free whitepaper: Unifying IT SolutionsIt starts with one call. Then another user opens a ticket reporting sluggish laptop performance. One more call comes in, then a few more similar incidents and service requests. By the time the Help Desk Agent can see the bottom of that first cup of coffee, a bigger problem is evident, but not quite yet visible. It’s going to be a long day…

Several follow-up calls later, things start to come into focus: A company executive came back from a conference last week with “the greatest app ever created.” With little further encouragement needed, a USB drive is being passed around the department, perhaps the entire office. It turns out this “killer” app is a resource hog, killing productivity among the employees using it.

Let’s take a look at the numerous IT visibility challenges this scenario highlights:

  • Shadow IT — IT has no visibility to this app until there’s a problem. With users passing around a USB drive, there is no accounting for potential licensing exposure. And there is no way to account for an application you can’t see.
  • Security Risk — First, passing around a USB drive from a conference? NO! No! No! Then, there is the application itself. Is it secure? Does it contain malicious code? How and where does it install on users’ devices? What systems does it connect to? What data is it collecting? Bottom line: You can’t protect what you can’t see.
  • Support — It takes significant investigating before the service desk turns incident data into insights on a potential trend, and then determine the underlying root cause. Without complete IT visibility, it’s difficult to know the extent of the issue, how widespread this problem is, which devices are affected, or which users are impacted.  Can we say for certain that all users experiencing this issue have received the appropriate fix? You can’t support what you can’t see.
  • Governance — Perhaps this app is actually a useful tool with a memory leak that needs updating. It may be beneficial to a team or department’s productivity.  But without visibility, how do you make sure the appropriate, authorized users get the updated and approved version of the app? You can’t manage what you can’t see.

Visibility is a foundational element to successful IT management, no surprise. Seeing all your assets gives you the necessary insight to improve your level of service to users.  It also is crucial to optimizing your security posture and the proper management of the whole IT estate. But visibility also yields productivity benefits. Visibility helps IT be more effective, leading to opportunities to optimize costs, both today and in the future. Improving visibility also makes it easier for IT to improve the experience delivered to employee-users and customers.  Ultimately, visibility gives IT organizations the insights needed to anticipate organizational needs and take the best, most prescriptive actions.

So, how do you get started on the path toward better IT visibility across your environment? Often, it starts with taking a realistic assessment of where you are, and where you aspire to be. How well are you tracking the work coming into your service desk? How often are you verifying the location of assets on and off-network? Are your current visibility methods (like spreadsheets) restricting how much your IT organization can grow? What level of confidence do you currently have that patches have been universally applied? For each of these questions, you need two answers – the present and your future state.

How do you raise visibility to get to that future vision? Check out our whitepaper, which shares this and five more typical IT scenarios, highlighting IT visibility challenges and tips for improving IT visibility and insights for better outcomes in your organization. Give it a read and you’ll see all the possibilities!