Manage Your Software Assets in One Place, and Make the Right IT Decisions

By CIOReview | Friday, September 30, 2016
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The fact that the growing IT infrastructure is undisputed; the propagating cyber attacks and data breaches on the other side is becoming increasingly complex to manage. Today, the greatest threat to organizations is the one that originates from inside that are much more difficult to prevent and detect using one-size-fits-all security measures. For instance, the goal could be to disrupt normal business operations, thereby denying data availability and production. Potential IT issues could be resolved quickly, efficiently with better IT administration support and visibility into all the IT assets that exist in the organizational IT landscape—network, data center, remote sites, user workstations, and more.

ITAM:

Implementing Information Technology Asset Management (ITAM) can help organizations reduce its exposure to cyber risk by tracking and managing the lifecycle and inventory of technology assets. ITAM is a business methodology that encompasses financial, contractual, and inventory functions in a centralized asset repository to help organizations gain greater control over the various components within their IT architectures and also to support life cycle management. With ITAM, companies can achieve complete visibility into their technology—gaining in-depth knowledge of what systems and equipment exist, where components reside, how they are used, and how they affect core business tasks and activities. In order to keep their technology infrastructures performing at peak levels, businesses need to always balance the level of security on top of software update needs and security requirements, without placing unrealistic security restrictions in place.

These simple processes form the cornerstone to a well-managed and secure enterprise IT infrastructure:

Strategic Plan on the IT Infrastructure Components:

In today’s disparate technology architectures, understanding how various technology components across an enterprise work together can be nearly impossible. Developing an effective technology strategic plan should first start where their IT planning is pro-active rather than reactive, empowering businesses to measure the impact of their technology systems on their core business activities and bottom line results. With the deep knowledge of how various applications and systems affect their activities, organizations can ensure how their systems infrastructures support the corporate mission and goals in the most effective way. By linking these metrics with their associated business services, every organization take an evolutionary approach to build a centralized repository to better align their applications for better infrastructure performance, improve IT efficiency, and drive core business value.

Clean Up Old and Junk Software:

To get best performance and decrease security risk, periodic reviews of software usage and removing of old and unused software is essential. Nearly all the systems come pre-loaded with the free software trial periods. So organizations should ensure to set a particular standard for how long an application should remain reaping the benefits, while reducing the risks associated with technology deployments such as budget and schedule over-runs, and enabling more rapid return on investment.

Software Updates and Patch Validation:

Security patches and updates are mandatory to fix a bug or security hole within the program and for a risk free IT infrastructure. Attackers are familiar that systems without having installed the corresponding security updates are vulnerable to targets. To prevent against this situation, regular software updates and patch validation is requisite to exploit these security holes—eliminating the burden on the IT staffs and also helping them to focus on other critical needs and mitigate known risks.

Enforcing Software Policy:

According to the leading industry analyst International Data Corporation (IDC), 79 percent of the companies are now adopting SaaS offering to get their jobs done. So organizations need to continuously monitor their IT infrastructure for compliance and also take remedial action when they behave in a way that violates a security policy. This way of resolving security problems toward innovative initiatives delivers substantial value to the business—making sure licenses are purchased and determining if the software is genuine.

Simplified Inventory Management and Regular Internal Audits:

Where every business process is working at peak efficiency and expanding their operations globally, organizations put their own assets at risk. Often servers, networks, business applications, desktops, and other components are left scattered across numerous locations around the world, which are highly prone to inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Businesses and organizations of all sizes must manage, control, and track inventory at any time and from anywhere. Real-time threat detection can be also achieved through centralized audit trail for all the systems related to security functions. And seeing the results of a security audits, managing a secure IT infrastructure becomes easy, no matter where the components reside.

Managing IT Procurement Process:

Most of the global organizations face exceptionally complex and significant challenges—from managing global growth to sustainably reducing costs and from enforcing compliance to mitigating increasing volatility and risk. Since ITAM streamlines and centralizes all technology purchasing activities, unnecessary or duplicate acquisitions are eliminated–instead of allowing them to continue to be managed on a department by department basis. This approach further result in achieving streamlined requisition and purchasing processes, greater visibility into spend improved security and reductions in fraudulent or maverick spending, and an overall reduction in procurement costs.

ITAM and IT security have similar goals. In the next two to five years, it would be quiet surprising to see that some large organizations will intersect ITAM processes and capabilities and the needs of information security in meaningful ways. For that, the primary driver is the emerging global positioning (GPS) integration into information technology devices at all levels, which merges asset tracking, user identification and network access controls.