You are all in on cloud Mobile Device Management. You have put all your device information up into the cloud MDM service you selected. You are never going to have to worry about managing software for MDMs again. Then disaster strikes. Your cloud MDM provider glitches and erases your account. With it, all your MDM data goes up in smoke. You desperately email them to recover your data and the response is crickets. You’ve just learned the hard way that having a single datasource for MDM information is a point of failure and a business risk.
The nightmare scenario is actually all too real.
Most small and mid-sized IT departments are either considering or actively moving towards cloud-based asset management systems. The benefits of the cloud are obvious. A SaaS requires much less overhead management and configuration. It is more flexible to add or subtract users. And, in theory, the data is backed up in the cloud automatically. All the administrative pain is stripped away and all of the good parts about MDM, SAM or other basic ITAM remain in place
Cloud Asset Management Is No Panacea
The reality can be quite different. The cloud is reliable but things still break. Data can be lost. Providers of SaaS can experience their own problems and data losses. Even the largest public clouds where most of the SaaS applications are hosted can go down for extended periods, during which all the data that should be flowing into your MDM will likely be lost. Large SaaS providers that are critical infrastructure components of modern cloud computing, such as Cloudflare, can experience outages. This can lead to chain reactions due to the single points of failure present in modern cloud architectures.
These vulnerabilities are why a master system – an Integrated ITAM that collects, reconciles and stores all the data in other IT asset management systems – is crucial today. Ideally, the Integrated ITAM sits above your MDM and automatically pulls in all data that your MDM agents are harvesting. The master Integrated ITAM will also collect other asset system data for software, SaaS, cloud infrastructure and laptops and unify them all into a single-pane-of-glass.
A Master ITAM Data Source = Good Data Hygiene
In fact, creating a baseline master data source – a “golden record” “ – is a crucial part of good data hygiene that feeds into other disciplines. For audit and compliance, this master reconciled ITAM is important for greater accuracy. For security, having a master ITAM is essential for automating time-sensitive workflows in response to anomalies or a possible breach. For finance and procurement, having a master ITAM allows better assessment of usage patterns and budgeting for upcoming IT spends. And for IT admins, a master ITAM is a godsend in the potentially damaging instances when something goes wrong with a cloud asset management vendor and threatens business continuity or worse.