Articles

6.E: Continuity - What It Isn’t and What It Is (Exercises)


Q1

Use the definition of continuity to prove that the constant function (g(x) = c) is continuous at any point a.

Q2

  1. Use the definition of continuity to prove that (ln x) is continuous at (1). [Hint: You may want to use the fact (left |ln x ight | < varepsilon Leftrightarrow -varepsilon < ln x < varepsilon) to find a (δ).]
  2. Use part (a) to prove that (ln x) is continuous at any positive real number (a). [Hint: (ln (x) = ln (x/a) + ln (a)). This is a combination of functions which are continuous at (a). Be sure to explain how you know that (ln (x/a)) is continuous at (a).]

Q3

Write a formal definition of the statement (f) is not continuous at (a), and use it to prove that the function (f(x) = egin{cases} x & ext{ if } x eq 1 0 & ext{ if } x= 1 end{cases}) is not continuous at (a = 1).

Contributor

  • Eugene Boman (Pennsylvania State University) and Robert Rogers (SUNY Fredonia)


Jessica works at a nursing home in rural Nevada. Most of the software upon which the nursing home depends is cloud-based, such as the electronic health records database Jessica consults before she administers medications. “When there's a widespread network outage, we can't access the health records until it is fixed,” she says. “My understanding is that there’s basically one big cable into the valley, so there’s no easy way to have a backup network solution.”

Sure, the nursing home has a disaster recovery plan: a local system for printing paper records. But, Janet (same source, but not her real name, either—their desire for anonymity will soon be clear) isn't quite confident in the plan. “I don't believe the system is frequently maintained or tested or that new nursing staff is trained on it," she says. "For that matter, I'm not sure I remember my own password to it.”

This situation isn’t atypical. It has become ever harder to get work done without an Internet connection. When the office Wi-Fi cuts out for an hour or a telco cable is cut by a fiber-optic-seeking backhoe, we all stumble around helplessly. Whether the disruption is the result of a construction mishap, a large-scale DDOS attack, or a natural disaster when connectivity is lost, everything screeches to a halt.

In daily terms, that’s an inconvenience. In a larger context, it’s a threat to businesses—and sometimes to human lives.

We know we need to pay attention to connectivity. Today, enterprises spend 28 percent of their total enterprise IT budgets on hosting and cloud services, according to a recent 451 Research study. That reality reflects a growing reliance on external sources of infrastructure, application, management, and security services—next year, the number is expected to reach 34 percent.

In other words: if your Internet connection is down, you’re hosed. If it’s a major event, the company might not survive it. Almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster, according to FEMA.

Traditional corporate disaster recovery programs consider primarily on-premise problems, such as power outages, server failures, and data loss. These days, disaster recovery plans ought to (but frequently do not) include situations where you can't rely on any kind of connectivity to the Internet. Even when the company has a plan to address each element that can go wrong, organizations rarely test those scenarios to make sure the backup actually works—such as, perhaps, ensuring that the nursing staff knows how to access a local system to print paper records.

Want to be prepared? Here are the issues to consider in disaster planning for cloud network outages, whether your problem is a short-term technical mishap (just type in “Comcast outage” on trends.google.com) or a disaster such as a fire or flood.


Disaster recovery: Let’s look at two extreme examples

First, a really bad example.

The Trump administration probably got clear information from the Taiwanese government while the Wuhan authorities were still denying any human-to-human transmission had been confirmed. They saw the confinement of Wuhan and neighboring cities. They were warned about the potential for a global pandemic. And, all that time, what did they do? Seemingly nothing.

An article in The Guardian blames them pretty strongly about these “missing six weeks”:

“The US response will be studied for generations as a textbook example of a disastrous, failed effort,” Ron Klain, who spearheaded the fight against Ebola in 2014, told a Georgetown university panel recently. “What’s happened in Washington has been a fiasco of incredible proportions.”

Now, let’s look at a great example.

A regional supermarket chain in Texas had planned ahead (they even have a full-time staff position as ‘director of emergency preparedness’) and was not caught by surprise, and they took a number of appropriate measures.

