He Said/She Said: Tech Trends Impacting your ITAM Program
June 28, 2017
Patricia Adams | ITAM Evangelist | Ivanti
Denny Cannon | Enterprise Architect | Ivanti
With technological change accelerating and businesses on the lookout for ways to gain a competitive advantage, keeping an eye on upcoming trends is a must. But what trends are affecting your asset management program, and which strategies will help you prepare for the inevitable? In this webinar, Patricia Adams and Denny Cannon with participate in a panel discussion, where they will go over:
- IT trends in 2017 and beyond that will impact IT Asset Management programs
- Strategies that will be helpful in preparing for these changes
Read the Webinar Recap and Q&A Here
Patricia: Thank you all for joining the presentation today. We're going to talk about tech trends that will impact both software and hardware asset management. When I speak about asset management, I usually speak about it in terms of IT assets rather than segmented into SAM or HAM because there are many assets that fall within a standard asset program. We're also starting to see more organizations look at IOT assets, which traditionally were not considered part of IT, as falling within scope today.
If we look at this first slide, it shows a quote from Ray Kurzweil made in 2001. I think this really demonstrates what's happening today with technology. The quote states: ''We won't experience a hundred years of progress in the 21st century. It will be more like 20,000 years of progress that are going to all happen within this century.''
The reason it's so advanced right now is the rate of technological change has accelerated greatly. We're already talking about autonomous vehicles, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, which are really changing the way we do things. With natural language processing and devices like Alexa and Apple's new announcement, we’ll start to see these impact our lives and how we do our jobs as asset managers over the next five to ten years.
We're going to walk you through a few of the key trends today. What are the trends in 2017 and beyond? We know for most asset managers, when coming up with their vision, direction, strategic roadmap, looking out three years is hard to do. Understanding what trends are happening today―yes, we can see those. It's June, we're already halfway through the year. We're going to segment the trends into 18-month trends and 36-month trends, things you can keep an eye on and consider how, potentially, they will impact your asset program.
We'll talk also about which strategies will help you prepare for the change. Knowing what the changes are is great, but what you have to do to prepare for them is really the critical piece. This is the hands-on advice about what you can do.
If we look at the marketplace today, we see many organizations with huge market caps and valuations by Wall Street. This is a list from CNBC of disruptive companies from 2016, a lot of which we're familiar with. There's Uber, Airbnb, many of us have heard of them. We're also seeing companies doing more financial-based applications, which might be geographically or regionally centric. We're also seeing Palantir Technologies, which does work with the government about securing data. 23andMe is a company that was recently approved by the FDA as a medical device that does DNA gene typing. People send in samples of their saliva, which the company is using to build a massive database about people and not only potential health issues, but also their ancestry. We have Bloom Energy, which focuses on helping companies and individuals with power consumption.
What do all of these companies have in common? Trust is one thing. If it's Uber, we have to have a level of trust that the driver who’s picking us up has been certified, verified, and it's secure for us to get into the car with this individual. If we're renting a house or a room from a stranger through Airbnb, we have to trust in that individual and that we're going to be safe and secure in that location. It's not only about trust, there's also the social aspect of it and the big data aspect of it. These organizations are collecting massive amounts of data about how we move around, what our buying patterns are, where we do transactions. All this data they're collecting is useful, because they can take this data and create new products and new partnerships, which enables them to be more flexible in terms of their product development. They can roll out new products faster than companies with legacy technology can.
Danny: We wanted to review those changes, and that now brings us to our first polling question. How does this happen? Have you spent any time losing sleep over the WannaCry WannaCrypt?
Impact of WannaCry
Patricia: As we all saw back in May, WannaCry is a ransomware strain that started in the east and spread west. Many organizations were hit by it unknowingly, because they had legacy applications that made them vulnerable. If you could complete the survey question here: Did you lose sleep over WannaCry? Yes, for a few nights. Yes, only one night. Yes, still worried about it. And, No. The reason we included “still worried about it” is I saw an article last week reporting one of the Honda manufacturing locations was hit by WannaCry again, so even though we think it's done with, and Microsoft very kindly issued two patches to help with it, there are organizations still being impacted. (Can we close out the poll now Danny?)
Patricia: Did we get data from that?
Patricia: Can you tell me what it says?
Danny: The top response is “No.”
