Feeds

Who say Management and SaaS don't mix?

The integration conundrum

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Management in IT is a challenge for many organisations. Integrated management is a tough nut to crack and many companies struggle with fragmented management environments just to keep their systems operational.

Without integrated tools and processes, organisations face considerable security challenges, specifically difficulties in fault diagnostics and problem resolution. Yet security and trust are built on top of the ability to set policy, manage systems, monitor effectively and then to police the policies effectively.

With the internal management picture fragmented, there are a number of ongoing challenges to be faced. Top of the pile is the question of whether there are any ways for cloud or SaaS services to be cleanly integrated into the management portfolio? Whatever the reality, we know readers of The Register harbour a degree of scepticism concerning management and SaaS solutions.

When asked whether the SaaS model represents an advantage or disadvantage compared to traditional on-premise solutions, more respondents who have little or no experience of SaaS felt that management was worse. It is clear that amongst those readers with experience of using SaaS solutions, responses are more evenly split between those with positive or negative attitudes. In fact, the greatest number of experienced respondents states that they are neutral on the matter.

There are clearly management and administration matters that need to be addressed when considering any SaaS service.

We discussed provisioning and deprovisioning users in an earlier article. Other areas that need to be considered include how the security and access policies of SaaS vendors can be integrated with the existing tools used inside the business. Is integration available as standard or need it be hand built? Is it too difficult or expensive to even consider undertaking such integration work, thus throwing everything back to manual processes? Beyond this, can your monitoring tools let you keep an eye on service status and how users are working?

The answers to these questions will often vary significantly between providers, but it is important to cover them. Unless the management and monitoring solutions deployed within the business can be easily integrated with those used in the SaaS environment, there is a risk that service may be impacted or exposures occur, with IT being unaware of the problem until users start to complain or some kind of disaster happens. On a specific point, it is important to acknowledge the increase in risk to which the business might be exposed if security monitoring of the service isn’t properly integrated with existing processes and systems.

In practical terms, if integration capabilities are available, they must be simple to implement lest the costs and efforts involved in putting them in place become too high. They must also be simple to update as either internal systems change or as the SaaS service transforms over time. The cost of keeping on-site and hosted systems integrated, over the life of a SaaS service is frequently overlooked, especially if IT does not play an active role in service setup. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.