IT Departments Are No Strangers to Doing More With Less
IT departments have long dealt with mixed IT infrastructure, including on-premises servers, desktop and laptop computers. Increasingly, they’re also dealing with the BYOD phenomenon and applications hosted in the cloud.
It’s typical that the IT department is tasked with managing IT infrastructure in such a way as to improve company profitability, save money, and provide better services. But they’re also expected to do all this in an era of steady or shrinking IT budgets. No problem, right? The fact is, a solid IT asset management (ITAM) program is the key to successfully juggling these tasks and doing so in a cost-effective manner.
Today’s IT Infrastructure
A complex, mixed IT infrastructure is the norm today, and though the actual mix of hardware and software may change, this type of infrastructure is going to be here for the long term. That’s especially true for larger companies that have sunk a lot of resources into custom and legacy IT.
A survey by Computing looked at today’s IT infrastructure in large organizations and was reported in a white paper by Savvis titled “IT in ‘Interesting Times.'” They found that 85% of companies had migrated some of their IT infrastructure to the cloud. That statistic sounds amazing until you read that 85% also reported hosting at least part of their IT systems in on-premises data centers. In other words, while lots of companies are moving some processes to the cloud, they’re not abandoning the in-house approach. In the case of this survey, 43% said that some of their legacy systems simply could not be migrated to the cloud.
What IT Asset Management Means in the Era of Hybrid IT Infrastructure
A great ITAM program can save a company a lot of money. When IT can easily stay on top of expiring software licenses and return dates for leased equipment, the savings can be significant. But with today’s mix of on-site, cloud, and BYOD assets, IT asset management is more demanding than ever.
By moving some processes to the cloud, software license issues decrease, as do maintenance and housing needs for on-site servers. But those time and cost savings could be offset by things like the issuance of company mobile devices, which have to be tracked and accounted for, or support for employee-owned devices in a BYOD environment.
How IT Asset Management Can Do Its Work and Get Out of the Way
Your asset management program should automate as many processes as possible.
- It should alert the IT department when equipment nears the end of its lifecycle so it can be replaced or retired and moved out of the ITAM system.
- It should notify IT in advance of software license expiration so that these things don’t take the company by surprise and result in fees or legal action.
- It should incorporate easy methods for accounting for new hardware and software, such as use of QR codes and ITAM apps on IT professionals’ mobile devices that make scanning in new assets quick and easy.
Automation minimizes the disruption involved in logging, tracking, and retiring IT assets.
What You Should Look for in an IT Asset Management Solution
Look for an IT asset management solution that is flexible and that can be easily customized for your company’s particular IT ecosystem. Cloud service desk software with strong, capable IT asset management features is a natural for this task. It lets ITAM “step out of the way” by providing great tools for asset management without requiring the headaches of on-site asset management software. Look for software with mobile apps that simplify tracking of all IT assets and don’t require your IT asset management leads to be chained to a desk or carry a clipboard around when it’s inventory time.