Patricia: Okay, so they weren't impacted by it. Great, that's good to hear. Let's move to the next slide: What inhibits innovation? The reason we asked about WannaCry, and the reason I provided a list of disruptive companies is, because they are new, they're not burdened by technical debt. Technical debt is any legacy applications, browsers, or operating systems running in your environment that are end of life or end of support by your supplier. The problem there is that early on, we created a lot of applications that were interconnected. They were strategic to running the business, and now it's difficult to move off those applications. I understand that completely. For years, we've said the mainframe is dead, but we have yet to see the mainframe be eliminated from many companies today.
The challenge with having technical debt is it holds the company back. It holds it back from adopting new technologies and rolling out new products faster, because you have these interrelationships between IE7, Windows XP, and whatever other applications you have. The challenge is, if it's not patched and supported, it exposes your organization to risk. That's why we see many organizations look at acquiring third-party support from companies in the marketplace that specialize in such because they recognize there's an opportunity to help companies maintain those legacy systems.
The other challenge with technical debt is we end up with a lot of applications in our project and portfolio that we're managing. These are applications that may not be significant to a large part of our user base, but we're still hanging on to these applications. In some cases, if they haven't been end of life, we might be paying maintenance on applications that are not being fully utilized.
If you want to help the organization move ahead, one way to do this is to evaluate your current portfolio and take that information to your senior sponsor or C-level executive. In the case of WannaCrypt WannaCry, the senior sponsor is the chief security officer. That’s the person with the IT budget who can say, ''Let's go out and protect the organization.''
I was at a conference recently where one of the attendees mentioned he ran a scan and was pretty certain the company didn't have any XP in their environment. It turned out they did have XP, but it was running the building entrances and exits and all the doorways. Keycard access to move around the building was run on a Windows XP system.
It's not unusual to see that. We see companies that run their elevators and heating and air conditioning systems on Windows XP, and by the way, those systems might be connected to the network. They might not be behind the firewall. In the case of the organization where the door-locking system was run by XP, they segmented the network so the application in their computer systems that ran the doors never actually hit the Internet. They were not concerned at all about WannaCry. If you still have legacy systems in your environment, look at ways of making them efficient so you can work around them if you need to keep them.
Danny: I think the only thing I would expand on a little more is that we see customers trying to understand the balance between what the business is in business for and why IT is there to support that. They're not always aligned. There's not always the full understanding from top to bottom within the IT department of what the business is there to do. That’s really what's causing some of the pain from the technical debt side when we talk about exactly what you said―upgrades, patches, change management, operational tasks. How do you turn those into an innovative methodology?
Because of all the past technical debt of applications, as you said, or infrastructure in general, those operational tasks are not being viewed by the business as innovative in helping the business move forward. It's one of the reasons we see the “unification of IT” as a term we talk about (at least internally and starting to externally at Ivanti). It is an alignment of IT to what the business does to make money that is needed desperately. Until that innovation comes into play, we’ll continue to see technical debt be a burden in this environment.
Patricia: Yes. I talked to a company on Monday, in fact, that indicated the same thing. They’re in manufacturing, and robots create their products. They have a $100 million line of investment in robots. They have no plans to get rid of them because of technical debt. They're just going to segment their network to account for that.
Danny: Absolutely, so what do we have to plan for in the next 18 months?
Trends in the Next 18 Months
Patricia: We've segmented these trends because we couldn't cover all of them in a 60-minute webinar. We’ll focus on the three on the left here―cloud, anything X application as a service, asset as a service. We'll also look at the interrelationship between DevOps, SecOps as in security ops, and ITAMOps. We'll also look at the increased court challenges.
On the right-hand side are trends evident in some organizations today or will be over the next 18 months. Security threats―it’s pretty obvious that's a challenge. We're also seeing a lot of organizations look at adaptive sourcing models to make themselves more agile and flexible. Financial management is always a challenge. We always have to keep an eye on the budget and on spend. but now we're going to be looking at data elements we’ll be be reporting on, to report to management.
And, of course, IOT. Everybody's worried about all the IOT assets hitting their networks. They need to make sure they know about them, that they're patched, and they're managed. We see Google and Microsoft coming out with specific services to help customers manage the data they're collecting from those IOT devices but not manage the contracts and the warranties behind it. Also Shadow IT. When the business unit has their own budget, and they buy whatever they want to buy, it's a challenge to get visibility into that.
