Connecting The Dots – ITSM with ITAM
Is ITAM necessary?
Business evolves constantly and managing scale is a challenge with growing trends like BYOD, IaaS, SaaS and consumerization. As a company grows, there is a huge need to maintain IT Infrastructure efficiently for better IT Service management (ITSM). So, the clear answer to “Is ITAM necessary?” is ‘Yes’. But, many organizations do not realize its importance until occurrence of major events like security breach, infrastructure failure etc.
ITAM is not a good-to-have function but a must-have.
Do you agree as well? ITAM is the central repository for your organization’s hardware and software inventory. It includes asset lifecycle, financial, compliance management and ensures Return on Investment (ROI). Asset Management is the true value center for IT Service management (ITSM) as it is integrated with other major ITIL modules such as incident, problem, change and release management to deliver better context.
ITAM belongs to the gang of ITIL
IT Asset Management is not a standalone function but a continuous, ongoing process starting from request to disposal. Companies aiming for service excellence adopt the best practices of ITIL and ITAM, in its core essence is a process of ITIL. Asset Management accelerates decision-making with a data-driven approach and provides contextual information to incident, change and request management teams for effective service delivery.
ITAM & Incident Management – The goal of incident management is speedy recovery and service restoration. Asset Management helps the incident team with relevant information such as asset owner, previous asset history and configuration details. Similarly, evaluate your asset health with details of past incident records.
ITAM & Change Management – Change execution might impact configuration items. Therefore, the first step in change management is to perform risk/impact analysis. Integrating ITAM within change management mitigates risk and change process is defined properly based on this. ITAM provides information to a change team regarding asset location, impact and configuration details.
ITAM & Service Request Management – Whenever an user requests for a service item, the ITAM team checks if it is available or not. If not available, they place a purchase request to the vendor and gets it delivered on time to the end user. The team is also responsible for checking the contract details, compliance before it is delivered to the end user. IT Asset Management and request management team collaborate together to meet the SLA committed to the end user and remain compliant with the ITAM policy.
More power to you, IT Asset Management!
ITAM understands business goals!
ITAM has different meanings to each one of us such as inventory management, barcode scanning, record-keeping etc. Growing technologies such as IoT, connected devices, BYOD increase the need and complexity of asset management. Organizations need to proactively evaluate the security aspects and how employees access company data. Having an effective IT asset management has varied business benefits and this helps in answering the following questions generally asked by management.
What type of IT assets employees use and where are they located?
What is the ROI from vendor?
When is the warranty expiring?
How much time was spent in hardware/software audit last year?
What is the cost of tracking and maintaining these assets?
How much time do you spend in generating asset reports?
Effective IT Asset Management is a must for businesses to realize following business benefits.
- Resource optimization – ITAM manages assets throughout their lifecycle and helps in optimizing resources by cutting cost and saving time. ITAM helps in prudent IT budget planning by identifying business critical functions and planning accordingly. Implementing an ITAM solution reduces manual excel work and tracking gets much easier.
- Improved decision making – Purchasing an asset from a vendor is not a one-time transaction but a conscious management’s decision. ITAM solution offers intelligent reporting to understand asset and vendor performance. Based on this, you may decide to renew existing contracts with vendors and proactively plan for future so that only assets in high demand are purchased and unused assets are identified easily.
- Staying compliant – ITAM simplifies the complexity of managing licenses and warranty. Comparing purchased licenses with used ones ensures compliance and helps during IT auditing. Proactive notification with respect to warranty and license expiry ensures timely renewal of contracts and meeting Service Level Agreement (SLA) with end users.
- Reduced downtime – Regular audit of IT assets ensures business continuity. ITAM reduces the risk of infrastructure failure through continuous monitoring and therefore unexpected downtime is reduced. This results in seamless business operations and increased overall productivity.
- Reduction in number of incidents – Periodic audit ensures working state of assets and therefore results in reduction of incident occurrence. This will allow IT support agents to focus on complex projects and be proactive.
- Secured environment – IT security needs IT Asset Management. Staying compliant and audit-ready create a secured infrastructure that avoids installation and usage of any untrusted software. Implementing IT Asset Management is central to maintaining organization’s security and preventing any potential data loss.
Having discussed the importance and business benefits of IT Asset Management, you may now be excited to try it out and here are few tips and tricks that might help you.
Automate as much as possible
Many companies manage their assets with spreadsheets even today and they approach IT Asset Management as a reactive process. Automation saves time and improves accuracy during asset discovery.
- Automate discovery of IT assets using intelligent discovery tools to capture details such as asset owner, configuration, installed softwares, components, serial number etc.
- Automate alerts and notifications for warranty, license expiry and approval process
Move ITAM to the cloud
Businesses are migrating towards cloud and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is the key trend in implementing ITAM solution which is critical to digital transformation. Implementing a cloud solution minimizes cost for setup, maintenance and also improves compliance. But, SAM policy may cause ambiguity in cloud instance with respect to software licensing and therefore, understanding your SAM policy is the key to success.
Build a CMDB using ITAM
ITAM leads to CMDB which provides a 360-degree context about an asset. CMDB includes information about asset history, asset relationships and contract attached. Without IT Asset Management, building a CMDB is a difficult process. Asset Management focuses on financial and contractual information of an asset whereas CMDB is considered as a data warehouse of all assets.
Choose the right service desk solution
“ITAM and ITSM complement each other.” IT Asset Management should be integrated within your service desk solution that supports necessary set of features for successful asset management. ITAM is tightly coupled with other ITIL modules to provide relevant information. Following is the feature checklist that are mandatory
- Automatic asset discovery
- Asset relationship management
- Asset audit history
- Automatic alerts & reminders
- Customizable reporting
Image credits – ITassetmanagement.net
The reason why ITAM fails is mostly due to lack of support from senior management and lack of awareness among end users. It is the responsibility of the IT & ITAM teams to communicate effectively about the importance and ROI realized. It is equally important to educate end users about the value of asset management, SAM policy that you follow in your organization to avoid any discrepancies.
Hope you all agree now that ITAM and ITSM go hand in hand with each other and you cannot ignore IT Asset Management at any cost. If you have anything to share, please leave your thoughts in the comments sections below. Learn about Freshservice asset management here and sign up for a free trial with Freshservice.
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