4 functions your IT asset management tool must have
With the range of devices and services being used by the business expanding daily, IT asset management is becoming harder to centrally administer and manage. Here are the questions you should be asking to check your asset management tools are fit for purpose.
Can it scale?
There's no need to over-emphasise this obvious point but it must be stated anyway: the IT estate is bigger than ever and is growing every day. Many asset management tools, whether built into an IT service management suite or a stand-alone product, were designed at a time when IT asset management was much simpler. Is your tool able to keep up with the number and range of devices supported by your business? If not, it's time to investigate some alternatives before the problem becomes overwhelming.
Is it integrated?
It’s staggering how many service desks we encounter which have a separate system for IT asset management. These ‘bolt-on’ setups are fine in theory but cumbersome and unhelpful in reality. Forcing IT support staff to shuffle between these systems wastes time and exacerbates the problem of juggling IT systems. Staff are an expensive resource, so forcing them to use multiple systems is bad practice. Plus it means the service quality and time to resolve suffers.
If the impact of this wasn't severe enough, there is an even bigger problem caused by the lack of IT asset management integration. If the asset management tool is separate from the service desk/IT service management system, the records will seldom match. It's very hard to maintain accurate asset records, so fragmenting the systems which record and track assets make the job even harder.
So if your asset management tool integration is poor, again, it's time to investigate alternatives.
Can it track licences/maintenance?
I’ve talked about the problem of having a system for IT asset management separate from the service desk and the problems this causes. However, there is another form of separation that damages the management of IT assets. If you can’t connect the licence/warranty and maintenance records relating to the asset, then the picture is once again incomplete. A device or service on its own is just an unchanging asset. The ability to track the licence and warranty relating to that asset presents the 'bigger picture' that IT needs to have true mastery over its IT estate.
Does it understand asset ownership?
Having an asset register which combines licence and support information centralised in the service desk is extremely powerful. But assets belong to individuals and departments. Managing these assets, therefore, means that knowledge of who owns them is critical. The more advanced IT asset management tools, such as the one built into Richmond ServiceDesk, allow you to assign information such as owner and department to each asset. Not only does this greatly improve the speed of IT support, it means IT has a complete picture of its IT assets.
IT asset management is a great challenge today. However, an integrated tool which can scale and support detailed records provides the bedrock to build your asset management strategy on.