A single pane of glass is an IT management console. It brings data or interfaces from several different sources to let you view them on a single dashboard. This approach helps you get a better perspective on which information is valuable. That way, you can present it to employees or colleagues so they can act on it quickly.

Like a vast window that lets you see as much of the view outside as possible, a single pane of glass in IT gives you a bird’s eye view of possibly all the data you can get from your systems and applications in one go.

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Apart from organizations that use various systems and solutions, a single pane of glass is also beneficial for data centers. Data center administrators need to monitor tons of servers for a lot of customers on any given day. Spotting issues that need priority troubleshooting is more straightforward.

Types of Single Pane of Glass Views

The dashboard that typically comes with a single pane of glass software has a user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI), a means to access and interpret data fast, and an easy-to-use report generator. There are two major types of single pane view (another term for single pane of glass), and these are:

  • Most organizations use single pane of glass applications for data analysis. They rely on these to make quick business decisions. In such use cases, the users focus on the performance-related information shown on the dashboard.
  • Other companies use single pane of glass software to display various user interfaces (UIs), one for each application users need daily, on a single dashboard. This type lets them move from one program to another without exiting one to access another. It is beneficial for multitaskers.

What You Need to Implement a Single Pane of Glass Approach Successfully

They say the single pane of glass approach lets organizations make better business decisions, but that is not possible without fulfilling these requirements:

  • You need to monitor all your systems and solutions, which requires getting data from each one for analysis. That means connecting all these components to the single pane of glass application and ensuring they provide inputs for display.
  • You must analyze and interpret the data. That should let you spot trends and come up with actionable insights to improve your business.
  • Last but not least, you need a flexible dashboard. It should allow data customization and custom visual report generation. All users must be able to get something out of it for their operations.

Ideal Single Pane of Glass Components

The three essential components that every single pane of glass program should do are listed below.

Automation and Monitoring

An effective single pane of glass software should have an automated discovery function to find all the network components you want it to collect data from. If you do not connect everything to the program, not all operations teams can use it. Once all the systems and solutions are accessible, you can automatically see updates on the single pane of glass for monitoring.

Actionable Information

To get accurate actionable information from a single pane of glass, you first need to normalize the data from each system and program. You cannot make decisions and act on them if the information cannot be correlated with each other. An ideal solution should thus have a means for users to put different kinds of data into a single format.

All-in-One Dashboard

You cannot really call an application a single pane of glass if the dashboard does not show everything you want to see in one glance. The software’s dashboard should be easy to configure and flexible. It must show charts, graphs, alerts, and other easy-to-read visuals that make for fast decision making.

Flexibility, in this case, refers to the dashboard’s ability to show customizable views, depending on the user’s role in a company. If the user is a human resource manager, he or she should be able to isolate relevant data, such as employee productivity- and performance-related data.

Whether the single pane of glass approach is the perfect way to go for your company or not depends on what you expect to gain from it. If making quick business decisions and acting on them is your priority, then it may be the answer you are looking for.