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Value Over Growth: How Tech Leaders Can Streamline IT Operations

More prudent use of endpoint management tools could hold the key


Big Tech has never been hotter. Over 2022, the combined revenue of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Meta reached $1.5trn.

Yet as macroeconomic storm clouds gather across the globe, the focus for Silicon Valley today is not growth but discipline. Investors increasingly expect it, and as evidenced by recent mass layoffs — boards are starting to deliver it. But this rightsizing of tech stocks is only just beginning. So how can tech CEOs streamline business operations after a period of untrammelled growth? The answer will lie partly with platforms designed to reduce technical debt and regain control of the IT estate.

The story so far

Are technology companies afflicted by technical debt? It’s not as strange as it might sound. These businesses invested heavily in technology over the past two decades as they vacuumed up data and built out new services to meet rising customer demands. But this front-end investment was not matched by similar levels of investment on the back end. In fact, IT infrastructure moves at a slower pace and efforts to upgrade led to a patchwork of siloed systems — including some redundant and untracked assets, which drove up technical debt and exposed tech players to excessive business risk.

Now the call from stakeholders is for efficiency, productivity and discipline, things must change. It has been matched by a new wave of regulatory requirement, which will also increase the pressure on tech CEOs to enhance transparency in how data and IT assets are handled.

The challenge for Big Tech

So, while technology enabled these businesses to grow revenue, deliver services cheaper and faster than before, and get closer to their customers, it also created huge IT blind spots and technical debt. Adding to C-suite headaches is the fact that these technology estates are enormous: perhaps scaling to hundreds of data centers, thousands of applications and millions of endpoints. IT service and systems management often don’t work or scale effectively in these environments. Automation fails when it’s fed with incomplete and out-of-date data. And the rush to fix problems with point solutions only adds to technical debt — creating more complexity and opacity.

The challenge for tech CEOs is to identify which of their assets are creating waste, inefficiency and risk. And they must do so with perhaps fewer engineering and IT specialists to help them. Yet those that succeed will be able to pivot quickly from discovery to action — leveraging their endpoint visibility to automate more, retire those assets no longer adding value, and bring the others back under management.

A new way forward

So where do we go from here? The focus should be not on trying to integrate multiple-point solutions but consolidating onto fewer strategic platforms. Better endpoint management will be key, delivered from one of these integrated platforms to offer a single source of truth for IT security and operations teams to rally around. With this 360-degree view into all IT hardware and software assets, tech firms can minimize technical debt and, in doing so, reduce their exposure to cyber breaches, compliance risk and regulatory action.

Regaining visibility and control over the endpoint estate from a single provider like Tanium will also reduce spending on unnecessary licenses and reduce costs and operational overheads through tech consolidation. It could even help to drive improved performance across networks, data centers and endpoints.

To find out more about this topic, check out our e-book: Beat the Big Tech Blues, A CIO’s guide to right-sizing business operations.

Tom Molden

Tom Molden is the CIO of Global Executive Engagement at Tanium. He has over 30 years of leadership experience in technology, mainly in manufacturing and high-tech industries. Tom has deep knowledge of how large enterprises and manufacturing organizations operate.

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