In some organizations, IT asset management had its origins outside the IT department. Not that long ago, IT assets were almost entirely “things” like hardware, or physical boxes containing software, and they may have been tracked and managed by the finance department, or another department tasked with buying all sorts of assets, from filing cabinets to bubble wrap.
IT assets have evolved to include increasingly intangible assets, like cloud application “seats” and virtual servers, and more organizations are seeing the wisdom of the IT department managing IT assets.
IT Asset Management Critical to Containing Virtualization Sprawl
Spending on virtualization has increased significantly over the past five years, and these types of “assets” aren’t traditional in the sense that you can slap an inventory sticker on them. Along with the increase in spending on virtualization has been an increase in virtualization sprawl. When you don’t have to find extra shelf space or storage space for an asset, it’s all too easy to provision virtual products that end up not being used. The IT service desk is critical to containing and reducing virtualization sprawl, and integrating IT asset management with the IT service desk helps the IT team develop the hard numbers necessary to recognize sprawl, its costs, and ways to curtail it.
Should the person who tracks these be in charge of tracking your new Superdome 2 server?
IT Service Desk Must Understand Assets It Services
Another important reason why IT asset management should be integrated with the IT service desk is that it helps the IT service desk professionals understand the IT assets it manages. When IT asset management is integrated with the service desk, service desk workers learn about IT assets every time there is a problem with one of them, whether the asset is a cloud application, a virtual server, or a printer. Being able to instantly review an asset’s specifications when working on a service desk ticket makes resolution of the problem quicker and builds up a base of relevant information surrounding the affected asset (like “These printers break all the time.”).
Optimizing Assets Depends on Understanding the Services They Use
It works the other way too. Knowing that a particular asset often demands certain services from the service desk helps those who procured the asset understand what to expect should they order more of them. Perhaps another type of asset should be chosen next time, since the one the organization has ordered for years requires costly special services from the service desk, and doesn’t satisfy the end-user’s needs that well.
Integration Makes It Easier to Evaluate Suppliers
When the service desk is integrated with the IT asset management system, it’s easier to detect patterns. For example, the devices from Vendor A are reliable and do more than similar devices from Vendor B, which malfunction and aren’t that flexible. Knowledge of this type can help prevent spending on products and services that don’t deliver. When IT asset management is separated from the service desk, valuable knowledge isn’t shared, and inefficient uses of resources on IT assets may continue even though better products and services are available.
When IT asset management and the IT service desk are kept in their own silos, IT service delivery can suffer, and money may be wasted on IT assets that underperform. But when IT asset management is integrated with service desk functions, the IT team can make more informed decisions regarding assets at all stages of their lifecycles and save the company money and effort.
Furthermore, IT asset information that’s instantly available to the service desk team helps them make smarter decisions on how to resolve issues: Jane in Sales’ laptop is failing, but the IT asset management system indicates that all Sales laptops are due for replacement in two weeks. Rather than ordering one new one, she can use a loaner until the department’s new laptops are bought at a volume discount.
Samanage is a truly integrated IT asset management and service desk solution, with a single interface for both of these critical functions. With Samanage, your IT team has IT asset information right at its collective fingertips every time an asset requires service. They can build a history around each asset, make smarter purchasing decisions, and track every asset, whether tangible or cloud-based, from the moment it goes into service until it is retired at the end of its lifecycle.