Understanding the Ever-Evolving Enterprise Digital Footprint

Managing all of your technology under one consolidated umbrella is the 77th reason to go beyond TEM and manage the Enterprise Digital Footprint™.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, technology has been developing rapidly, improving sectors of transportation and communication in particular. Both of these sectors lead to the vast spread of information, allowing for technological innovation to reach all kinds of populations. Eventually we got to the point where the term “digital transformation” came to exist, which involves the integration of digital technology throughout businesses. Digital transformation is becoming a necessity for organizations that want to keep up with the changing world of business. In fact, IDC predicts that digital transformation spending will reach $1.7 trillion by the end of 2019, a 42% increase from 2017. Enterprises are adopting the latest technology trends in order to work towards better customer experiences, better functioning tools, and more efficient ways of doing business.

As the digital universe expands, IT managers must gain an all-encompassing understanding of what kinds of technology will be required in order to move forward. With more technology will come greater needs to manage that technology. Trends like the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) are going to make it more of a challenge to maintain control over technology expenses and assets. One way of understanding the true impact of your technology is to consider the Enterprise Digital Footprint.

The Enterprise Digital Footprint categorizes all of your IT and technology assets and services based on what kind of assets they are, and what role they play in the enterprise. Of course, with technology inventories expanding at such a fast rate, the enterprise digital footprint is constantly evolving and growing to incorporate new types of assets into the framework.

Its two axes go as follows,

  • Axis 1: Physical/Tangible Assets – Virtual Assets
     This helps to separate physical assets from those that aren’t so tangible.
  • Axis 2: Infrastructure – End User
     Creating a division between what’s a part of the organization’s infrastructure, and which assets are       to be used by end users in the company.

Four quadrants rest on top of the two axes;

  1. End-users/Virtual Services: This quadrant includes all of the software and services being used by employees on a regular basis. Some examples would be things like unified communications and collaboration software (Skype for Business for example), SaaS and cloud services, VPN services, and much more.
  1. End-users/Tangible Assets: This encompasses all of the physical or tangible assets and devices that employees use in order to access all of the virtual type assets. Things like laptops, smartphones, monitors, and access cards and tags, fall under this category. As businesses start to adopt IoT technologies, and more of our devices and physical assets are connected to the internet, the line between what’s considered a tangible and a virtual asset becomes a little blurred. The key here is to manage all of these assets as part of your inventory, regardless of whether it connects to the internet or not. All of these details can be defined for sorting purposes.
  1. Infrastructure/Virtual Services: With the growth of things like cloud computing, even physical servers are expanding beyond company premises. Virtual servers are becoming the norm, and so is virtual infrastructure. Essentially, this quadrant includes virtual services that are assigned to the organization rather than individuals in the organization. This can include virtual servers, wireline/wireless contracts, cloud infrastructure, and specific software licenses.
  1. Infrastructure/Tangible Assets: In this quadrant, you’ll find all your infrastructure assets that are physically tangible in the workplace. Even so, they should still be considered a part of your inventory, labelled and allocated based on department or business unit. Examples of physical infrastructure assets are PBX phone systems, conference tables, physical servers, fleet vehicles, and so forth.

All of these different IT and technology assets and services must be accounted for and managed as part of the enterprise digital footprint. Managing all of your technology and the expenses associated with it is an essential part of any IT strategy. As technology continues to grow, and things like IoT, AI and machine-learning tools, blockchain, UCC platforms, and other intelligent technologies make their way into businesses, there comes a pressing need to manage it all. Leveraging the management of the enterprise digital footprint does just that.

For more insights into the enterprise digital footprint, and how managing expenses beyond telecom can be beneficial for your business, feel free to contact us today.

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