The use of cloud software among businesses has been on the rise recently, with many companies realising the benefits of downloading inventory software. For example, research from cloud solutions provider RightScale demonstrates that 93 percent of American businesses are now using cloud technology in some way or another.
Despite this, research also demonstrates that the integration of this useful technology is not always easy. In fact, a study conducted by CompTIA in 2014 polled 400 IT and business professionals in the United States, along with executives from 400 U.S. IT firms. The research found that 28 percent rated the transitional period between the first experimental stage to the non-critical use stage as “requiring significant effort”.
Likewise, of the users who had fully integrated cloud software, 63 percent rated the final transition as requiring significant effort. In this article, we set out to elaborate on the challenges you might face when downloading inventory software and integrating this technology into your existing system.
Many companies initially download inventory software for a range of purposes. However, many have begun primarily using cloud software as a means for storage. For example, the CompTIA survey found that as of mid-2014, 59 percent of respondents used the cloud for storage, while only 48 percent used it for business continuity and 44 percent for security purposes. This puts pressure on Chief Information Officers to ensure that their cloud software is sufficient, to ensure that it is secure and easily accessible, and lastly that it is integrating efficiently with other technology.
Private, Public and Hybrid Systems
Following on from the above point, this pressure on storage capacity and efficiency may mean that companies need to switch between multiple cloud providers, depending on the type of data being stored. Companies may wish to use a public cloud provider to store lots of data cheaply, but may also need to store sensitive or confidential data with a private cloud provider. Alternatively, companies may choose a hybrid model to attain the benefits of both. The CompTIA survey demonstrated that 44 percent of respondents moved either infrastructure or applications from one cloud type to another. This can become problematic, since every shift will produce more and more integration challenges.
Issues for IT
On the one hand, this means that multiple departments can easily access, purchase and use cloud-based technology, which is convenient and improves efficiency. However, on the other hand, this can be problematic for IT since it is unlikely that all departments will understand how the applications or services they use integrate with the organisation’s existing IT. This can translate into IT having to resolve issues with the software after the fact, which is always more complicated than preventative measures. Since most non-IT end-users are not skilled at integration, scaling, provisioning and administrating technology, they can inadvertently cause issues for IT.
For this reason, it is a very good idea to rely on a cloud architect with the specialised knowledge needed to maintain the ongoing integration of cloud services. According to Brett Gillett, public cloud lead at IT consulting provider Softchoice, “You need someone who can be a business analyst to help shape the direction IT is going as well as someone who can get in there, hands-on, and make all these systems work together.”
With good change management processes in place, moving to a new system doesn’t have to be an arduous process.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.