Let's go to cloud now. Gartner is forecasting all sorts of growth with cloud. The adoption rate has been huge. It started out slowly in 2007–2008, but even before that, in the early 2000s, it was called Application Service Providers or Management Service Providers, ASP, MSP. The concept of cloud, or having things based not on your premises but at another location where you use a utility-type model to get your computing resources or your computing power, is certainly something that's been around for awhile. But I'm focusing on that hockey stick, which happened over the past five-six years, where a lot more organizations, including governments, have become comfortable with the idea of putting applications out in the cloud and relying on their service provider for security because of resource constraints.
The resource constraints might be footprint in the datacenter, headcount, they want to switch everything to a CapEx budget instead of an OpEx budget. When we look at these external services, the challenge is getting visibility into what we're consuming. We need to understand when it’s being turned on, when it’s being turned off, and how much compute power or storage we are utilizing and measure that usage. Otherwise, we get a bill or an invoice and freak out at the cost because cloud sprawled, as we saw with virtual machine sprawl in the datacenter. Cloud sprawl is happening in many organizations, so we need discovery tools that can get us visibility, so we can understand what's happening and what's being consumed.
If we're doing any type of hybrid cloud model, where some of it runs on-prem and some external, the challenge is to link the configurations of the cloud services and the on-premise stuff so we have complete visibility into how things are connected, which is really what's happening in our service management area. We have to link the contracts and the cost to understand what kind of value or return on our investment we're getting from the cloud provider. Danny, would you like to add anything?
Danny: As we’ve talked about in the past, I really don't see the 100%―closing it all out and going right to the cloud taking everything I have. I think there are instances where that applies. We have customers I talk to on a regular basis who have done that, and it is really a unique model. But when you get down to the nuts and bolts, it is more of a hybrid approach where customers are taking on half of the environment, or half their job, I should say, is managing their cloud infrastructure and gaining visibility and the other half is trying to keep the in-house stuff in order.
As you look at that, and because there is no Magic 8 Ball to tell you the solution unfortunately, what do you think when we see that hybrid versus cloud strategy? Do you see people leaning one way or the other depending on what the application is, or do they lean more toward one depending on what it does for the business?
Patricia: I think it's unique to each organization. I think it depends on budget, it depends on what kind of business they're in. There are a lot of factors that go into that. Right now, in Europe, we're seeing that the Data Protection Act is going into effect next spring, May 2018, and I think that's going to impact us, as well. It's going to force organizations to rethink where their data resides. Is it safe where it's going to be? Is it being moved around? I think it's unique to each organization, in each business, if they're regulated, if they have headcount restraints or budget constraints, all of that will have an impact on what they decide to do.
Benefits of DevOps
Danny: That's exactly what I'm seeing, as well. What about DevOps? How does that fit into this?
Patricia: DevOps is about doing things faster. We can't take a long time to have change advisory board meetings that take days and weeks to complete. We have to do things faster. We have to be more nimble, because the rate of change is accelerating. Here's data I found from a survey Puppet Labs did of their customers. Puppet Labs is a datacenter orchestration company. They surveyed their advanced customers to find out what benefits they get from DevOps. I will say it's probably not a statistically valid sample since they're surveying their customers, but they have over 65,000 Twitter followers. Some of them are vendors, partners, things like that, but out of that 65,000, maybe 20,000 completed this survey. Oh, it says here 25,000+ and 25 global IT operations teams completed the survey. I think that’s a big enough cross-section to see what kind of benefits they get from DevOps.
They get lower IT costs, faster business growth, higher-quality apps, and greater employee productivity. That's the thing that holds a lot of companies back from growing―employee productivity. The fact they could get a 30% increase in productivity is huge, and look at what their customers are saying―23% of customers are much happier with the service they're getting. Another important data point here is the 31% improvement in recruitment and retention. A lot of organizations today can't find the skilled, knowledgeable people they need to deliver on their strategies, so if they can retain them, that's great.
Asset Management Needs Changes
These are benefits from DevOps. Now think asset management. We can get the same kind of savings and return them back to the organization if we're more agile. The other day, I heard someone make a great comment about not wanting to be the bottleneck anymore. “Asset management and procurement can't be the bottleneck. We need to shatter that bottle.” It's absolutely true. If we can support the business, we can achieve the same kind of numbers from an asset perspective by helping the business be more nimble, by giving them applications within seconds when requested. It’s the same expectation consumers have from iTunes, the Apple Store, or Amazon―when they want something, they get it right away. We don't want to say, ''Okay, hang on. It's going to take us six weeks. We're going to have to negotiate this contract.'' No, we have to be agile. We have to offer it to them much faster.
