At a time of unprecedented technological change, IT departments around the world are turning their attention to the challenges of tool sprawl.
When new tools are adopted, the old ones are not always decommissioned. Overlaps and wastage arise when new solutions are introduced and integrated to address changing network and security needs. Whatever the reason, before long we end up with duplication and waste. It isn’t a new phenomenon. But, given the pandemic-fueled shift of people worldwide to remote offices and the need for efficiency in the face of scarce resources, it represents a growing challenge to critical app deployment and digital transformation in general.
How do you know you have tool sprawl? One way to recognize it is to look at the use cases that are slow, difficult, or even almost impossible. Sometimes the answer to why is found in tool sprawl.
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A real concern for IT pros
A recent global survey of 14,000 infosec professionals found that two-thirds of respondents are concerned about their ability to effectively monitor the addition of multiple security technologies in their organizations. A second survey by 451 Research shows that the average IT and security team now uses between 10 and 30 security monitoring solutions for applications, network infrastructures and cloud environments.
Why it occurs – and why it’s more important than ever to fix
“The pandemic pushed a lot of companies into the cloud quickly and I suspect that some was seen as temporary, and some may have even been done with a lot of shortcuts, band-aids, and baling wire,” says ITWC CIO Jim Love, who regularly polls his colleagues on the subject. “Now that we’re all discovering the work we’ve done is not a temporary fix, the challenge is to revisit and refactor that work with an eye to sustainability, efficiency and security.”
Adding or upgrading tools or solutions is essential for companies to stay competitive and take advantage of the post-pandemic explosion in innovation. Legacy tools may have difficulty scaling to accommodate network growth and new security threats. But if this effort is unmanaged, the results can be unmanageable. We end up with a hodgepodge mixture of leading edge and legacy tools and applications. In many ways it is like the inefficient jumble of cabling and connectors. When you see that, you know it’s time to rationalize and clean it up if you are going to be able to be efficient and operate effectively.
“You need to pay attention to anything that undermines a high performance operation and managing a mishmash of systems becomes increasingly difficult,” says Love.
Consequences of sprawl
Spawl produces three distinct problems. It multiplies the work required for analyzing and commissioning each new app for deployment; it creates limitations on the infrastructure to accommodate new solutions; and it introduces potential network conflicts.
The right discussion at the right moment
If we have learned anything from the global pandemic, it is that speed and complexity are table stakes for corporate progress. Digital transformation is not a one- and-done effort. Organizations must be in a perpetual state of innovation and improvement.
Are you struggling to deliver on the product and customer front while keeping tool sprawl at bay? If so, you’ll want to join ITWC CIO Jim Love, Gregg Ostrowski from AppDynamics, and a senior leader from Optimiz on April 22nd as they discuss cloud sprawl resulting from ramped-up migration, remote work and increased demand on IT employees, and problems with monitoring, diagnosis and troubleshooting.
Attendees are encouraged to bring use cases from their ERP or other applications.