The reason for this is simple. They already had a plan and they were following it.

Let’s look into what it takes to develop such a plan.


‘Disruption, Disrupted’: A Roundup

It’s true, talking about “disruption” is like that old story about the blind men and the elephant: Everyone has their own take, based on a worldview that’s limited to their own experiences — and yet (as one person put it on Twitter), everyone thinks they know exactly what it is. Or isn’t.

To make matters worse, the word itself is overused and misused. But disruption, the theory, is useful — especially for considering options and alternatives when faced with an uncertain future. Disruption theory helps both startups and big companies as they figure out what to focus on and why. The point isn’t to be right or wrong about disruption it’s to be thinking about it at all.

And this isn’t just an academic exercise. As software eats the world and becomes even more broadly applicable to people’s lives — and reaches new scale — the disruption dynamics that were always present in tech now apply to many other industries, fields, and professions.

So to help navigate both recent and past discussions on the topic of disruption, here’s a holiday link roundup to catch up or consider some select nuances…

What disruption theory is (and isn’t)

“[A] company that does everything by the book…can get blindsided by an innovation that rapidly takes away its markets, because it was doing everything right. The innovations that cause this ‘why bad things happen to good companies’ dilemma are disruptive innovations. The signature story of disruption reads as follows: an upstart low-end competitor displaces a much larger incumbent in a market, with the incumbent either retreating upmarket to higher margin/lower volume products or dying out altogether… The key point to remember is that disruption is a market/business phenomenon…” —Ribbonfarm cheat-sheet

“But for all this, the question remained: does disruption really work? Can disruption get beyond merely explaining the past and actually make it possible for any manager to more accurately predict the future? …the answer, it turns out, is ‘yes.’ …with specific data and analysis demonstrating that disruption has predictive power.” —on The Innovator’s Manifesto

“Disruption theory is an attempt to reliably identify winning challenges. It includes a method of analysis of ‘the setting’ of the fight and ‘the weighing’ of the fighters. In other words, it measures whether the challenger is sufficiently asymmetric and whether the incumbent is flexible enough in their likely response. If there is insufficient asymmetry the theory would suggest the challenger will lose, and vice versa.” —The Asymco Disruption FAQ

“Three things irk me about ‘disruption’ as it’s used in technology: 1. New products that do what existing products do, but (theoretically) better, are not disruptive. They are ‘sustaining.’ … 2. The misplaced obsession with low-end disruption, which, as I argued last week, doesn’t apply nearly as strongly to consumer markets. 3. The characterization of obsoletive technology as disruptive. … [Disruption theory] is dramatically over-applied in technology. Most new products are simply better — stop calling them disruptive! — while the most revolutionary products — all of them, ever more personal versions of truly personal computers — are obsoletive. They are more expensive, more capable, and change the way we live.” —Ben Thompson, Stratechery

Incumbent, beware (Or, beware the incumbent)

“For an incumbent, it is costly to bet on a new, unproven technology when things are going fine with the old one … [The] end result was incumbent preservation through acquisition. And this is not just theorising. My own recent paper…demonstrates just that: disruptive technologies (identified after the fact) are associated with start-ups competing and then being acquired as much as they are associated with those start-ups growing as independent firms.” —Digitopoly

“At its heart, innovation is about change and challenge, things which are anathema to incumbents. Incumbents benefit from the status quo, whether in business or government, not new competition. In fact, incumbent businesses and government will often work together to quash competition and keep things as is.” —AEIdeas

“[Disruptive innovation] is not a theory about survivability… does U.S. Steel make rebar anymore? No, they’ve been taken out of rebar. Do the integrated steel companies like U.S. Steel make rail for the railroads? No… So what do they make? Steel sheet at the high end of the market. The fact is that they make steel sheet at the high end of the market, but have been driven out everywhere else. This is a process, not an event.” —Christensen in Bloomberg Business Week