I think the way we traditionally do asset management is already starting to shift. We have asset catalogs in place where we have a preapproved list of applications that have been vetted by security and enterprise architecture. We've taken steps in the right direction, but we have to take a few more big steps before we can get to the point where we are as fast as DevOps without having to buy the all-you-can-eat license plans, the all-you-can-eat site license or EULA. We want to buy the most cost-effective option. That's where something like Amazon's Elastic Beanstalk cloud can help. You buy low, what you're going to use directly today, and don’t pay for anything else until you're ready to turn it on. The technologies are out there to help us, we just have to take advantage of them.
Contract Writing Must Change
What's another trend we're seeing? Well, traditionally, software vendors were reluctant to take customers to court or challenge things in court because they then had to put a stake in the ground around terminology in their contracts. We're seeing that change. The shift started back in 2012 with Oracle versus UsedSoft in Europe. Recently, we saw SAP challenging Diageo and InBev regarding indirect use rights in their contracts. What this means to us as asset managers is we have to get better contracting in place. We have to be working with a better template with our vendors. We have to have a better understanding of what the terms and conditions mean. We have to educate our development teams so that as they create new products, they're not using software or installing software in a way that violates the license agreements.
I've seen many companies start to build mobile front ends to their back-end SAP infrastructure, and that's how companies get out of compliance with indirect use. There is a caution here. With vendors going to court, it's very expensive to move off an ERP application. We did see Workday emerge as a provider of HR and back-end office about eight years ago, so competitors emerge in the marketplace when vendors challenge their customers or are inflexible in what they're doing. I also saw something in the news at the beginning of this week about a company that had to move off SAP. It's expensive to buy these ERPFs, it's also expensive to move off, but when you're facing a huge fine or penalty, there comes a point where there's a breakeven, and you start looking for other options.
Danny: I'm sure your law degree is the same as mine, meaning it doesn't exist. As we talk about these things, there’s some information I’ve never been able to find. We see the fines and information about the results when they’re published, as some of the numbers are, but do they ever talk about what it costs the companies in legal processing fees? Do they talk about the kinds of efforts they've had to put in internally to address the issue, beyond the fee itself? Is that ever discussed?
Patricia: At my former employer, I did see that when the average organization went through an audit, it cost the organization about $500,000 in legal time, engineers, and people, everything on the internal side, to respond to that audit. This was not being taken to court, it was a major supplier, but didn't go to court. I saw data from the ITAM Review where they did a study that found the average audit takes 7.13 months to go through. That's a huge chunk of time. Between the costs and the time, it can really delay organizations in rolling out their projects and doing business as usual.
Danny: Not to mention the fact you end up not only delaying rollouts, but also, if the product, like an SAP, is helping run your business, you're hesitant to start anything new you want to do because you don't know what the impact might be. I see the same things on delays that happened internally, and it causes all kinds of projects to move all over the place.
Danny: Switching from audits that happen, what about longer-term trends? We talked about the 18-month trends, but what about longer-term trends in the next 36 months?
Patricia: Once again, we're starting with the top three here. We touched on cloud, SAS(?)[LA1] , and Shadow IT, and how that's going to impact things over the next 18 months, but going forward, we need to be aware, if we're putting more into the cloud, what's the impact of outages? Also resource constraints, I've mentioned resource constraints several times. What's the impact Generation Z workers will have? And something we all need to keep in mind is how Bitcoin or Blockchain might help us.
Other areas to keep in mind are on the bottom here, these bottom three bullet points include:
Hyperscale datacenters: Even though we're putting stuff in the cloud, there are still organizations that have consolidated their datacenters and built massive, shiny, energy-efficient, hot/cold-aisle hyperscale datacenters with racks of 90 servers all in one rack, and they're leasing out capability. They're renting it out to local businesses or nearby companies. This means IT is no longer a cost center or utility, it's generating revenue for an organization.
Free and open-source software: I'm seeing more companies look at this. They're running Hadoop or Ubuntu Linux, but they're not recognizing there may be costs associated with those or licensing terms. Even though it's free, companies still have to understand the security aspects.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence: We'll touch on this a little, but we need to recognize this plays a role here, too.
Danny: Let's talk about "Please don't let it happen to me―what happens when the cloud goes down?" and experiences we've seen already.
