Are critical business systems running under people’s desks?

Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Business Systems

During the late 90s and early 2000s, it wasn’t uncommon for IT staff to have essential business systems running on servers sitting in their cubicles and/or under their desks. 

In some cases, data center space wasn’t available, and in other cases, some employees blatantly eschewed company IT policies.

Although the locations of these business systems may not be a very big deal, one might assume that during the past 20 years these systems would have been long retired. However, that isn’t the case. This 20-year-old behavior continues to this day.

Many companies still have applications hosted outside their IT managed data centers, running on unmanaged hardware and which individual employees support. If this situation persists at your company, then your company is at risk and you must act immediately.

Why is this important?

Modern companies are highly dependent on technology to function effectively. When systems break, business activities can be severely impacted. 

Your IT department is chartered to provide service assurance for your business systems to ensure you not only have the features business users need but also the services are stable, available, and performing their designated jobs.

Uncontrolled technology operating outside your IT department’s visibility and control not only can make its job of service assurance difficult but also create a significant risk of disruption to your business.

Technology devices, software, and services require continuous maintenance and monitoring to operate at peak performance. Routine maintenance, patching for security and performance issues, updating software to the current version, and monitoring for abnormal activity are all activities your IT staff must perform on every component in your IT infrastructure.

If devices and/or services are operating outside IT’s control, then the staff can’t do their job and the results could lead to a business stoppage from an unplanned outage, a security breach, or even loss of critical data.

How to identify uncontrolled IT systems?

“How do you know what you don’t know?” — that is the difficult, proverbial question at hand. In most cases, the owners of these shadow IT systems running outside sanctioned environments won’t be eager to volunteer information about them. 

If you want to find them, then you must search for them. That’s when capabilities like those found in Virima can help.

Virima’s agentless IT discovery finds all devices in your environment,whether IT owns and manages them, or they’re under someone’s desk, and automatically links them based on discovered relationships. 

Do you think you have unsanctioned systems running outside your IT environment? Virima can help with that situation too by identifying external dependencies and communications that warrant good ole-fashioned sleuthing with the app/service owners who put them there.

Once discovered, Virima’s IT asset management (ITAM) tools then enable you to categorize and map the discovered systems against their dependent business processes and capture critical information, such as support contacts, hardware/software versions, and technical configurations. 

By comparing this information to your IT standards, it will become very clear where your uncontrolled IT systems are and how they are being used.

Visualizing impact for action

Now that you’ve discovered and hopefully taken control of the formerly unknown IT systems, you must determine their impact on your business and whether they are an occasional exception or a pervasive problem. 

In most cases, changing behavior starts with educating leaders and employees about the potential impact of this situation and providing a safe and structured process, so the systems comply with your IT standards.

Virima provides tools to help educate everyone involved and in the form of visualizations and system maps that show how individual components fit into the bigger picture of your technology environment. 

From there, it’s an easy process to emphasize how the business could suffer if an outage or security breach were to occur on systems unknown to IT.

If you suspect there are critical business systems, services, and software on which your company depends that are operating outside the visibility and control of your IT department, then Virima can help. To learn more, download our discovery and visualization white paper.

To get started, contact us today to schedule a demo and explore the possibilities!

Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

More to Explore

IT Operations Management (ITOM) refers to the administration of technology and application requirements within an IT organization. Under the ITIL framework, ITOM’s objective is to monitor, control, and execute the routine tasks necessary to support an organization’s IT infrastructure.(Also, see…

CMDB service maps are visual depictions of hierarchical relationships among business services (sometimes also major applications) and their supporting Configuration Items (CIs). Because service maps can provide an instant bird’s eye view of critical dependencies and relationships, their utility lies…

Understanding the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) and its core functions is a critical aspect of service management. The CMDB forms the hub of numerous service management practices and provides a means of correlation needed to deliver business services successfully.   The…

Introduction  IT asset management (ITAM) and inventory management are both useful practices that can benefit any organization using IT. Both of these practices are concerned with the management of IT assets but focus on different things. Inventory management can exist…

IT asset management (ITAM) and configuration management are both useful practices that can benefit any organization using IT. Both of these practices are concerned with the management of IT assets, but focus on different things.Configuration management can exist without IT…

Some people think that an IT service desk is the same thing as an IT help desk. It isn't, as I'm going to explain. Sure, there are some similarities, but there are also many differences. Let's start by exploring what…

To understand the business value of service mapping, it’s important to shift to a service delivery mindset, rather than thinking about delivering infrastructure, equipment, software, and applications. Defining services is relatively simple if thought of as the commoditization of what’s…

Business service mapping – the area of configuration management that perplexes so many IT professionals, yet that which provides the highest value in configuration management database (CMDB) projects. There are several major reasons IT gets stopped when it comes to…

The world of ITSM has changed as technology has shifted from providing tools for administrative support to being fully embedded in the delivery of the business’ core function.  There’s a world of difference between using an accounts payable system to…

The Configuration Management Database (CMDB) provides a single database that contains information about the enterprise’s assets, both logical and physical. In modern service management platforms, it provides core functionality that is referenced by all of the service management practices, including…