IT asset management (ITAM) best practices, along with the technologies that support them have evolved and dramatically improved since its 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 overall IT service management (ITSM) today?
ITSM and ITAM are really like two peas in the same pod. After all, both ITSM and ITAM are IT management disciplines that work in tandem and have been shown to significantly help IT organizations to:
IT issues can relate to a number of things across the IT service delivery spectrum. And yet when issues relate to hardware and software, the ability to understand more about devices or the applications used on devices (through asset data availability) can truly help a service desk agent to quickly understand the root cause of issues. 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 vital to understand what assets they already have. This could be related to the possibility of overprovisioning and overspending on multiple devices or software that duplicates something already installed. Also, the incompatibility with software that won’t work on a particular OS or with another installed application can be noticed and resolved as well as whether there’s software that is better and commonly used by the end-user’s peers to fulfill their need.
Knowing the assets that an end-user already has can considerably help to automate self-service provisioning, especially if role-based IT and telephony profiles have also 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.
In other words, without first implementing ITAM, installing a self-service portal is practically impossible.Without first implementing #ITAM, installing a self-service portal is practically impossible. #ITSM Click To Tweet
And yet a self-service portal is crucial in allowing the consumer to control when and where they work, while at the same time, have the convenience of support whenever that support is needed. Consumers mostly want to work when they want. A self-service portal frees the consumer from the constraint of the support hours of a service desk and frees up the busy schedules of IT professionals. A self-service portal is no longer nice to have – it's essential today.
An important element for implementing a successful self-service portal is to create as pleasant of an experience as possible by making it customizable. SysAid’s Self Service Portal allows you to easily brand it with the colors, style and logos of your organization. In this way, your self-service portal will have a better chance to become properly adopted and used.
According to a Veriday blog post – using a self-service portal is critical because:
When a problem like 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. In this useful way, 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 is not officially 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 the process. And so having better asset and configuration data will not only help 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 in times of budget constraints, the service desk is able to fulfil service requests despite a lack of available budget.
With the quarterly or annual actioning of PC and laptop replacement cycles, the service desk is able to 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 result in an increased level of calls for help. With ITAM, you'll be on top of it all!
ITAM – and the availability of asset data – makes the lives of service desk agents easier. SysAid's free asset management software, for example, has been available on-premise since 2002 and is also available in a secure, dedicated cloud environment.
SysAid's Asset Management supports up to two administrators, 100 assets, and 100 end users. In addition to hardware and software inventory management, when asset management is implemented, many more vital SysAid features can become enabled. Patch management abilities, for example, become available to deploy patches to multiple or individual computers and allows for the integration of change management.
Part of SysAid’s Asset Management, the SysAid Agent is a client-side application that resides on each of your computers and runs quietly in the background. Once deployed, the SysAid Agent has many benefits. End users, for instance, will be able to use a designated hotkey to automatically include a screenshot and other relevant asset information in a service request or incident.
Useful Benefits of SysAid's Agent:
Today's ITAM has evolved to seamlessly work with ITSM and is now considered a standard component. Ultimately, SysAid gets the right data where you need it, when you need it, with a solution that automatically displays relevant information in your tickets.