“Clearly disruptive innovation is not a death sentence for a company. But what we see is that disruption often triggers an industry shakeout, and while often the top players survive and come through stronger, weaker players fail or consolidated away… just because some firms survive and even become more dominant, doesn’t mean a disruptive innovation doesn’t have profound industry effects.” —Urbanophile

Critiques and considerations

“Most big ideas have loud critics. Not disruption… Disruptive innovation is a theory about why businesses fail. It’s not more than that. It doesn’t explain change. It’s not a law of nature. It’s an artifact of history, an idea, forged in time it’s the manufacture of a moment of upsetting and edgy uncertainty. Transfixed by change, it’s blind to continuity. It makes a very poor prophet.” —Jill Lepore in The New Yorker (2014)

“Christensen’s description of how the world works matches how Silicon Valley sees itself, and Silicon Valley has gotten a lot more culturally important. The disruption narrative is one in which the upstarts are the heroes. Their eventual victory over the established order is foreordained, and they are the force that moves society — or at least technology — forward, disruption by disruption. Starting a company holds the potential to be not only lucrative, but also revolutionary…” —Drake Bennett in Bloomberg Businessweek

“Christensen’s theory is based on examples drawn from buying decisions made by businesses, not consumers. The reason this matters is that the theory of low-end disruption presumes: Buyers are rational Every attribute that matters can be documented and measured Modular providers can become “good enough” on all the attributes that matter to the buyers. All three of [these] assumptions fail in the consumer market” —Ben Thompson, Stratechery

“But let’s not confuse the diagnosis with the disease… understanding disruption and how to deal with it is a key task for management, even if it’s not the whole story… And, while we are at it, let’s not confuse contemporaneity with causation… Disruption has accelerated over the last decade and a half for very different and simpler reasons, namely, that power in the marketplace has shifted from seller to buyer as a result of globalization and the Internet, with a consequent shredding of many vertical value chains and the creation of new horizontal value chains” —Steve Denning in Forbes

“The Innovator’s Dilemma was published in 1997, making the theory of disruption seventeen years old. A teenager. According to Erik Erikson’s theory of developmental psychology, this is the time when people undergo the transition from child to adult. There is an identity crisis, where the question is asked — Who am I and what can I be? There is an opportunity now for the theory to grow up.” —Whitney Johnson on LinkedIn

On disruption theory as applied to the iPhone (and Android)

“[Christensen’s] most embarrassing prediction was that the iPhone would not succeed. Being a low-end guy, Christensen saw it as a fancy cell phone it was only later that he realized that it was also disruptive to laptops.” The New Yorker (2012)

“The iPhone is not and never was a phone. It is a pocket-sized computer that obviates the phone … [It’s] not a phone with other secondary features. It’s a general purpose pocket-sized touchscreen computer, that happens to include cellular phone networking as a feature.” —John Gruber

“As it turned out, the iPhone wasn’t just a phone. It became a whole ecosystem, in which the iPhone met the diverse needs of hundreds of millions of individual iPhone users with a technology platform drawing on the talents of hundreds of thousands of developers. It could be adapted to meet the needs, preferences and passing whims of every single user — a feat for which customers proved willing to pay a substantial premium. As a result, Apple’s ecosystem was able to disrupt the existing producers of cheaper mobile phones like Nokia and Blackberry. It was a different kind of disruption — disruption from above, with a better, more expensive product, rather than disruption from below, with an initially-inferior cheaper product.” —Steve Denning

“[Steve Jobs’ brilliance] was in disrupting one market (portable computers) with a low-end offering while making a ton of profit with a premium offering in a different market (mobile phones)… and all by using the same product.” —Lawrence Lee

𔄜/B. Right now Apple *is* the disruptor–iPhones/iPads vs Windows PCs. Many surprised by rapid rise of direct substitution, including me. 5/C. Apple *is* getting disrupted right now: Android phones outselling iPhones somewhere between 5:1 and 10:1 worldwide right now.” &#[email protected] tweetstorm

What’s missing from disruption theory?

