Cloud Asset Management: How to Clear Your View

Published on June 7, 2021 by

Andrew Sweeney

It’s no secret that enterprise cloud adoption is taking off. The IDG Cloud Computing Survey 2020 revealed that average enterprise cloud spending was up 59% from 2018 to $73.8M in 2020 and predicted 32% of IT budgets will be allocated to cloud computing by this year. It also revealed 43% of enterprise IT leaders said greater platform and service flexibility is the most valuable benefit from using multiple cloud platforms.

The cloud provides greater availability for mobile users and allows IT managers to quickly implement greater functionality while ensuring continuity of service. But for those tasked with tracking company assets, cloud adoption can create challenges.

Cloud Asset Management is the process of keeping track of all those cloud applications (SaaS), third-party platforms (PaaS) and infrastructure (IaaS). By adopting a clear Cloud Asset Management policy, IT managers can optimize costs, protect data, and make informed decisions about future investments and growth. But finding out where everything is can lead to headaches.

The Challenges of Moving to the Cloud

If you’ve made the decision to use multiple cloud service vendors, ask yourself the following:

  • Do you know what capacity you are using and what you are paying for? Are you paying for capacity that’s no longer needed?
  • Are you right-sizing software licenses with usage? Too many and you are overpaying. Too few puts you at risk of non-compliance and can be even more costly.
  • Are you complying with IT security governance policies? Is spending in line with business strategy? Is company data safe?
  • Do you know what’s being purchased outside of the IT domain? Cloud usage makes it easier for ‘Shadow IT’ - the purchasing of subscriptions by departments and individual users online and via app stores – to happen. One Gartner article said few organizations know the number of shadow IT applications or the possible data risks associated with it.

You can adopt cloud management tools to track usage for every provider you use and deploy tools that will allow you to detect usage related to Shadow IT, but the sheer number of tools you use can add to the complexity of Cloud Asset Management. And the amount of manual work needed to collate and clean up that information can eat up time and budget.

Using Cloud Asset Management to Benefit Your Organization

Done well, cloud asset management will allow you to:

  • Gain a clear view of your cloud asset inventory including information such as cloud workloads allowing you to optimize performance and deliver the best service to your enterprise end users.
  • Make informed decisions such as where to invest to support strategic business initiatives.
  • Better understand which applications are accessed and used over the cloud and how they are being used.
  • Identify gaps in security so you can take steps to ensure your data is protected.
  • Manage future IT infrastructure and transformation projects more efficiently and effectively.

Best Practices for Cloud Asset Management

With all the tools available, what’s the best route to take for you to navigate the pitfalls of cloud asset management? Consider the following:

  • Create a clear CAM policy and manage it as an ongoing process, not a one-off event by monitoring your cloud assets continuously. The dynamic nature of cloud assets means you can’t rely on past data to make future decisions – it will be out of date as soon as you come to use it.
  • Incorporate your CAM process into your wider IT Asset Management (ITAM) program – by doing this you’ll have end-to-end visibility across your entire environment.
  • Implement a data governance framework including clear policies around Shadow IT spending to limit data risks.
  • Adopt a single tool that connects to the multitude of IT tools you use (including third party CAM tools and shadow IT detection tools) and provide you with a holistic view across your environment.
  • Use automation to reduce the repetitive manual processes and reduce the time and effort associated with CAM.

Find the Solution to your Cloud Asset Management Headaches

It’s clear the cloud offers flexibilities and capabilities that allow you to meet the growing needs of your enterprise. But to avoid the cost of poor cloud asset management you could adopt a tool that cuts the time and effort of CAM and allows you to seamlessly integrate activities into your wider ITAM program.

ReadyWorks enables you to use automation to simplify cloud asset management by:

  • Connecting to all your databases, tools and systems to collate information on all your assets in a single platform, including third-party cloud usage.
  • Providing you with dashboards and analytics using all the details about your cloud assets, to show you information about software license requirements, spare capacity, services you no longer need, and more.
  • Using automation for activities such as data collation as well as employee communications to simplify the process of explaining data governance policies.
  • Allowing you to integrate cloud asset management into your end-to-end IT asset management for a clear view across your IT environment.

Schedule a demo to find out how ReadyWorks can cut the time, effort, and cost of your cloud asset management activities.