ServiceNow today unveiled an Agent Client Collector (ACC) that makes it possible for IT teams to capture data from software, hardware and cloud infrastructure.
Jeff Hausman, vice president and general manager for IT operations management at ServiceNow, said this unified agent will enable IT teams to reduce the number of agents they would otherwise have to deploy to collect the data required to monitor IT environments.
IT teams will also be able to employ incident management tools that can view that data in a way that eliminates the need to install any remote desktop software, Hausman noted. At a time when many employees will be splitting their time between working from home and the office, that approach reduces the level of IT service management (ITSM) friction that many IT teams today regularly encounter, added Hausman.
ACC surfaces both configuration and performance data in real-time to provide IT teams with greater visibility. That data can then be used to drive a variety of workflows and playbooks that trigger automated incident responses.
ServiceNow will employ ACC both within its ITSM platforms and IT operations management (ITOM), hardware asset management (HAM), software asset management (SAM), and security operations (SecOps) tools.
Hausman said ServiceNow will employ ACC alongside agentless tools for managing IT environments as part of an effort to strike a balance between the amount of software that needs to be deployed and the capabilities that agent software enables. Ultimately, ServiceNow will also open up ACC to third-party tools that offer complementary capabilities, he added.
More than a few IT organizations are suffering today from a phenomenon known as agent fatigue. Each new tool added to the IT arsenal often requires agent software to be installed within a device, application, server or cloud service. The need to reduce the amount of agent software has given rise to agentless approaches to managing IT resources, but the tradeoff is that, in the absence of an agent, the types of data and capabilities that can be enabled tend to be more limited.
The market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC) is predicting that 75% of Global 2000 IT organizations will adopt automated operations practices by 2023. A major driver of that increased reliance on automation has been, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are organizations making greater use of cloud infrastructure, but application users are not often conveniently located behind a firewall in a corporate office. For the last year, IT teams have been tasked with supporting a largely remote workforce. As more of those employees are vaccinated in the weeks ahead, a lot more of them will be returning to the office. However, it’s unlikely most employees will be working in an office full-time even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
Regardless of how IT is managed, the overall IT environment will continue to become more complex. As such, it’s now more a question of when rather than if organizations will need to revisit how IT gets managed across what has become a highly distributed environment.