“It’s also clear that some of the toppling is the result of the natural process of market competition. As Joseph Schumpeter famously observed, markets are a powerful engine for ‘creative destruction’ — they invite competitors with a better idea or a better approach to come in and challenge incumbents. It happens all the time. But the key question on the table from this more systemic view of disruption is: why is it increasing so dramatically over a long period of decades? …It’s easy to criticize an existing theory, but even assuming that this one doesn’t work (which I don’t), what’s the alternative? What’s going on?” —John Hagel, Edge Perspectives

“But the theory sheds insufficient light on the question of how do you tell a dangerous disruption from an illusory one. There is no clear metric of disruption. All disruptions are not equal. Applying ‘disruption theory’ to every vertical value chain is misleading and doesn’t deal with the tougher question about how to distinguish between dangerous and illusory disruptions.” —Steve Denning in Forbes

“Apple is — and, for at least the last 15 years, has been — focused exactly on the blind spot in the theory of low-end disruption: differentiation based on design which, while it can’t be measured, can certainly be felt by consumers who are both buyers and users. It’s time for the theory to change.” —Ben Thompson

“[The current theory of disruption is incomplete [it] does not have a broad enough concept of end-user quality… disruption theory was born in Microsoft/Intel era, when everyone expected computers to have, um, certain issues. Apple brilliantly redefined conception what was possible from end-user quality and integration standpoint, against prevailing assumptions. We have attempted to generalize this concept into ‘full stack’ thinking, which many of today’s best startups are also pursuing. It’s possible disruption theory needs to be evolved to accommodate these newer patterns and learnings… But it’s also possible all such ‘full stack’ patterns are just integrated approaches that themselves will be disrupted in the future.” &#[email protected] tweetstorm [More on the full stack startup approach — which bypasses existing companies and builds a full end-to-end product/service in order to completely control the customer experience — here, here, and here.]

“Industries or institutions which have remained largely undisrupted include Energy, Education, Government, Healthcare, Airlines, and Hotels. The study of these anomalies continues and explanations identify conditions that prevent growth. Dependencies on regulation, infrastructure, and absence of technological core enablers caused some of the atrophy to date. However signals of change are appearing in all these industries and paths to disruption are clearly possible.” —Horace Dediu


Present Continuous Tips

REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs / Mixed Verbs

It is important to remember that non-continuous verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for mixed verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using present continuous with these verbs, you must use simple present.

  • She is loving this chocolate ice cream. Not Correct
  • She loves this chocolate ice cream. Correct

ADVERB PLACEMENT

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.


Enterprise Risk Management – Risk Registers and Frameworks – Training and Workshops

Today, there are new demands on risk management to act as an enabler for better organizational decisions. However, traditional models don’t adequately support those organizations or business units that operate and indeed thrive under inherently higher risk conditions. 4C Strategies provides a structured, systematic and integrated approach to enterprise risk management in both the private and public sectors.

4C’s risk management services encompass each phase of the risk lifecycle – identification, analysis, evaluation and treatment – and integrates risk with business continuity and crisis management to ensure organisation-wide resilience. Our consultants have been actively involved in developing international risk management standards, such as ISO 31000, which guide our service delivery and software development.

Risk Management Services

Enterprise risk management programs including frameworks, strategies, policies, criteria models and processes.

Integrated risk management – aligning risk, business continuity and crisis management programs.

Capability Maturity Model and Benchmarking systems to track progression.

Risk and vulnerability assessments

Facilitation of risk management workshops

Embedded risk management experts and interim risk managers

Exonaut® Risk Manager

4C’s risk management services are complemented by Exonaut Risk Manager, our web-based and mobile solution to deliver a structured, systematic and integrated approach to project-based and enterprise-wide risks. Exonaut Risk Manager forms part of the Exonaut readiness management platform, with fully integrated solutions for risk management, business continuity, compliance management and training and exercises. 4C software developers and implementation teams work closely with our management consultants to ensure that Exonaut is continually evolving based on our project needs, client feedback, and industry best practice.


Lesson 5: Don't go it alone.

