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Humphrey Christian, Altiris: Analyse This!

February 2008 by Humphrey Christian, Asset Management Consultant for Altiris (now part of Symantec)

In every organisation across the world, IT managers are required to make everyday decisions based upon facts, experience and accumulated knowledge. But how do IT managers know if the decision they are about to make will be relevant and beneficial to the organisation?

IT asset management strategies are a prerequisite to regulatory and license compliance efforts, and ultimately help provide better IT service. IT asset management software automates the discovery and tracking of IT assets to helps businesses control costs. A good strategy and software also helps an organisation prioritise projects and demonstrates tangible value to the business.

Drilling down The responsibility for IT performance, cost savings and compliance always falls to IT managers and is based on strong IT asset management practices. It can be time consuming and expensive to create a holistic view of the organisation as well as manage the relevant IT assets. With volumes of data ready to be consumed, it is no small task to understand exactly what it all means.

Most decisions within IT departments are based on standardized reports that answer pre-determined questions with little or no input from the decision maker.

Some IT managers are content with basic reporting capabilities however, this type of reporting typically generates even more questions. It is becoming clear just how critical it is for businesses to adopt an approach that not only addresses the decision making process, but also looks at trends within the organisation. Without the appropriate solution in place, companies may run the risk of losing control, wasting time and money, and making uninformed decisions about their IT infrastructure.

The best way to help reduce the time and resources required to analyse the information associated with managing today’s IT infrastructure is by using IT analytics software. The idea behind this approach is simple: provide a solution that will enable users to maximise the value of the data that resides within the organisation’s current asset management system by incorporating multi-dimensional analysis and robust graphical features.

The basic premise of a product like Altiris IT Analytics Solution from Symantec is that it will allow users to explore volumes of asset management data and systems without advanced knowledge of databases or third-party reporting tools, empowering them to ask and answer their own questions, quickly, easily and effectively. It would provide the key to unlocking data in order to put IT departments in a position to quickly and easily find answers to any question asked.

This type of solution grants IT managers unprecedented access to their IT data, and helps them to make informed decisions about the organisation’s performance. In effect, the solution helps to continuously fine-tune IT operations, observe compliance standards and identify software cost-savings and harvesting opportunities.

As a result, IT managers now have an entirely new way to explore and view IT data. Thought leadership and positive change as opposed to maintenance of the status quo is promoted within the organisation. It is now possible to identify IT change trends by analysing historical information and making proactive and fully informed decisions about the organisation’s performance.

By identifying these trends, agile enterprises can accelerate the decision-making process and provide the right people with the right information at the right time.

IT managers have the responsibility to make the best decisions possible, based upon available data at any given time. Without timely access to data or visibility beyond pre-formatted reports, IT runs the risk of delayed decisions or educated guesses rather than real, actionable information.

If the ability to analyse data and transform it into useful information is improved, the overall quality of decisions will be improved as well. IT Analytics Solution provides a spectrum of tools and solutions to pinpoint business activity drivers, help reduce costs, increase revenues and improve compliance; thus providing the business with the maximum competitive advantage.

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