There is a good reason why ITIL is spending a dedicated part on IT Asset Management (ITAM). It’s supposed to underpin everything that you do as an IT function.
Not having the correct level and correctness of your asset management can cause not only delays on your day-to-day operations, it can also cost you a lot of extra money and can expose you to all sorts of data or security breaches.
Many times we have seen companies performing asset audits because their process was not in place from the beginning, or not supported by all the teams, which on the long term is more time consuming than ensuring that the process is kept up to date from day 1.
The first step is to define which steps you see as relevant for what the company goals are as part of Asset Management. You can use a flavour of what is provided by ITIL. You typically on a high level will end up with 5-7 sections.
The second step is defining the process you want to follow. This part is a lot about negotiating with all the actors and departments involved. Especially the handover or connection from the financial part of the process can be the hardest one, because finance or procurement typically have their own and completely different goal.
The third step is to decide what system you would like to use to manage this process. Each section of the lifecycle will typically have it’s own system, for example:
- Finance will for sure use something different for all financial data related to the assets.
- Procurement might use some vendor portals.
- The IT Service Desk will use tickets to track hardware orders, installation, delivery, support and retirement.
- The engineering teams will probably use different types of software to discover assets in the live network, maybe including some usage details, the ability to deploy and remove software and update policies.
Defining the process is not hard. The hardest part is to agree with all stakeholders, to define the single source of truth and connect all other systems and processes to it.
In some cases this might even require the end user to be involved, when shipped directly from the vendor, for example to provide serial numbers or other information which is not provided by the vendor upfront.
End Users typically care less about keeping the records up to date and getting feedback from them is not always easy.
The larger CRM systems typically come with an asset management function. Some of them have various ways to discover or import the data from various data sources, but most of them are not very intelligent.
What we would suggest is to ensure that the end-to-end lifecycle of requesting, ordering, receiving and updating your asset management is done through a single Service Request, with potentially tasks for different teams (or robots) to extract the right information and ensure the systems are updated accordingly.
Make sure that there are no exceptions to this process. Zero.
Depending on the size of your asset management, it would be good to have a dedicated person responsible and accountable for this, the Asset Manager. When the company is doing well and you’re mainly buying assets you might think it’s not that important, but when things don’t go so well, people start leaving, typically it becomes messy. Assets get lost, they are not returned, the quality or state of the assets will decline.
Why is the topic of Asset Management so important for Robot ICT?
Besides the fact that we have help various companies with the implementation of Asset Management, both process and systems, we often get the question if we can help with the consolidation of various sources into one single data source, putting some logic and intelligence on top of it.
Once you have this in place and when you would be using our DNA software, there are a lot of additional things you can do, for example the logical provisioning of the asset, health checks, compliancy checks, resolving issues, vulnerability management and patch management to name a few. This is the part where it really gets exciting and where having very accurate asset management data is key.
We are ready to help you, feel free to contact us on www.robotict.com