Dealing with Cloud Outages
Patricia: Well, on March 1, Amazon's oldest cloud service, S3, which started up 10 years ago, experienced an "error code." You can't see me doing air quotes around that because the “error code,” which lasted more than four hours, brought down the AWS East Coast region. There are plenty of businesses running there, especially business-critical businesses like Spotify, which is business critical in my home. What that means is our contract language has to articulate clearly how we define an outage.
I mentioned that in the context of the legal challenges when looking at contract language and fine-tuning it. In this case, a lot of companies did not have disaster-recovery plans for their cloud outage. They hadn't factored in the data-transfer cost and the cost to move to a new location. They figured the outage wasn't going to happen or Amazon would have a fail-over plan. You really need to look at the issue of outages and keep your eye on that.
It's not only about getting money back. I saw an article speculating the cost to Amazon was $300 million for this outage. That was the cost to Amazon. Imagine what the cost was to businesses running their business-critical applications in AWS.
Danny: I think those are exactly the trends I'm seeing. We’ve seen in AWS, well for example, I have a client company I've spent time with that literally does all their expenses through that same type of system, all cloud based. It's been down now for over two days, and as days go by, they continue to go back to dashboards like the AWS ones because of the opportunity to leverage the cloud, and they continue to find “error code” as the answer, or they hear, "We're working on it." As pressure increases from management, from the business, asking, "Where are we with this?" the lack of visibility into the black box of cloud gets harder and harder for management to consume, even though they might have been the first ones to sign up for the cloud. Now that they don't have visibility to an outage, the questions start to rise.
I also couldn't agree more that SLAs have to be written so you have some way to have visibility into that, and so you can escalate to someone who can provide that visibility. I find it very interesting that, in the case of the client I have been talking with about these issues, they've literally found no way to get past them. They've escalated as high as they can, and they continue to get pushed back into a dashboard. That's all the visibility they have.
Back to the Magic 8 Ball question you asked earlier, Do I like the haziness? No, I don't, but it's because I don't like the “try again later” approach. I want to know if I have all my ducks in a row, and if I have legal capabilities to have visibility into all aspects. I think the responsibilities are changing as we negotiate these contracts.
Patricia: Right, and our expectations have to change. Even the cloud is fallible.
Patricia: Okay. It looks like we have a polling question.
Danny: We do, and I think this one's working. I will do my best. The question we have is: Do you know if you're using the external or public cloud piece you have for disaster recovery? What happens when it goes out? Do you know what it's going to cost you, A, and by provider, B? Do you know approximately what it’s going to cost you? Say you know you have a backup plan, but you don't know what it’s going to cost, you have no idea. The response choices are: Are you kidding? Is this even my job? Why would I care about this kind of conversation? and the last one: No, that's somebody else's job and not my responsibility.
To join the poll, please go to either pollev.com/ivanti or text Ivanti to 223333.
Jason: I know a lot of the participants aren't seeing the poll, so we'll be sure to send out the polling questions after, and you can see the results and participate in the poll. We'll be sending that your way.
Patricia: Great. Let's move to the next slide. Did you get results there Danny? Did anything pop?
Danny: A few. Not a lot.
Generation Z Employees
Patricia: Okay. Let's look at the issue of staffing and how Generation Z or millennials, depending on what you want to call them, how they're going to impact what we're doing today. I started out by mentioning things disruptive companies have in common, and that includes trust and social. Those impact millennials, but they're also used to mobility. Today people have to come into an office, but workers will be looking at doing traditional work in different ways than we've done it before. There was a stat we were talking about only this morning, Danny. What was that?
Danny: Twenty percent of the workforce, by the year 2020, will be Gen Z employees. That is a number I cannot fathom. I realize I am getting older as we go through these exercises, but I definitely cannot believe we are on that brink already of 20% by the year 2020.
Patricia: That is a huge number when you consider that a worker is usually in the workforce for 50 years, on average, and with everybody living longer, they tend to work longer, too. We have to start planning now how we can adapt to the way the Gen Z workforce works. We need to ensure we're building a group of employees who are knowledgeable, who are looking for more automation and more flexibility around how we do business.
Danny: That's exactly one of the things we talked about at our national user conference at Interchange this year. We talked about that in terms of demonstrating things we're seeing. Things like Alexa and Google Home devices are things we can interact with now. How can we, potentially, as an asset manager say, ''I approve this. Alexa, make this happen for me.'' That technology is the thing I see driving what we can do today to prepare for this next generation of employees we will have.