Dennis Dayman can sum up the best lesson he has learned about business continuity in one sentence: Self-assessments are worthless. As part of his company's annual review of its BC plans, he often had the uncomfortable feeling that the company was missing something.

"No one wants to talk about their own faults and vulnerabilities," says Dayman, CSO of Eloqua, a software-as-a-service vendor.

"Now we have a third party, TRUSTe, come in and say what we missed." As a volunteer firefighter who responds to dozens of emergency calls in his town every year, Dayman knows all too well that disasters happen and can ruin companies—not to mention lives. As he learned, the best way to avoid myopia in your BC planning is to get third parties involved. (Also see How to evaluate BCDR consultants.)


How To Use a Digital Multimeter

In the old days, the method of choice for checking a circuit was to grab the test light and start probing. While a test light has its place, many times you can actually do more damage by using a test light, especially on today’s high-tech electronics. What you need is a digital multimeter, or DMM for short. This handy diagnostic tool can help you with everything from checking a battery to sorting out faulty sensors and ignition coils. Here’s how to use a digital multimeter when working on your car.

What Is A Digital Multimeter?

There are many different types of digital multimeters, from the basic to high-end scientific units, so what exactly should you be looking for? Unless you are an electrical engineer that needs a high-dollar unit, a basic full-service DMM is all you need. Expect to spend between $25 and $150 for a good quality DMM for general DIY use. When take care of, they can last decades. (Author’s note: my personal DMM was bought in 1998, and I still use it regularly. The leads have been replaced several times, but the main unit is in perfect working order.)

Some people prefer auto-ranging units, where you set the meter to the type of circuit (volts, impedances, amps, etc) and the unit automatically adjusts the range. These are good if you know what you are doing. (Author’s note: I prefer non-auto ranging DMMs. They are faster and you can adjust the settings as needed. This is a personal preference.)

What you need in a digital multimeter is the ability to measure the following values:

Volts AC – This value is noted by the electrical sign for AC, which is” ∼ “. AC, or Alternating Current, is what comes out of the wall. There are not many uses for this in automobiles, but the alternator generates AC current, which is rectified through diodes in the regulator. You can test alternator output to the regulator using this setting, ranged at 200.

Volts DC – The symbol for DC is “⎓”, this is the most used setting for automotive applications. Every component in your vehicle uses DC volts for power, and most electrical diagnostics in a car involve the power circuit. Your vehicle’s operating voltage is 14.4 volts, but the operating range for most components is 11 to 14.4, with the standing voltage of your battery being between 12 and 13.5 volts. Specific readings depend on the circuit and the status of the electrical system (engine on or off). When the engine is on, the battery terminals should read as close to 14.4 as possible.

Amperage – This is the most dangerous value, and is noted with the symbol “μ”.Amperage is the most dangerous for you and your digital multimeter. Most units have a separate lead port for amperage with a limit of how many amps the unit can safely measure. This is typically fused as well. More expensive meters can test 10 amps or more, but the 200 to 500 milliamps is the more common range. You can be electrocuted by as little .6 amps, or 600 milliamps, so any time you are checking amperage, you must be extremely careful.

Ohms (impedance) – Noted by the Greek letter for Omega “ Ω“ , impedance is the third most used value on your digital multimeter. This is the setting you will use for testing most sensors. For example, a common problem in older vehicles is a faulty fuel gauge. Fuel level sensors use impedance to show the fuel level. GM vehicles use 0-90 ohms. The leads are placed to ground and to the terminal on the sending unit. Moving the level arm should change the reading between 0 and 90 ohms. Any reading outside of this notes a bad sending unit. Ignition coils, and many other sensors are tested this way.

Continuity – A symbol similar to “♐“ is used for continuity. This one varies by DMM manufacturers, but the main sign is no range. There may also be a symbol similar to “o)))” noting a beep. One key to buying a DMM is to get one with an audible beep. If your digital multimeter does not beep when you have continuity, it is much more difficult to use, especially in difficult situations where you can’t see the meter itself. Continuity is useful for finding bad grounds, broken wires, open circuits, and short circuits. This is the second most used value in automotive use, so make sure that your DMM has this feature and it is audible.

