IT experts love to throw around terms like SAN, NAS and WAN while their business counterparts mumble about regulations called SOX, PCI-DSS, FSA,  BASEL II and HIPAA. When all these acronyms get built into software, it’s almost impossible to tell what value, if any, it’s providing to a customer.

That’s why it was so refreshing to see screen shots like the one below in a briefing from Exaprotect, a four-year-old compliance and security configuration management vendor. This report was generated by its Logmanager appliance, which stores historical data from more than 200 devices and applications and produces reports and “dashboards” showing their compliance (or lack thereof) with regulations. (Exaprotect’s ChangeManager appliance, coming this summer,) will let admins quickly make required changes in such devices.

 

What’s great about this report is that it shows not only the IT “event” — which devices received updated virus signatures — but in the lower left hand corner lists which regulations or best practices the antivirus update helps the customer meet. (ISO, for those keeping track, is International Organization for Standardization, COBIT stands for Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology and PCI DSS is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.)

Making clear how information technology helps the business is more important than ever when you’re trying to sell in a “down” environment. Once the product is implemented, bringing the business impact to the surface like this helps assure the security or operations manager takes the proper action.

Explaining the “business impact” within an IT management tool only requires adding a few explanatory lines, or tweaking the code behind a “dashboard.” But it can make a huge difference how easily a product can be sold, and how well it is used.

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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