In the IT space, everyone is talking about transformation, but do professionals have complete visibility as to which devices, systems and applications are undergoing this process?
Digital transformation is nothing new, but we are living through a period of particularly rapid change. Internal and external factors have combined to accelerate this trend. The Covid pandemic brought with it a seismic shift in the way people work, and the way people consume products, and this change is here to stay.
Enterprises are busy making positive changes driven by a desire to provide best levels of service to customers and ensure the business remains fully compliant and resilient in the face of change.
Complexities of the Cloud
Arguably the biggest transformation still playing out in the IT industry is moving to the cloud, with predictions that the global cloud computing market will continue to grow at pace to the end of 2028, as small and medium enterprises make their migration and businesses seek to improve efficiency with the adoption of advanced technologies such as big data, AI and machine learning.
Using multiple cloud providers has become the standard for many organisations, with 80% using both public and private clouds in a hybrid model. The hybrid model offers agility and competitive advantage, but having your IT estate spread out in this way can create its own problems. Maintaining oversight of all parts of the estate is essential for resilience but can prove complex and time consuming in practice.
While human resources in the business are busy working on positive change, it’s as crucial to ensure that technology can enable monitoring of those developments.
With so much at stake, monitoring is essential to minimise disruption and ensure a seamless customer experience. It is also an important element in making sure regulatory standards and compliance are maintained. The risks of breaching regulatory compliance, with the potential consequences of legal action and fines, as well as reputational damage, are well documented.
For example, data for 2021 shows that data breach costs rose to an average total of $4.24 million, the highest ever recorded – but the same report noted that costs were significantly higher for organisations that lagged in areas such as security AI and automation and cloud security.
And the costs are not just financial: there is huge potential for reputational damage. For those operating in highly regulated industries, such as finance and healthcare, the consequences of breaching regulatory compliance can be even more severe.
CTOs and CIOs now, more than ever, need to keep on top of their IT transformation, monitor change and have full oversight of their estates. Being across so many things at once can be daunting and laborious, especially for those working with a matrix management structure. So how can they best achieve oversight?
This is where configuration management tools come to the fore. These tools give a top-level overview, a clear and unambiguous assessment of every element of the full suite, all in one place. Find and fix compliance and change management issues quickly. They allow omnipresence facilitating best practice oversight over even the most complex transformation projects.
Having all this information in one easy-to-access place also makes it easier to bring teams together – particularly beneficial for those working with a matrix management structure. You won’t miss a thing.
Change management is made simple as the tools look at the different environments across the estate and compare them, giving full transparency on where you are on the journey to migration. They allow oversight of the tracking, testing, and deployment of updates, pre-empting issues before they arise.
They work across server, desktop, and network and across multiple vendors, making them ideal for those working with hybrid cloud systems, giving full peace of mind.
Management tools not only identify issues when they happen: they can also provide a further layer of protection by allowing CTOs and CIOs to take full control by setting policies and permissions to pre-empt compliance problems before they occur. Policies can be created or selected from the Center for Internet Security’s 20 critical security controls, which satisfy regulatory requirements like PCI and SOX. This means companies can automatically achieve compliance by setting policies according to best practice configuration.
The automated health checks offered by configuration management tools act as an early warning system, building a company’s resilience by allowing them to act fast not just when problems crop up, but by catching misconfigurations before they can be exploited.
Configuration management tools are a powerful addition to the CTO and CIO toolkit.
About the Author
Mat Clothier is CEO at Cloudhouse. Cloudhouse is experienced in problematic application migration and config monitoring systems to fix the unfixable and modernise any IT estate – whether it’s run on-premises or in the cloud. With two proven solutions; Alchemy: Cloudhouse Application Packaging Solution modernises IT estates by fixing unfixable apps and moves them onto a supported operating system. Guardian is a vendor-agnostic monitoring tool providing insight and integrity validation alerts. Cloudhouse helps businesses make more of what they have.