These are the standard values for a digital multimeter, and there are some limits that are based on the unit you have. Get the DMM with the widest range of settings so that you have the most available options in your tool box.

How To Use a Digital Multimeter

Using your DMM may require a little of learning, but they are easy enough to use. The leads are positive and negative, black for negative (ground or common), and red for positive. Most functions use the non-fused port, but amperage tests should always be performed with the red lead in the fused port. If you use the non-fused port, you will blow up your meter.

Most tests can be done with the leads on either pole (positive vs negative), in the case of voltage, the meter will usually light up a (-) if the leads are reversed from what it should be. This can also be used to figure out if you have circuit that is reversing polarity.

Most meters also have a voltage limit. For autos, this is not an issue, but if you ever use your meter to test a wall circuit it could be, though if you are working about anything bigger than 230v, you probably already have a bigger meter and know how to use it anyway.

Sorting out electrical issues is often a frustrating exercise, but you will not be able to get the job done with a test light, so pick yourself up a quality digital multimeter and familiarize yourself with it. You will glad that you did next time you need to figure out why your stuff isn’t working.

Check out all the tools & equipment available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to use a digital multimeter, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.


4 Strategic Benefits of Software Asset Management

Below, you’ll find the notes we took from the webinar.

What is Software Asset Management (SAM) – and What it Isn’t

The formal definition of software asset management is as follows:

“All of the infrastructure and processes necessary for the effective management, control and protection of the software assets within an organization, throughout all stages of their lifecycle.” – ITIL v3 Best Practice Guide – Software Asset Management

That definition is a bit general, so to let’s drill down even more. SAM has the following characteristics:

– SAM is a business practice. It involves people, processes, and technology.
– SAM includes a set of managed processes and functional capabilities.
– SAM tools can help facilitate, and sometimes automate, these processes and capabilities but deploying a tool by itself does not ensure the effective practice of managing software assets.
– SAM is not just about software on desktops. In fact, SAM is most importantly about software on servers – that is where the cost and operational impact of software assets is most concentrated.
– SAM is a multi-disciplinary practice. It requires collaboration among several departments – IT, Finance, Procurement, Legal, and HR being some of the typical major players.

To understand SAM even better, it’s valuable to know what SAM isn’t. These points are commonly misunderstood in many organizations today:

– SAM is NOT a one-time exercise.
– SAM is NOT a one-person job. Many organizations start with one person doing SAM (frequently in addition to other responsibilities), but quickly realize that effective SAM cannot be performed by a single individual.
– SAM is NOT just about IT.
– SAM is NOT just about compliance or audits.
– SAM is NOT just about a tool.

Simply put, SAM cannot be successful without the right people, processes, and technology.

Why software asset management is important

The importance of software asset management extends across an entire organization. Two of the main and most important aspects of SAM are cost savings and risk mitigation – from both a compliance and IT security standpoint.

We’re going to look to Gartner to discuss why SAM is important and how it is increasingly affecting organizations.

“SAM has evolved into a discipline that supports strategic business development, requiring IT leaders to engage C-level commitment to CSAM investment.” 1

– SAM is becoming more important to C-level executives the recent release of Gartner’s first-ever Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Services is evidence of this.

“[Organizations that] successfully execute ITAM as a discipline typically achieve 30% cost savings in the first year of their initiatives, and at least 5% cost savings in each of the subsequent five years. Given that software and hardware spending often accounts for 20% of IT budgets, this is a crucial discipline to master. ITAM can also significantly reduce the compliance risks associated with recent increases in the number and intensity of software audits.” 2

– Every organization needs to reduce costs, especially in today’s economic landscape. Year one cost savings of 30% and 5% in years after is very common for our clients (oftentimes it’s even higher). This equates to millions of dollars in cost savings.