Patricia: Right. More voice, more chat, not traditional email, not traditional communication methods we use today, right?
Danny: Yes. Absolutely.
Bitcoin and Blockchain
Patricia: That takes us to this next point, which is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that has been around since 2008. It was created for people to do transactions for which they need a level of trust and, historically, anonymity. For the most part, when we see ransomware happening, they want to be paid in Bitcoin. When we hear about drug dealers, they want to be paid in Bitcoin. But as support for a legitimate business, Bitcoin has some merits, also. Blockchain, which is a group of data elements distributed across a universal set of ledgers or databases, can also help us.
If you think about it, when we make transactions with suppliers, we're purchasing something from a company based in another geography. We don't have access to how they do their manufacturing, but maybe we make it a requirement that they only build our IT equipment using recycled earth minerals or not using child labor or not using excessive amounts of water in the construction or that they do recycling, or say we want to transfer new software. In Europe, you can do that.
Any time we want a level of trust or security, for example, we make transactions through banks and credit card companies because we know they're regulated. We know there's a watchdog in charge of them, so we have trust and confidence in them. But say we don't want to pay their 5% or 6% or whatever they're going to tack on top. We want lower-cost transactions that are secure and have trust associated with them. Blockchain gives us that. It gives us a level of trust with a supplier we might not know or have a relationship with. Because each step in the transaction is recorded, we have a level of confidence.
Bitcoin, today, is not regulated or taxed by any governments, as far as I know. Some are looking at it, but I don't think they've officially put a taxing infrastructure in place, so at this point in time, there's an opportunity to save money when it comes to taxes or when it comes to securely transferring money without paying a huge transaction fee or interest rate.
Danny: I think that's why you see countries like Japan, which was here in April, saying, ''Yes, we see this as a legitimate currency now.” We need to address the issues you’re talking about.'
Patricia: Would you ever use Bitcoin?
Danny: The answer is “Yes, I'd like to.” I'm not brave enough yet is what it comes down to. It’s that fear of not knowing that probably holds not only me back, but also others in terms of what the consequences are. How can I make sure I see the same guarantees I have before? It's things like, as you said, knowing the FDIC and others regulate this for us in the US.
Patricia: I think this is something that happens over stages, right?
Danny: It will, for sure.
Patricia: We know the majority of people now pay their bills online. We don't write checks as much anymore. Then Apple Pay rolled out, so we're slowly becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of the digital wallet rather than an actual wallet. That's what Bitcoin and Blockchain will enable us to do.
Danny: Look at the amount of money spent by the financial industry today on putting fraud systems in place and the people in place to make those things happen. Not that you can fully eliminate those systems and people, but what if their job changed and was simplified? Those are the promises Blockchain brings.
Danny: What about the strategies we need to prepare for the changes? When I look at this chart of the top 10 things CIOs are worried about, their top priorities, I see number one, two, and three as almost in direct conflict with each other. One supports the visibility we talked about earlier, which is having the ability to see what's in the cloud and what's in your datacenter. I like that these numbers help prove cloud is absolutely where people are going, but the reality is that infrastructure and their own datacenter are what’s potentially the most important to them. They want complete visibility regarding them. They don't trust someone else to have full rein over what their business does or doesn't do.
I think being able to provide one, two, and three in this list in a unique manner allows us to help with the resource planning being done. I know the customers we have today are spending a lot of time on the analytical side of the house. They’re saying, ''I know we have to be more agile with the assets we're bringing into the environment, both datacenter assets and consumer-type devices. As we do that, I need to have the systems servicing those assets not only providing the right service, but also delivering back to the analytic side to get visibility.” They’re wondering should they consume more from cloud A versus cloud B. Should they see the number of people focused on project A? Should they start sliding them to a different project because their concerns are all based on the technologies that are out there?
Any trends here, Patricia, that stand out to you as things we need to think about?
Patricia: As asset managers, I would say all of these trends impact us. It might be a bit of a stretch to say networking, voice, and data impact asset, but when we look at the total cost of delivering a service, that certainly needs to be factored in.
Danny: I agree, so how do we enable our business to do these things?
