Asset management throws a few challenges which can be solution when SaaS is used. Here are some issues that has to be taken note of.
SaaS is nowadays the model used by many applications in businesses such as accounting, virtualization, office and messaging software. The SaaS has been incorporated into most of the applications and also many more. Still the tools for management of IT assets are yet to be completely included in the SaaS model. Having SaaS for managing business applications already, the question that comes up now is about management of Assets being run in SaaS model. Is it possible?
Information on management of IT assets
All the details about the software and hardware inventory are being collected by ITAM or IT asset management, which is the main part of a company. The collected data can be used for working on plans for buying, stocking, and distributing the stock. The combined software solutions are being used by the companies for working with all the companies which are involved in the management and reporting on the expenses for the IT assets, which will save time as well as expenses for the company since it will remove unwanted purchases and wastage of resources.
ITAM is not only responsible for taking care of the IT assets of a company but also for improving and keeping up the standards, systems, and measurements of the organization. So the companies can have better management of the IT assets with reference to compliance, IT governance, and performance of the company. The ITAM business practices are conducted by various processes and improved with the help of motivation and calculation. The ITAM platform which have proved successful work on everybody in each level of the company which include the end users by teaching them how to comply with the rules, managers, who deal in procuring and distribution of assets, IT departments who provide details on assets and warranties, and the finance managers who look after invoices and updating the fixed assets.
The challenge that a company will face is including the management of assets as part of the application is discovering the network for collecting information about the hardware and software stock from the assets within the LAN. You can use two approaches for solving the problem of network discovery – with and without an agent. Having agents applied to all computers from where data is recovered is a traditional method. The agent is nothing but software which has the main function of gathering the information and sending it to the server. When you apply agentless method, the data is gathered from the computers without having such programs. This is made possible by getting the data through the software which exists already in the computer such as operating system and the commercial products already in the system.
Will this be suitable for SaaS model?
Both the approaches actually suit the original SaaS model. When the traditional approach of fixing an agent is followed, only selected software and the relevant data are included in the cloud as the agent for SaaS will be found in each computer. SNMP devices such as the switches of printers will not be reachable. If a customer wants to utilize the approach without agent, he has to have the ports in firewall between the LAN segments which are the managed assets and the application servers for SaaS vendor. Hence there will be a security problem when going without the agent. To overcome this problem, the customers install software taken from SaaS vendor inside a node in LAN so that it works as gateway for network discovery. Such a gateway can help in finding out the data on assets of the corporate, information of stock, and pass on the information to the server.
Those vendors who have broader SaaS provide solutions for network discovery with inbuilt abilities such as RDS for doing discovery of networks in remote locations, having communication with the agents, and combining tasks to get access beyond resources of firework network. When monitoring of network is used as a solution integrated, there also such obstacles can arise and similar methods are applied to overcome the same.
The asset management cannot be made use of as a hosted solution unlike the applications for service desk as it is designed so. But now any technical issue associated with the asset management can be handled with the suitable solutions available. Many companies are already able to handle the asset management with the help of the solutions available now. The technology developments happening constantly help in this regard.