IT asset management (ITAM) best practices, along with the technologies that support them have evolved and dramatically improved since ITAM's early days. It’s now relatively easy for IT assets to be efficiently managed throughout the IT asset lifecycle. So why aren’t more organizations using ITAM to improve their IT service desk and overall IT service management (ITSM) operations and outcomes today?
ITSM and ITAM should be thought of as like two peas in the same pod. They’re both IT management disciplines that work best in tandem to significantly help IT organizations to
Please read on for seven reasons why your organization should adopt ITAM to improve upon your IT service desk’s operations and outcomes.
IT issues can relate to a number of things across the IT service delivery spectrum. So, when issues relate to hardware and software, the ability to understand more about devices or the applications used on devices can truly help a service desk agent to quickly understand the root causes. For instance, conflicts between certain applications or the implementation of unauthorized software that causes operational issues can be clearly noticed and swiftly rectified.
When an end user requests something new, it’s helpful and important to understand the assets they already have. This could be related to the possibility of overprovisioning and overspending but also incompatibility – where new software won’t work on a particular OS or with another installed application.
Knowing the assets that an end-user already has can help to automate self-service provisioning, especially if role-based IT and telephony profiles have been created. For example, a request for application X could be compared to the software assets already installed on the end-user’s PC, checked against approved software for the end-user’s role, and then automatically approved and installed. The self-service capability can also be used as part of asset audits – allowing the end-user to agree or disagree with the list of assets currently assigned to them.
When a problem such as an issue affecting multiple parties is identified, the asset data allows both the service desk and/or problem management staff to quickly understand how many devices, people, and services could be affected. ITAM opens a channel of communication to potentially impacted personnel, perhaps with a workaround, plus the ability to prioritize problem management activity accordingly – based on business impact and urgency.
While change management (or change control if you’ve moved on to ITIL 4) is likely not to be a service desk responsibility, other than the use of approved change models, you can’t escape the service desk’s reliance on the effectiveness of it. Here, having better asset and configuration data not only helps with a better understanding of the scope, risks, and potential impact of proposed changes, it also helps to protect the service desk (and the business) from the adverse effects of change-related issues.
Whether you want to think of this as risk management, cost saving, or being able to better meet end-user requests for additional software – ITAM allows the service desk and/or ITAM staff to understand where installed and licensed software is seldom used or not used at all, or where capabilities are unnecessarily duplicated by two different pieces of software. The result being that the software can be uninstalled or harvested, added to a license pool, and redeployed as needed. You'll ultimately save money as there’s no need to purchase new licenses, and especially in times of budget constraints, your service desk is able to fulfil software-related service requests despite a lack of available budget.
With the quarterly or annual actioning of PC and laptop replacement cycles, when your service desk has ITAM data it’s able to better understand, and plan for, not only the assets being refreshed but the potential impact of updated applications on service desk volumes. Ranging from OS upgrades, standard off-the-shelf software, to niche applications used by only a small number of end users – each of which will potentially result in an increased level of help requests.
ITAM – and the availability of asset data – makes the lives of your service desk agents easier and your IT service desk more effective. But, of course, ITAM will help your organization beyond the IT service desk and IT support. If you'd like to find out more, then please read our IT asset management webpage and/or arrange a demo of SysAid’s ITAM capabilities.