Welcome!

Java Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Lori MacVittie, Trevor Parsons, Peter Silva, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, .NET, Virtualization, Web 2.0

Cloud Expo: Article

The Lost Stepping Stone to the Cloud

We propose that ITAM is on the cloud radar and in direct view straight ahead

IT Asset Management, or ITAM if you prefer, is the lost link to the cloud. There, now we've said it, do you feel better?

Before we can decide whether this is true, we need to understand what ITAM really is of course.

Sometimes called EAM (Enterprise Asset Management), the practice of asset management is quite a broad term used to describe the process of auditing and subsequently overseeing the total number of IT assets inside a company.

Encompassing hardware, but predominantly focused (these days) on software, asset management allows IT managers to improve cost control, perform maintenance scheduling, manage upgrades and look downstream towards decommissioning and replacement.

This last element of ITAM, i.e., ‘decommissioning and replacement' probably (more than any other aspect) comes from the traditional view of asset management where software, servers, desktops and mobile devices might be retired once they can be said to be obsolete.

From Retirement, to Upgrade
In the new service-based world of computing as typified by the cloud model we move to a point where retirement becomes a less tangible or visible process as services from our hosting provider of choice are simply upgraded. At the user end, there is often no visible difference (at either the datacenter or the desktop) apart from an improvement in performance.

But asset management goes beyond simple questions of system upgrade. With ITAM we are able to analyze the productive contribution made by every element of our IT stack to a higher-level business algorithm. Inside this calculation we can correlate and cross-correlate every IT asset against a financial model that encompasses contracts, profitability and trading figures right across the business.

...and Then Comes the Cloud
Analyst firm Gartner IT held its second Financial, Procurement & Asset Management Summit 2012 in London this October to discuss the impact of ITAM in light of the convergence of cloud, virtualization and bring your own device (BYOD) technologies.

So the connection starts to become clear. A migration to the cloud should be undertaken in order to improve computing flexibility and agility yes, but it should also be done with a view to optimizing costs and moving to a new virtualized computing framework where buying power is also improved.

Put simply, we have a new way of buying our IT assets in the form of services, so this means that we also have a new responsibility for managing those assets. In this scenario, we need ITAM to get us to the cloud, we need ITAM to manage us in the cloud and we need ITAM to keep us productively and profitably housed within the cloud as well.

What the Industry Says
Quoted on dedicated IT asset management website The ITAM Review, CTO and founder of iQuate Jason Keogh argues that asset management and the cloud must now focus on each other if we are to negotiate this missing stepping stone to virtual computing efficiency. Keogh describes ITAM and its place upon the stepping stones to cloud migration.

"A proper understanding of the risks and costs involved in moving expensive, datacenter and server [level] software into shared services and cloud-based infrastructures will save large enterprises millions of dollars, while reducing risk. If you don't agree strongly with that sentence, let me invert it for you: migrating expensive, server software to shared services and cloud-based infrastructure without a proper understanding of the risks involved will cost enterprises millions of dollars. Do you agree now?"

Cloud vendors and/or hosting providers largely concur and so advocate a diligent approach to asset management analysis to oversee (and help manage on an onward basis) the movement to a services-based computing structure.

"The ability to locate, audit, quantify and qualify the total scope of any firm's IT stack is a critical part of any progressive cloud adoption program," says Garry Prior, senior product manager at Rackspace.

"When firms have a clear understanding what it takes to transition their IT assets to the cloud and move to a utility billing model, there opens up a real opportunity to provision only the resources needed and avoid the future expense of depreciating or upgrading IT hardware. Adapting IT management for the cloud is central to our customers' deployments of virtualized hosted solutions and we welcome the burgeoning and strengthening of offerings in this sector."

Where Can I Buy Cloud ITAM?
Cloud ITAM offerings come in many shapes and sizes with Gartner defining many of these solutions as coming from the so-called ‘megavendors.' HP for its part offers HP Asset Manager software to automate best practices across the IT asset lifecycle and integrate with firms' IT processes.

