Cloud computing has proven its value to enterprises and service providers alike. On the business side, the cloud represents potentially lower costs thanks to pay-as-you-go pricing and the option to scale easily as the user base grows. For service providers, cloud computing keeps customer acquisition costs low, translating into higher operating margins. Based on these realities, it would seem that cloud computing is a pure win/win for all involved.

However, the actual process of migrating enterprise data to the cloud exacerbates a problem that IT has long faced: Before the team can determine which applications to move to the cloud, it needs a complete understanding of its assets, as well as the ability to connect that knowledge to related information about contract terms, licensing and usage patterns. Gathering that information is more difficult in today’s enterprise than one might think. There are three reasons for this:

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