It's been a long time since we’ve been able to come together with our customers. While we are still not able to meet in person, we’re committed to creating an environment where we can continue to learn from their experiences and share ideas. This past week, during the virtual 2021 Snow User Summit, we explored Snow’s newest features and use cases, celebrated the winners of our inaugural Technology Intelligence Awards, heard from Snow customers on overcoming challenges during the pandemic and discussed some of the hottest topics impacting IT today.
Alongside Becky Trevino, Snow’s VP of Product Marketing and Operations, our panel of Snow subject matter experts discussed three topics fundamentally changing the IT landscape: managing SaaS sprawl, the push for operational efficiency and embracing hybrid IT. Read on to learn more about these topics and how some companies are tackling these challenges.
1. SaaS is everywhere...how do we deal with it?
As businesses start to reopen, many organizations still face challenges from the past year. One of the most difficult challenges is a growing visibility gap between what IT knows and what the end user is consuming.
As business units such as Marketing Ops, Sales Ops and Product Ops make increasingly more technology decisions, how can IT keep track of applications within the organization to drive cost optimization, governance and digital transformation initiatives? Not only can a lack of visibility slow down new initiatives, but unmanaged technology can also lead to soaring IT expenses, unexpected true-up costs, fines, contractual breaches and more.
One of the biggest areas where IT is lacking this visibility is around SaaS. Where they can, directors of IT are moving workloads to SaaS first. In nearly every industry, there’s been huge SaaS growth over the past year, and that will only continue as SaaS vendors target and sell to individual business units. According to Gartner, worldwide spending on public cloud services is expected to reach $332.3 billion in 2021 – an increase of more than 23% over 2020. Because of this growth, IT teams are dealing with unprecedented levels of SaaS sprawl and spiraling costs.
Controlling SaaS sprawl is difficult and time consuming. Without a consolidated solution, SAM practitioners have to log into individual SaaS portals to view asset information and even then, some do not provide usage data. Inventory tools can help but many lack the capability to capture SaaS usage. It’s key to find a solution that can help you manage the cost, usage and risk associated with your IT assets across the entire estate.
2. The year of operational efficiency and growth
If 2020 was the year of resilience, 2021 is emerging as the year of operational efficiency and growth. Across the world, startups are receiving immense evaluations, and real estate markets are booming. As businesses reopen, there’s a strong push for growth and acceleration. ITAM practitioners are feeling this push as well as dealing with pressure to enable this growth.
IT leaders are pushing for acceleration, but teams first need to re-evaluate what processes broke in the past year during the transition to the remote working model and re-consider how they balance people, process and technology to drive efficiency. As a response to this increasing pressure, many organizations are turning to technology such as automation to drive operational efficiency.
If you’re thinking about operational efficiency and automation for your organization, it’s crucial to consider how you can make incremental progress towards your goals. When climbing a mountain, you can’t just jump to the top. Similarly, it’s not always possible to go from entirely manual processes to completely automated. So always look at how you can go from one step to another and try asking questions like:
- What can be easily implemented to start affecting some change?
- Is there one piece of the process that could be automated?
- What can I do to insert a step in the process that will help provide visibility?
If you go big for the end state without thinking about the first step, it will be challenging to get there.
3. From cop to counselor — embracing hybrid IT
With the majority of organizations transforming into hybrid working models, IT is shifting to building guardrails rather than gates when it comes to managing technology. But what does it mean to manage a hybrid environment? It is really possible to give teams the freedom to innovate while still considering IT best practices, information security and cost?
In today’s business environment, IT teams need to consider how they can make it simple and easy for users while at the same time meeting business parameters. The key to managing hybrid is establishing visibility over what’s in your estate as well as what’s going on behind the scenes. If anyone is spinning up an application that you’re not aware of, i.e., shadow IT, you may want to bring that into your processes.
Having insight around tooling, platforms, users and applications can help you make better decisions around which applications you’ll adopt or discontinue moving forward. Rather than building gates, IT teams need to become a source of information in the organization. They need to shift the organization’s thinking and be perceived as a counselor, rather than a cop. It’s important to convey the importance behind ITAM to the rest of the organization - every dollar saved is another dollar invested back into the company. With visibility, IT teams can confidently identify opportunities for cost savings. Rather than just monitoring what’s in the environment, teams can add real value to the organization by optimizing technology in use.
Reach out to your account manager directly to discuss how to navigate these challenges. Or, tune in to watch the full summit on-demand in the Snow Community.
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