IT departments have been dealing with different types of IT hardware for a long time now. From on-premises infrastructure to cloud services to BYOD devices, the number and type of devices that IT departments need to handle have grown in scope. While the responsibility has expanded, the IT budget has either stagnated or is on the decline. IT departments across the globe are forced to pursue strategies that help them to successfully manage all of this IT infrastructure in a cost-effective manner.
Cloud When Possible
Cloud services are getting cheaper by the day. Shedding some weight in terms of on-premises IT hardware makes an organization more agile, reliable, and easily scalable. Moreover, it solves a range of issues such as licensing problems, and hiring dedicated labor for IT hardware management, among others. This results in huge cost savings. So, going cloud is not only a next logical step up for an organization, but also a cost-effective option. Clearly, cloud services are the future. But, there are limitations.
Security and Confidentiality
Organizations deal with all manners of sensitive and confidential information about their customers. Hosting all of that data on cloud platforms exposes the data to online risks, including hacking. This is especially true for public cloud services, which are becoming more and more popular because of their low prices. Also, many public cloud services have poor security policies in place. The solution to this is private cloud services. But, private cloud services are often prohibitively expensive, making them unsuitable options for small and medium businesses.
Legacy Hardware Limitations
There are many legacy systems that cannot be virtualized at this point in time. Take for example, all those software applications that require a USB dongle for license verification and software activation. Every time you need to access these applications, you have to plug in the USB dongle in the server. These applications cannot be verified over the cloud environment. So, they will continue to be part of on-premises IT hardware in the organizations. There are many other legacy systems that, for different reasons, cannot be moved to the cloud at the moment.
So what’s the solution here? Go back to legacy systems or just wait it out until the cloud platforms can run all the legacy apps? The answer is neither.
An Effective Hybrid ITAM Strategy
In the near future, there is no escaping many of the legacy systems. They will continue to have a physical presence in many organizations. But, there is no reason why you cannot virtualize your other systems. This hybrid approach to ITAM will throw up some new challenges, and IT departments have to evolve to handle them in an effective and intelligent manner. For instance, licenses of various software applications need to be updated before they expire. This can be handled by setting up alerts and reminders of impending license expiration. As and when a legacy hardware becomes obsolete or reaches the end of its lifecycle, the system it supports can be moved to the cloud if appropriate, whenever possible. Finally, the pervasive use of BYOD devices can be leveraged to improve the productivity of the organization by making use of ITAM solutions for tracking and handling of various organizational assets. This ITAM strategy not only enables the organizations to take advantage of both cloud and on-premises systems, but also leverage IoT devices to attain organizational goals.