“[Gartner] survey reveals that 65% of respondents reported at least one software vendor audit in the previous 12 months, up from 61% the year before.” 3

– We’ve found that as market and licensing models are changing, so are the publishers’ revenues. This means that they’re thinking of new and creative ways to generate revenue from their existing customers and auditing is certainly one of those ways. This year especially, we’re seeing more and more audits – many of our clients are facing audits from multiple software publishers.

4 strategic benefits of software asset management


As noted by Gartner, SAM is a discipline that supports strategic business development. Here are the 4 main strategic benefits of SAM:

Reduce Risk:

– Data collected from SAM allows organizations to identify IT security risks, finding faulty and/or unsupported software. You’ll know which/how many software assets need patches/security updates.
– SAM reduces compliance exposure. When auditors come knocking, they’ll find that you are paying for what’s being used eliminating the need for potential hefty, business-changing fines.
– The reduced risk from practicing good SAM will save your organization from any and all potential legal, financial, and reputational damages/liabilities.

Reduce Spend:

– This is a major benefit! Many of our clients see actionable savings of 20% or more in year one.
– Good SAM monitors usage on an ongoing basis, allowing you to identify re-harvesting/re-use opportunities. It’s (obviously) important that you don’t spend more money that needed.
– Ongoing usage monitoring also empowers organizations to purchase software assets based on their true usage and future needs.
– Additionally, SAM helps limit rogue purchases and potential chargebacks.

Maximize Investments:

– Through configuration management & standardization and change control & business continuity, organizations get the most out of what they have.
– Take advantage of IT optimization opportunities, i.e., virtualization, server consolidation, etc.
– Having the right people and processes in place allows you to realize the full benefits of your SAM tool(s). Many organizations fail to take full advantage of this.

Negotiate Strategically:

– If you know exactly what you have and exactly what you need, you can negotiate from a position of power. This gives you confidence and makes life much easier.
– SAM data allows for dialed-in and precise decision making.
– Having a SAM managed service provider in your corner gives you the publisher-specific expertise needed to negotiate. This detailed publisher knowledge allows for focus on key contract asks and advantageous terms.

Other ways which software asset management helps organizations

Here are a few other ways that SAM benefits companies:

– SAM streamlines IT processes through standardization driven by SAM policies.
– SAM greatly reduces man hours and limits business disruption caused by audits.
– The visibility and validation that come with SAM contribute to better IT governance policies and practices.
– Data of past usage and trends helps improve forecasting of future software needs.
– SAM helps prioritize which software publishers to manage based on spend, audit considerations, strategic importance, etc. To read more about publisher prioritization check out THIS ARTICLE.

The benefits of proper software asset management are immense and of great strategic importance to organizations today. If you have more questions regarding SAM, please reach out to us and we’ll be happy to answer them.

1. Gartner Publication G00298384, 03 Mar 2016
2. Gartner Publication G00251385, 18 Jun 2013
3. Gartner Publication G00228206, 27 Jan 2012

Case Studies

Below, you’ll find case studies from some of Anglepoint’s clients that demonstrate the strategic importance of SAM.


Recovery

In the event of a ransomware attack a business will have two options: recover the information from a previous backup or pay the ransom. In many cases, even when a ransom has been paid, the data has not been released, so paying does not guarantee you will get your data back.

There are two main objectives when recovering from ransomware. To minimise the amount of data loss and to limit the amount of IT downtime for the business. The fastest way to recover from most incidents is to fail-over to replica systems hosted elsewhere. But these traditional disaster recovery services are not optimised for cyber threats. Replication software will immediately copy the ransomware from production IT systems to the offsite replica. This software will often have a limited number of historic versions to recover from so by the time an infection has been identified, the window for recovery has gone. This means that ransomware recovery can be incredibly time consuming and requires reverting to backups. This often involves trawling through historic versions of backups to locate the clean data.

The rise of ransomware will only increase so organisations must regard infection as a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ and take the appropriate steps to mitigate the risks. The advice from the government provides a solid foundation but it is imperative organisations have an effective response plan and backup strategy to support it.

Peter Groucutt, managing director at Databarracks
Image source: Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo