By: Ari Roth
Working life changed significantly for most of us in 2020. According to Snow’s 2021 IT Priorities Report, 63% of IT leaders reported that technology management became more difficult in the past 12 months. That is no surprise considering 76% said the pace of digital transformation significantly increased and the majority reported increased spend on software, hardware, SaaS and cloud. This pain was especially acute in the public sector, where many organizations had to quickly deploy new technology to ensure business continuity. If this meant standing in line to buy new laptops or accepting free trial software offers without going through the official procurement process, then so be it.
Challenges have consequences
The challenges brought about by a rapid shift to working from home have painful consequences when they aren’t properly managed, including:
· Technical debt due to legacy systems that don’t work as well for remote workers
· A lack of security for home workers in the face of increasing cyberattacks
· Significant learning curve brought about by new hardware/software deployments
· Insufficient access to mission-critical resources, such as down VPNs
· Budget overruns
To combat these and a multitude of other likely issues, you need complete visibility over your newly sprawling IT estate, including hardware, software and of course cloud services.
Regain control with a new approach
With 2021 approaching, it’s now time to go back and get a full picture of what you signed up for to prevent costs from escalating out of control. Are the new cloud services the best fit for your organization for the long haul? Are they being used as they should be? If not, will the business be tied into a product that wasn’t originally budgeted for?
Here are a few recommendations on how to smooth out your go-forward plans in the new year.
1. Gain visibility. In the absence of an ITAM platform that can help you discover, inventory and monitor all your technology and how it is used, tools such as SCCM and BigFix can give you a head start on tracking your hardware and any unauthorized. To control costs, optimize spending and ensure compliance across software and cloud as well, consider a software asset management platform like Snow.
2. Provide direction. According to the 2021 IT Priorities Report, only 53% of employees believe it is easy to get the technology resources they need to do their job. Publish a list of approved software and applications for your users to ensure they know what is available.
3. Establish structure. Implement a software request process to prevent further licensing issues. Contrary to popular belief, employees in our most recent survey reported working with IT to get software and applications is a positive experience – 27% said it made them feel safe, 21% said it was reassuring and 35% said they didn’t mind.
4. Ramp up communication. Regularly inform your users of what is appropriate and what isn’t. Help them understand the tools you already have and frequently remind them about taking proper precautions with data to stay on the right side of GDPR.
Without knowing the real-time status of your hardware, software and cloud services, you could be wasting money or risking an unfortunate surprise when audits come around. Plus, unknown software puts your organization at significant risk.
Visibility into all on-premise technology, cloud services and mobile devices will help you right-size your software usage, protect your business with continuous compliance, and minimize unbudgeted costs and disruption. As your traditional network is now anything but traditional, there has never been a better time.
Want to learn more from a peer? See how Dorset Council, a local government authority, gained visibility over their IT estate using Snow and achieved over 100 percent ROI through license consolidation.