As CIOs are taking on more responsibility to help meet business goals, the decisions they make are being felt not just by end users, but by the bottom line as well. They must make informed choices that balance monetary cost, workflow disruption, and end user benefits —a tricky balancing act that can be difficult to measure.
Last week Virteva partnered with ServiceNow experts to present how IT decision-makers can make their jobs easier with better, smarter asset management.
Most companies don’t bother trying to figure this out because they think it’s more time consuming and difficult than it’s worth. But if you’re using ServiceNow’s Discovery and CMDB, then you’re already halfway there.
You need three things things to really leverage your Asset Management approach: the license for Discovery and CMDB, the data from an end-point management solution like SCCM, and the process behind it all.
Asset Management vs. Configuration Management
First of all, we should note the difference between Asset Management and Configuration Management.
Asset Management is the systematic process of planning, acquiring, deploying, managing, and disposing of assets in a cost-effective way. In this context, an asset is defined as both a tangible and intangible thing that has real or perceived value.
Asset Management primarily tracks financial, physical and logistical aspects of assets throughout their lifecycle.
Configuration Management focuses on building and maintaining elements that create an available network of services. This is all about how things fit into the infrastructure. A Configuration Item (CI) is any component that needs to be managed in order to deliver an IT Service.
A CI is not always an asset—think Virtual Machines, Relationships between CIs, Applications—and an asset is not always a CI—think consumables like toner, monitors, keyboards, racks.
Now, there’s quite a bit of overlap between the two, so it is better to address them together. With Discovery you can populate CMDB tables, and then leverage that data to automatically create assets and link to CIs.
ServiceNow IT Asset Management: Digging Up the Gold
The real value of better Asset Management lies in how it empowers you to make better technology decisions. ServiceNow IT Asset Management integrates the physical, technological, contractual, and financial aspects of IT assets to support typical Asset Management goals:
- Reducing the Cost of Purchasing and Managing Assets
Save on costs and free up valuable storage space on site—you’re not a warehouse. Leveraging Asset Management gives you insight into asset TCO, helping you make better decisions on the products you’re buying and the features you should include. And when you track your demand and spend and know your inventory levels, you can plan for precisely when you need to buy more stock, rather than keeping a large inventory on hand.
- Controlling Inventory That is Purchased and Used
Where does an asset go after procurement? Who becomes responsible for it? Where is it located? Having the details on every handoff not only helps with asset retirement and recovery, but with maintenance and upkeep as well.
- Improving IT Service to End Users
When your IT service providers have all the info they need on an asset when an end user calls in, it saves time, takes out the guesswork, and reduces frustration. That makes for a faster track to a happier, more productive end user.
- Managing the Asset Lifecycle from Planning to Disposal
Better Asset Management means better lifecycle planning and process support, from determining which product to buy, to proactively deciding when to retire/replace/redistribute your assets. And at the recovery stage, it helps you keep track of assets that might otherwise end up in a manager’s forgotten storage closet.
- Achieving Compliance with Relevant Standards and Regulations
Ensure your assets are up to date and in compliance. Identify and audit assets that have not reported in 30 days, and open incidents to contact the end user.
- Supporting the Creation of Standards and Processes for Managing Assets
Using employee data and usage trends, you can create the standards and processes that work for your business. Make more informed choices with financial and Asset Management info at the ready. Once you have configured your product models, then you’re in the position to manage your product lifecycles.
IT Can Impact the Bottom Line
In general, if you understand your configurations, you’re in a better position to understand when and what pieces of technology you might need, what they might cost you in the near and far term, and how well they’re being utilized. You can be much more lean in your operations and much more accurate in your budgeting and forecasting. Track your assets, track your spending, and you’ll start making better technology decisions that impact the bottom line.