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IT Discovery: A comprehensive overview of your IT ecosystem

This article was originally published here on March 28, 2018.

Do you know about all the components in your IT ecosystem? Do you know how they connect and interact with each other? Do you understand how traffic flows throughout users’ day? How good is your IT Discovery tool?

IT Discovery tools: The big picture

If you are relying exclusively on IT discovery tools and your Configuration Management Database (CMDB) to help you answer these questions, then there is probably much of the big picture that you are missing.

To understand the big picture of your IT ecosystem, you need a set of IT Discovery tools that will allow you to view the different parts of the picture as a whole and in one place and be able to visualize them in a way that is easily understood.

Consider some of the reasons why having a thorough, big-picture understanding of your IT ecosystem is important for your company:

  • How well your IT systems interact with each other impacts employee productivity.
  • Systems break and when they do your business operations are impacted.
  • Each of the components in your environment is costing you money to support and maintain.
  • Technology is constantly changing and your systems must have the latest features for peak performance.
  • Your environment is constantly at risk of security breaches and mistakes from unknowing employees.

Understanding the IT ecosystem

A big-picture understanding of what is in your IT ecosystem, how it works and its use can provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions to keep your systems healthy, so they can support your business and users.

Assembling the big picture isn’t always easy — especially when your IT environments become large, include cloud and 3rd party components, and change frequently. Unfortunately, these challenges are an unavoidable reality for most organizations, so you must have the ability to address them effectively.

Assembling the big picture starts with collecting data about your IT environments from a variety of sources. With existing data in your IT Service Management (ITSM) system’s CMDB, specialized discovery tools from infrastructure vendors, configuration data in the administrative systems used to operate various components and/or change data in a release management system. Each of these provides a point-of-view of your environment, but none provides a complete perspective usable for driving decision making.

This is where an application, such as Virima, can help. IT has many environments: data centers, cloud, remote offices, etc., so you must be able to aggregate the different points-of-view into a unified big picture with which you can work. In short, you need a unified picture of the total IT ecosystem.

Change management: mind the gaps

There will be some gaps and overlaps in the different data sources, but that is okay — they can be used to help you understand the accuracy and completeness of your underlying data, so you can improve it moving forward.

If your environment includes cloud components or those managed by 3rd parties, then you will need to see where your company’s responsibility ends and a partner or supplier’s responsibility begins.

You must also manage change in your ecosystem. Some changes occur as a part of planned releases and your release and/or change management system will have a record of them — but many changes may not have change-request records, for whatever reason. You must know about these too.

Accurate data, reliable decisions

Most importantly, the data you have about your IT ecosystem must be accurate, complete, and readily accessible when you need it to make decisions. This may be when an incident has occurred and your IT staff must troubleshoot and find a solution. It may also be to support a planned activity, such as patch management or resource budgeting.

Virima can help you in either scenario with on-demand discovery, the ability to aggregate data from different sources, and visualization capabilities to sharpen the big picture, so your staff can explore insights effectively.

Your IT ecosystem may be big; it may be complex, and it may change frequently. Virima is prepared to help you manage the big picture effectively, and make critical business and IT decisions with confidence.

Virima features can automatically discover and map your critical IT resources and the interconnections that link them to one another, your applications and services, and your users.

Download our Discovery and Visualization whitepaper to learn more about how Virima can solve your IT ecosystem’s big-picture challenges.

Virima is here to help. To get started, contact us today to schedule a demo and explore the possibilities!

If you’d like to publish us in your publication, please reach out to us at info@virima.com

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