Data Normalization & Cleansing
Recognize and identify commercially-licensable applications across the multiplatform network.
If Software Asset Management (SAM) starts with finding the software that is installed across the network, the next vital step is to understand it. Only then can you optimize its use of software, addressing security risks, maintaining compliance and minimizing costs. The better the data, the more complete picture you will have to make informed decisions.
The challenge is that inventory – whether from one source or many – starts with a list of raw executable data and other metrics which is little or no help to SAM managers and other stakeholders across the organization. Deciphering software the title, the vendor, the version and the release date is at best burdensome, if not impossible.
Data normalization takes the legwork out of reconciliation of raw data against commercial software titles by processing data from multiple inventory tools and turning it into meaningful information about the licensable applications being used across the IT estate.
Data can be extracted from many different sources which of course means it will not be consistent. The process of normalization makes sense of the data collected and presents it in a friendly and easily recognizable format. It removes ambiguity and duplicates to present just one source of truth about each software asset.
Build an effective CMDB
“Through 2018, 75% of IT organizations will fail in their configuration management efforts due to lack of standardization.” Gartner*
ITSM Configuration Management Databases (CMDB) are important to organizations that want to a) provide users with the services and software they need b) introduce automated processes and c) to streamline their IT processes.
The challenge is in not only building the CMDB but ensuring the repository of IT assets – software, cloud and hardware assets and the relationships between them – is standardized, usable and always up to date. Changing configuration and infrastructure can quickly render it inaccurate, especially when business units can incorporate cloud subscriptions and infrastructure without IT being aware of these resources.
Tying your ITSM processes to your SAM process will greatly enhance the productivity, effectiveness and ROI of the ITSM implementation by importing cleansed and normalized software and cloud inventory and usage information together with accurate and granular hardware configuration data from all devices in use across the network.
- Accelerate problem resolution times
- Increase scope of ServiceNow implementation
- Reduce new software and cloud costs
For more information on populating your CMDB with the best quality hardware, software and cloud information available, learn more about Snow’s Software Recognition Service or our range of Snow Integration Connectors, including Snow for ServiceNow.
SNOW SAM PLATFORM
Snow’s unique Software Recognition Service aggregates, cleanses and normalizes all software identified on the network and cloud – including vendor name, application name and version – before it is imported into the CMDB.
Software Recognition Service:
- Recognizes more than 513,000 applications from more than 80,500 software publishers, over 1,013,000 SKUs (November 2017).
- Cleanses data from any third-party inventory or discovery solution.
ADDING VALUE TO THE SAM FUNCTION
As well as populating clean data into the CMDB, SAM professionals can benefit from ITSM data in the Snow SAM platform, including information on where devices and cloud services reside (e.g. test, development, production across datacenters and in IaaS). This enables decision maker to assign the most appropriate licenses, support agreement and ticket information managed, and can be used to enable smarter renegotiation of agreements.
ADDING TRUE SOFTWARE ASSET MANAGEMENT TO ITSM
Although many ITSM solutions offer some limited Software Asset Management functionality, the reality is that it is too simplistic for most organizations’ SAM requirements, especially with IT environments that include datacenters, cloud subscriptions and infrastructure, virtualization, mobile devices and enterprise software from the likes of Microsoft, SAP, IBM and Oracle. Snow’s platform is designed specifically to capture the right SAM information.
- Faster resolution time on software issues
- Standardization of supported versions
- Clearer visibility of license availability & suitability
* Four Steps to Optimize Configuration Management Process and Tools 31 October 2013 G00258557 Analyst(s): Ronni J. Colville