How Asset Managers Can Work with the Business
Patricia: The way we did things at Legacy, where we said, "We're going to plan it out, we're going to build it, we're going to run it," is too slow. We have to accelerate, and the way we need to do that is align with the C-level priorities listed on the previous slide. We need to work with the business. We need to meet with them regularly, find out what their needs are, what changes are happening, how they're evolving, and then support rapid change management. We have to get in touch with our configuration teams and ITOps teams. If you're sitting outside ITOps, reach out to them and say, "Hey, we have data that can help you. We need to know what you're doing so we can make sure we have the licensing, assets, contracts, or suppliers we need to support the changes you're bringing to the business."
Danny: That makes sense to me, except I'm confused by the plan-build-run methodology. I feel like we still need that. You said accelerate, but are we really saying, instead of stopping the plan-build-run methodology, more that it can no longer be the turtle. We have to run like the hare, only don't fall asleep at the tree before you get to the end, right?
Patricia: Exactly, and we have to realize we're going to make mistakes along the way, but we'll spot the mistakes faster, and with good planning and good data, we won't make them again.
Danny: Absolutely. What about analytics, the number one thing on the list? How does that impact this?
Patricia: This ties back to that issue of big data and flexibility in large companies. We're going to have a lot of data. At Legacy, we tended to focus on inventory and inventory accuracy, SKU numbers, part numbers, and things like that. We're also going to have data around our vendors, suppliers, financial information, and business impact information. We can bring that data into a centralized dashboard, report on it, and then send it to the areas or domains that need it or need to be aware that we have it. We can help them understand how we can make meaningful change faster in the organization.
With a lot of data at our fingertips, we have to do better analysis and have metrics in place to understand where the changes are happening. By baselining the environment, it gives us one set of data, but we have to have metrics at every level so we can understand the impact and evolution and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.
Danny: Speaking of evolution, which I think is really what we've been talking about today, it's more and more about automation. How can I go faster, how can I function like the hare versus the tortoise? Again, I have a customer who is really interested in having better visibility. They're taking Puppet and Chef type automation tools, they're taking requests management through their self-service portals, and they’re really needing that into "How do I not only feed these other systems, but also feed the asset system so I have better visibility into that? What can I do for cost analysis and cost forecasting against that specifically?"
By leveraging automation more and more throughout the visibility that analytics is starting to give them, the customer can see more and more requests will be easier to approve, less cumbersome, and take less effort. Still having quote visibility to that helps them with negotiations, cost, and the ability to address what it is the business needs to do.
Patricia: I like your graphic there on the right Danny. It's getting robotic. Exoskeletons will be our next stage two.
Danny After playing college sports, I'm ready for new knees and joints, for sure.
Danny: Let's talk about recommendations.
Patricia: Yes. Why don't you take these?
Recommendations Going Forward
Danny: I think the first one is absolutely critical for us. When we look at technologies and innovation, it's not about being innovative or using technology for the sake of it, for example, going to the cloud just to go to the cloud. It's about understanding the business and what it does to make money. Until you understand the trends impacting your business, you won’t be innovative when it comes to technology. I feel you could get there easily by paying attention to the trends in your industry. It's also about sitting down and saying this is how I interpret what we're trying to do as a business. To supply the business and get better answers to what it is we're trying to do, I think these are the things we can do. These are the places we can go from a cloud perspective. We can do these things from a DevOps or ITAMOps perspective. And most importantly, embrace the changes that have happened. As you mentioned, the traditional sitting back, watching things happen, and then reacting to them will no longer be a luxury an asset manager can afford. Knowing in an instant what we have, the translations we can move from and to, and where those things are happening in our business will be more important than ever.
The last two are places you can follow, from a Twitter perspective, and to get more information about what's out there and where to start. I think we will also do some follow-ups to this webinar, but this is really where you start if you're an asset manager in an organization trying to understand what you have today and how to prepare for what's new.
Patricia: Thanks Danny.
Danny: Anything else, Patricia, to wrap up?
Patricia: Let's turn it back to Jason to see if any questions came in while we were chatting.
Jason: A few questions came in, but we have run out of time, so we will do a blog that will go up tomorrow where we will post the questions and answers along with the polling questions. Please look for that. I also want to reminder you the recorded webinar will be sent via email to everyone who's registered or attended. Please look for that email, and look for the blog for the polling questions and the Q&A part of this webinar. Patricia, Danny, thank you for walking us through some of the trends that will affect ITAM strategies.
Patricia: Thank you. It was a lot of fun.