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In many enterprises, the problem of application sprawl or 'shadow IT' as it is becoming known is a serious issue for many IT managers. If IT is unaware of, or has not authorized certain IT-related software purchases, chances are that the resulting applications will not comply with the latest internal IT standards, open up a significant licensing risk and provide a serious ongoing security headache. Without ongoing IT asset management, IT departments often are surprised to find hundreds of apps, of which, maybe just a small proportion have been purchased through them. Even worse, some of the apps may have been bought multiple times (with multiple versions) by different business units or regions.

One of the main concerns of IT project managers embarking on a major IT transformation project such as a Windows 10 migration, is the quality of data they will have to work with once they figure out where to get it. They suspect that if their data quality is garbage now, the project output will be result in garbage as well. These concerns are definitely valid and must be addressed for different reasons early on in the project lifecycle. 

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So, how do you bring order to that chaos? How can you cleanse and normalize this data to make sense of it all?

Accelerating Data Cleansing For Faster, Actionable Decisions In Ongoing Evergreen Or IT Migration Projects

Recently, Juriba and BDNA partnered to solve this problem by integrating Juriba's enterprise IT project management tool, Dashworks with BDNA's Technopedia, the world’s largest and most up-to-date categorized repository of information about enterprise hardware and software, and Normalize, a tool that aligns organizational data to Technopedia resulting in an authoritative source of clean, accurate, and relevant data about the IT environment. Through this powerful combination, enterprises now can accelerate their ongoing Evergreen IT or migration projects significantly by cleansing the data enabling faster and more actionable decisions.

Corey_headshot.jpgWe sat down with Corey Balko, Senior Architect, Solutions & Alliances at BDNA to talk about how companies can get a grip on this situation and move towards managing their IT landscape. Corey is a thought leader in both IT and professional services. He brings with him his unparalleled expertise in developing business-driven architectures that ensure compliance, mitigate risk, and reduce costs across any enterprise. His claim-to-fame is an astonishing $500M in IT cost-savings.

BDNA - Bringing Order To The Chaos

With looming security threats and flat IT budgets (along with fewer discretionary budgets to spend), it is imperative that you manage your hardware and software estate. Otherwise you are running the risk of failing a software audit, overpaying in licenses or even becoming easy prey for hackers. But you cannot manage what you cannot measure — so consequently, you need to know what you are dealing with. 

Many IT managers have the same questions: Where do we start? How exactly can we discover and keep tabs on which applications are installed? How do we make sense of all the different versions and all the changes in manufacturer names (e.g., Dell, Dell Inc. or Dell Incorporated)? That’s where BDNA, a Juriba partner that tightly integrates with our IT project management tool, Dashworks, comes in.

BDNA believes that better data leads to better decisions, and the company prides itself on creating the most authoritative enterprise IT data.

Having the most organized and accurate data possible allows companies to not only lower costs and the risks associated with moving forward with a large project such as an enterprise-level migration, but it also accelerates the pace of their business through increased visibility, insight, and trustworthy information.

What Does BDNA Bring To The Table For Juriba Customers?

BDNA’s various data consumption channels enable users to access normalized data and include Search, Analytics, API, and SQL Access. The multi-channel consumption approach ensures the data platform is the cornerstone for your IT data needs regardless of technical aptitude or scenario.

BDNA offers a robust data platform relevant for enterprise IT teams —

One of the biggest benefits that BDNA can offer both current and potential Juriba clients is the ability to normalize data in order to create accurate & relevant information (which is essential to a successful migration). The company has accomplished this by using Technopedia, the world’s largest and most up-to-date categorized repository of information about all commercial hardware and software.

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What exactly is Technopedia and why is it so powerful? Technopedia is a catalog of all commercially available hardware and software with over 1.2 million products and over 87 million market data points (non-discoverable information) describing the product, such as support level, end-of-life, Windows compatibility, security vulnerabilities, procurement information, and much much more. It is the market data that provides additional relevance and context to make more informed decisions about your business. Talk about powerful information to have at your fingertips!

BDNA Normalize is a deterministic engine that includes more than 30 million rules which aggregate and normalize raw data from over fifty data sources, such as MS SCCM and ServiceNow discovery. But whatever discovery tool you use, you can load the data into Normalize which aligns the data to Technopedia resulting in a single version of clean, accurate, and relevant data that has been enriched with market intelligence to drive effective large scale migrations among other initiatives.

By using Normalize, enterprises can cut down their hardware and software versions by an average of 20 to 1. This way, you can have a 100% guaranteed match, trusting the most up-to-date data with over 2,500 updates per day to the Technopedia catalog.

How Dashworks Will Integrate With Technopedia & Normalize

Dashworks uses its native SCCM feed to discover and surface all sorts of software and hardware data. Normalize will minimize the manual cleaning efforts by scrubbing not only the SCCM data, but also data from 53 other discovery sources out-of-the-box off software applications irrelevant to the planned migration (i.e., language packs, hot fixes, or knowledge bases articles). With the Juriba-BDNA integration, Dashworks will then consume the normalized — cutting the clutter and the noise by up to 90% immediately while still protecting additional information needed later on for the migration.

In your Dashworks dashboard you will then find three Normalize output categories: Irrelevant, Mapped, and Unknown. First of all, relevant means, the minimum set of data required to provide an organization with a definitive inventory position. You would think that people would not care about or want to see the Irrelevant category, but it may be useful from a patching standpoint.

For Mapped applications, you will see the normal Dashworks output with the traffic lights indicating readiness. In addition, Normalize information is also accessible in the custom fields box. Options include additional taxonomy fields, Windows 10 compatibility and discovered application versions.

Your internally developed applications, as well as applications that have not yet been mapped by BDNA, will appear in the Unknown category. Unknown products go through a process called gap fill which submits them to BDNA automatically to be researched and added to the Technopedia catalog. BDNAs greatest IP is the way that they curate, QA and maintain the data in Technopedia. For internally developed products, customers can manage them using the BDNA Private Catalog using the same rich taxonomy found in Technopedia.

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Using Dashworks & BDNA For Your Evergreen IT Initiatives

But Dashworks and BDNA aren’t just one-hit wonders. You can use them on an ongoing basis to achieve Evergreen IT. BDNA’s Data Platform along with discovery, is running in most enterprises on an average of once a week to provide IT managers an accurate picture of what their current estate looks like.

With a clean source of enterprise IT information, data consumers are able to make better decisions. This is critical because enterprise architects need to understand where they are trying to go based on where they are today. As the business requests new capabilities (e.g., online shopping or new payment methods) the IT requirements and associated technology risks change as well. The question then becomes: “What must we do to patch and remediate technologies that provide security risks to existing capabilities, and how can we ensure the new capabilities are leveraging current, supported hardware and software?”

Dashworks and BDNA will be there to help answer all these hard questions and keep a tight leash on your IT landscape - enabling your organization to be more agile and nimble to react to market changes or technology shifts.

Want to learn more about Dashworks? Download our buyer's guide:

Click here to download the Dashworks Buyer's Guide

Barry Angell

Written by Barry Angell

Barry is a co-founder of Juriba, where he works as CEO to drive the company strategy. He is an experienced End User Services executive that has helped manage thousands of users, computers, applications and mailboxes to their next IT platform. He has saved millions of dollars for internal departments and customers alike through product, project, process and service delivery efficiency.

Topics: IT Strategy Dashworks