, SaaS and Cloud asset management, datacenter license optimization of vendors including IBM, SAP, Microsoft and it’s a formally verified solution for Oracle database and Middleware.

Certero’s purpose-built platform architecture enables you to simply switch-on any of the products you need. This trusted and highly accessible information source can revolutionize the way teams work and communicate, with greater insight, agility and autonomy.

Time for Change

The focus of Certero is always delivering value and provisioning an ITAM / SAM / CAM solution or service using SaaS is a great extension to that capability.

You’re not on your own – we’ll work with you to schedule periodic ‘health checks’ to make sure that you’re able to use the solution and your investment in Certero is optimized. As there is so much intelligence captured within Certero, there are almost no limits to how you can use the platform to inform and expedite processes, support decision making, increase clarity of communication, autonomy and the overall pace and agility of IT to support business operations. Our team will work with you to make sure you’re able to get what you need and that your investment in Certero delivers value to – and beyond expectations.

So, if you’re ready to see what Certero can do for you, contact the team today who will be more than happy to discuss your requirements and set up a proof-of concept (PoC) or proof-of-value (PoV)exercise for you to witness the power of Certero first-hand, delivered exactly as you want it.

Can existing Certero customers migrate from on-prem to Certero Provisioning?

Yes you can – and we’ll help you. You won’t lose any data and we can run the systems side-by-side until you’re completely happy. Speak to you account manager or raise a request through the Certero Customer Centre to find out more.

 

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