The digital transformation is changing IT processes, with a marked effect on IT asset management (ITAM). Twenty-two percent of IT managers have no asset management system in place; at the other extreme, 45 percent of enterprises have deployed over 20 asset management tools.
The explosion of devices in today’s organizations, and the security risks they represent, require a new way of looking at IT assets. Let’s take a look at the future of ITAM and what it could mean for your organization.
Many New Devices
From employee mobile devices to IoT sensors to 3D printers, connected vehicles, and drones, the number of devices organizations have to deal with will grow exponentially. By 2020, over 50 billion connected devices will be online all over the world. Managing all of these devices requires having constant visibility into:
- Which (and how many) devices you have
- What’s connected to your network and what isn’t
- Whether critical devices are online at any given moment
- Whether you have sufficient network capacity for all of the devices
- Ongoing maintenance for connected devices
- Procurement needs and inventory
- End of life disposal
That list doesn’t include software and security concerns (more on those later). In addition to managing those processes, you have to consider whether your IT team has the skill set to troubleshoot and maintain the devices you own.
In addition to managing licenses for on-premise applications and known cloud applications, you will face the struggle of knowing how many applications employees have on their personal mobile devices – and which of those can access your organization’s data. You don’t just use software in the course of daily business. You depend on software integrations, and associated licenses, to deliver the applications you create for your customers. Gartner estimates that smarter software asset management, including automating the right processes, could cut licensing costs by an average of 30 percent.
Security Takes Center Stage
ITAM teams play an essential role in protecting their organizations from loss and reputation damage. With so many applications accessing company data – and with so many devices that store and access company data existing outside your walls – security will be one of ITAM’s biggest challenges. Once you’re behind on maintenance, you’re behind on security. If you don’t have mobility management tools to remotely wipe lost or stolen devices, your business is at risk.
External cyber security threats aren’t the only concerns that ITAM teams face. Many businesses operate in countries all over the world, which means they’re governed by a range of regulations. Your ITAM team, because of the devices and applications they manage, plays a major role in every business function from financial reporting to managing employee health insurance programs. You’re also critical to protecting your organization from internal loss prevention threats.
Spotlight on Analytics
No discussion of ITAM’s future would be complete without mentioning analytics. The most innovative teams will collect asset data and analyze it to optimize device lifecycles, better allocate software licensing costs, understand how assets interact with the network, review security trends and so much more.
About Laura Miller
Laura Miller is the Senior Director of Sales Operations, ITSM at SolarWinds. She works one-on-one with customers ranging from SMB to Fortune 500, providing them with a modern way to look at service management. Laura's ITIL experience and ITIL v3 Foundations certification provides her with a unique understanding of the service management industry. Her guilty pleasures are anything chocolate, ice coffee, and reality TV.
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