Today we are excited to announce a major milestone on our journey towards providing a single integrated platform for technology insight and manageability across on-premises and cloud environments. With this launch, Snow is fully embracing technology intelligence as the future of software asset management. We see this as an expansion of the category, and a formal recognition that traditional software is only one part of the equation within the increasingly complex IT landscape.
Snow’s new technology intelligence suite is comprised of six products that solve key business outcomes wherever help is needed – software, hardware, SaaS or IaaS.
Adoption Tracker: Provides complete visibility of technology adoption and usage within the organization through comprehensive discovery, inventory and normalization of the entire digital technology landscape.
Spend Auditor: Delivers insights into what is driving technology spend on-premises and in the cloud to help forecast and budget technology spend and mitigate risks from software audits.
Spend Optimizer: Supplies intelligence on how to reduce technology spend by right-sizing environments based on detailed usage information, what-if scenarios and product use rights in contract and entitlements.
Productivity Optimizer: Increases productivity and optimizes costs by automating lifecycle management. Key capabilities within this product include cloud optimization for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine.
Risk Monitor: Gives IT, compliance and security teams the intelligence to prioritize which applications across the organization pose the largest risks due to Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and unremediated software vulnerabilities.
ITSM Enhancer: Improves CMDB data quality by augmenting existing data to help IT to get the most value from their ITSM investment through improved customer satisfaction.
Each of these new products is built from the proven technologies that have made Snow a leader in our space, such as Snow License Manager and Automation Platform. Over the next few weeks, we will dive into each of the individual products providing insights into key use cases and differentiators. For readers who want to know why Snow believes technology intelligence is the future of software asset management, continue reading below.
GOING BEYOND SOFTWARE
The future of software asset management (SAM) unites hardware asset management (HAM), SaaS management and cloud management platforms (CMP). As an industry we have treated these mostly as separate disciplines, and Snow is no exception. We built a business selling SAM as the core of our platform and developed add-on products to SAM as customers required deeper insights into hardware, SaaS and IaaS.
While Snow and our peers have adapted to the disruption of cloud shift through acquisitions or increased product functionality, we have not truly embraced the obvious. The past decade of innovation has blurred the lines between hardware, software, cloud applications and cloud infrastructure to the point that customers need solutions that are aware of these different technologies and integrate around them accordingly.
Simply put, customers need intelligence across software, hardware, SaaS and IaaS – not multiple platforms covering individual silos. Technology intelligence is our vision of how to meet this need.
HOW WE GOT HERE
In 1999, Salesforce revolutionized the market for enterprise software with the launch of the first SaaS model. Seven years later, Amazon changed the course of IT history when it began offering IT infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services – now commonly known as cloud computing.
Since the launch of Salesforce and Amazon Web Services, cloud shift has impacted all IT markets including software asset management, where Snow Software has been named a Leader on the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant.1 From audit defense to optimizing technology spend, there is not use case in our industry that has not been disrupted by cloud shift.
ADAPTING TO THE CLOUD ERA
In our research, we have identified five primary challenges that organizations are currently facing due to cloud shift:
- Lack of visibility into what and how technology is used. One of the major disruptions of cloud adoption has been the shift from IT to business units as the primary decision maker of technology purchases. While this shift has led to record employee productivity, the free-for-all use of applications and the growing problem of data sprawl means that for most organizations internal technology usage is the Wild West – untamed and chaotic.
- Unanticipated cloud spend wreaking havoc on budgets. Over the years, cloud adoption has surged due to ease of scaling systems, on-demand access and the ability to eliminate initial costs associated with implementing traditional software. However, we are now reaching a turning point. Organizations are looking for cost-reduction opportunities to help keep cloud spend from undermining profits and cutting into core business expenditures.
- Governance challenges exist across the entire technology stack. CIOs need to provide the strategic oversight for their organization to take advantage of the cloud’s agility while mitigating its challenges. Unfortunately, CIOs are still struggling to put in place the necessary controls to monitor usage, optimize spend, prioritize security threats and identify privacy concerns in hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
- Diverse digital transformation needs around the world. Enterprises running operations across multiple geographies face an even bigger challenge – the need to customize digital transformation initiatives by regional cloud maturity. Multi-national organizations often find themselves leading advanced cloud-first initiatives in one region while kicking off cloud migration plans in other regions that are still hesitant to shift data off-premises due to security and privacy concerns.
- Customers want more from fewer tools. In an attempt to tackle these challenges, organizations are cobbling together multiple point solutions to achieve full visibility into on-premises and cloud environments. They don’t care if the tool was originally built for software asset management or is classified as a cloud management platform. What they need is a single place to interact with the data these tools generate as well as a comprehensive overview of their entire technology usage.
THE FUTURE IS NOW
Technology intelligence is Snow’s vision to address the challenges organizations have managing technology consumption and spend in the age of the cloud.
- Easier Technology Visibility: Rather than cobbling together multiple point solutions, Snow provides an agent-based platform that gives organizations the most accurate inventory of assets used for SaaS, client, data center and IaaS. With Snow, IT now has a centralized view of technology usage and spend, empowering users with the intelligence needed to mitigate business risks and speed up internal decision making.
- Optimized Technology Spend: Given the dynamic nature of the cloud, the old rules for optimizing enterprise and hardware spend do not apply. Snow provides unique capabilities to help organizations forecast spend, analyze multiple what-if scenarios and develop automation to ensure technology spend stays within forecast (e.g. license re-harvesting and killing zombie virtual machines).
- Accelerated Digital Transformation: Snow delivers the intelligence modern CIOs need to efficiently drive digital transformation across global organizations. From cloud infrastructure migration planning to reporting detailing application adoption and usage across the globe, Snow helps organizations understand what technologies they are using today and the impact of the technologies they are planning to use tomorrow.
- Improved Governance: Cloud shift has presented organizations with tremendous opportunity – increased agility and innovation – but it has also brought large challenges – the lack of governance and the dissolution of fundamental processes – that are exposing companies to great risk. Snow provides organizations struggling to drive governance across their on-premises and cloud environments the data needed to prioritize what the most pressing risks for the business.
By fully integrating software, hardware, SaaS and cloud management, technology intelligence will help today’s technology guardians solve the challenges that cloud shift has brought their organization without impeding its innovation.
1 Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Tools” by Roger Williams, Matt Corsi, Ryan Steffani, April 24, 2019.