According to the company's website, "With HP Asset Manager you can implement analytics to optimize the value of IT assets and services. You can improve audit compliance by controlling where assets are and who is using them throughout the life cycle. You can control purchasing and chargeback, and compare the performance of your vendors. HP Asset Manager provides IT service cost information along with the data and governance necessary for all your IT processes to function optimally."

Perhaps the fact that the aforementioned Gartner conference is now only in its second year should speak volumes to us in this space? The analyst firm doesn't need much encouragement to pump out its seemingly limitless market predictions. Equally, the firm can get a conference together to discuss emerging trends pretty fast - but we're only in year two!

We propose that ITAM is on the cloud radar and in direct view straight ahead.

•   •   •

This post first appeared on Enterprise CIO Forum.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices – computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!
Noted IoT expert and researcher Joseph di Paolantonio (pictured below) has joined the @ThingsExpo faculty. Joseph, who describes himself as an “Independent Thinker” from DataArchon, will speak on the topic of “Smart Grids & Managing Big Utilities.” Over his career, Joseph di Paolantonio has worked in the energy, renewables, aerospace, telecommunications, and information technology industries. His expertise is in data analysis, system engineering, Bayesian statistics, data warehouses, business intelligence, data mining, predictive methods, and very large databases (VLDB). Prior to DataArchon, he served as a VP and Principal Analyst with Constellation Group. He is a member of the Boulder (Colo.) Brain Trust, an organization with a mission “to benefit the Business Intelligence and data management industry by providing pro bono exchange of information between vendors and independent analysts on new trends and technologies and to provide vendors with constructive feedback on their of...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
There will be 50 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. Today, every manufacturer has a propriety protocol and an app. How do we securely integrate these "things" into our lives and businesses in a way that we can easily control and manage? Even better, how do we integrate these "things" so that they control and manage each other so our lives become more convenient or our businesses become more profitable and/or safe? We have heard that the best interface is no interface. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Co-Founder & CTO at Octoblu, Inc., will discuss how these devices generate enough data to learn our behaviors and simplify/improve our lives. What if we could connect everything to everything? I'm not only talking about connecting things to things but also systems, cloud services, and people. Add in a little machine learning and artificial intelligence and now we have something interesting...
Last week, while in San Francisco, I used the Uber app and service four times. All four experiences were great, although one of the drivers stopped for 30 seconds and then left as I was walking up to the car. He must have realized I was a blogger. None the less, the next car was just a minute away and I suffered no pain. In this article, my colleague, Ved Sen, Global Head, Advisory Services Social, Mobile and Sensors at Cognizant shares his experiences and insights.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) irreversibly encoded. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at how this identity problem can be solved and discuss ways to use existing web identities for real-time communication.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT. Attendees will learn real-world benefits of WebRTC and explore future possibilities, as WebRTC and IoT intersect to improve customer service.
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, will share some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, an Open Source Cloud Communications company that helps the shift from legacy IN/SS7 telco networks to IP-based cloud comms. An early investor in multiple start-ups, he still finds time to code for his companies and contribute to open source projects.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to create new business models as significant as those that were inspired by the Internet and the smartphone 20 and 10 years ago. What business, social and practical implications will this phenomenon bring? That's the subject of "Monetizing the Internet of Things: Perspectives from the Front Lines," an e-book released today and available free of charge from Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue management.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges.
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Erik Lagerway, Co-founder of Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services to the modern P2P RTC era of OTT cloud assisted services.
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehension and conference efficiency.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, will discuss single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example to explain some of these concepts including when to use different storage models.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace. These technological reforms have not only changed computers and smartphones, but are also changing the data processing model for all information devices. In particular, in the area known as M2M (Machine-To-Machine), there are great expectations that information with a new type of value can be produced using a variety of devices and sensors saving/sharing data via the network and through large-scale cloud-type data processing. This consortium believes that attaching a huge number of devic...
Innodisk is a service-driven provider of industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products and technologies, with a focus on the enterprise, industrial, aerospace, and defense industries. Innodisk is dedicated to serving their customers and business partners. Quality is vitally important when it comes to industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products. That’s why Innodisk manufactures all of their products in their own purpose-built memory production facility. In fact, they designed and built their production center to maximize manufacturing efficiency and guarantee the highest quality of our products.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we're hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news item seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital business.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.