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December 12, 2012

The Top Challenges 2013 Could Throw at CIOs

While many children still believe in Santa Claus and are anxiously awaiting his jolly, big-bellied arrival, CIOs are wondering what something a bit more real will bring them in the IT space – the arrival of 2013.

The end of the month is rapidly among us, as we’ve already approached our last-ever triple date in history. Many may wonder what could possibly be changing as we pop the champagne and solidify our resolutions for the New Year; however, the question isn’t what priorities will change, but how they must now be considered in light of emerging and converging trends – or at least according to industry expert Kris Barker, co-founder of award-winning IT asset management company Express Metrix.

Barker notes that while such things as cost management, risk mitigation and compliance will all remain at the forefront of CIO’s priority lists for 2013, it will become imperative to consider these in light of new and emerging trends, which could pose some significant challenges in 2013. These trends include:

  • Bring your own device (BYOD)
  • Virtualization
  • Cloud computing
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS (News - Alert))

Barker then begs the question: How can CIOs manage the increasingly complex blended environment while containing software costs?

In answering this question, it’s essential to divulge the top predicted challenges facing CIOs in 2013, which include:

  • The Rise (and Fall) and Rise of Software Asset Management (SAM)

“Largely back-burnered for decades, SAM is emerging into the limelight as an important tool to manage software resources, maintain visibility into usage and costs, and maintain best practices,” Barker explains, adding that while there may be many sufficient SAM tools on the market today, none will cut it in this “new, blended environment.” Rather, using a number of these SAM options together will provide a better overall solution to meet CIO’s currently faced challenges.

  • Resource Gaps for Enterprises

If your business is so lucky to experience rapid growth, you may still experience a setback in the form of accommodating resource gaps that were once negligible in the early stages, Barker says. When your enterprise expands, these sorts of gaps simply cannot be ignored, and therefore, they “tend to drift rapidly out of software license compliance without the correct tools in their arsenal.” One extra tip offered by Barker is to avoid relying on tools such as a Microsoft (News - Alert) SCCM (system center configuration manager), because “while it’s a great automated tool, it doesn’t actually serve the compliance purpose adequately, and lacks the sophistication in terms of software usage, management and enforcement of SAM tools.” Therefore, software vendors are maintaining and intensifying their focus on ensuring license compliance by eyeing rapid-growth organizations as prime targets for audits, explains Barker.

  • The Massively Growing Mobile Environment

Barker explains how the mobile environment is going to make license management increasingly complex for three reasons:

    1. Because many CIOs and CSOs still work within old models with traditional views on such things as architecture and management, a concern over the management of these IT environments has given way. Some things Barker mentions are these old-timers may not understand include software delivery methods as well as how mobile apps, data and networks are being used by employees for increased productivity and improved business, which could certainly pose a problem.
    2. Admins need to be able to determine which employees can access programs while keeping out the rest, which essentially means IT architecture needs to become more granular to provide controls of such mission-critical applications and data.
    3. Because mobile device management (MDM) tools tend to be more on the conservative side when it comes to managing corporate resources on users’ phones, policies usually apply to the entire device to include both personal and professional apps and data, which will further complicate things, suggests Barker.
  • SaaS Only Adds to this Mix

“With more people focused on the subscription based model, people are trying to manage both licenses and subscriptions,” Barker explains. Therefore, he urges that there needs to be a more centralized way to manage everything (i.e. how to ensure optimal use without overpaying).

  • The Changing Face of Virtualization

Due to a mix of multiple tools, the complexities of in-house, evolving infrastructure and multiple platforms, “the rules for desktop virtualization are significantly different than the traditional model,” Barker suggests, adding that with automated server management tools, there’s a higher risk of unintentionally being incorrectly licensed on a significant percentage of your servers. Conversely, SAM makes disaster recovery (DR) much more cost-efficient and easy.

  • Cloud-Based/SaaS Software

“Viewing all cloud services in a consolidated fashion is problematic,” Barker says. “Although most cloud/SaaS solutions provide management consoles, they are separate, requiring individual login for each.  Advanced SAM solutions enable organizations to view licensing and usage of all software from a single web page. It helps with security of data, integration with on-premises data or other cloud solutions and availability.”

So before you get ready to celebrate the New Year, make sure you’re prepared for it first using these insightful tips!

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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