Top Solutions for IT Asset Management
How many devices do you have? How many of those do you use for work? And what about software — how many different programs do you use to get your job done?
I’m sure the number is pretty high and will continue to climb. Now multiply that by everyone in your organization. It’s mind boggling right?
The fact that the number of devices and software applications we use has multiplied significantly over the past few years has made asset management more challenging for IT. Nevertheless, having visibility into all of these assets is critical, as IT needs to make sure that nothing is out of date and all of its data is clean. Moreover, in today’s highly mobile environment, IT also needs to be able to track assets that don’t necessarily touch the network.
Although advances in technology have fueled this challenge, the good news is they are also providing solutions for IT to overcome it. For example, solutions like ServiceNow, BDNA and Mobile Reach are covering a lot of ground in this area. In fact, here are some great use cases I’ve recently come across:
NORMALIZING AND AUGMENTING DATA
When one large media company was struggling to gather valuable data about its IT assets and systems into a single Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM) database, ServiceNow and BDNA were able to come to the rescue. Specifically, the organization found that a big part of the issue was that its data sources were disparate and often contained duplicate or incomplete data.
To resolve this issue, the organization implemented ServiceNow’s CMDB and Discovery tools and integrated them with BDNA Technopedia Catalog and Normalize. With this solution in place, data is now cleansed and augmented in real-time as sources report data to ServiceNow. BDNA Technopedia Normalize takes care of making sure that information such as the manufacturers, vendors and other company-related data is normalized before ServiceNow builds a table of duplicated values (e.g. Dell, Dell Inc. and Dell Incorporated are normalized to a single manufacturer record). Finally, BDNA Technopedia Catalog adds valuable information that these systems do not have available for reporting via Discovery (e.g. known manufacturer end-of-life on devices and software).
This set up has helped the organization’s IT team maintain consistency in reporting on assets. This consistency combined with the use of the CMDB Configuration Items for Incident, Problem and Change Management processes has vastly improved due to the data normalization and augmentation.
IMPROVING FIELD EFFICIENCY
What about making asset management efficient in the field too? For example, let’s say you have a mature SACM process that includes asset management in ServiceNow, but your field technicians need a quick and easy way to perform tasks within ServiceNow to ensure data is updated as assets move through the IT Asset Management (ITAM) lifecycle? In cases like this, bar-code scanning solutions can help.
One option I’ve seen here is to develop a custom-built application on Mobile Reach’s easy-to-use interface and integrate that with ServiceNow asset management. With this type of solution, technicians should be able to easily scan assets in warehouses or in the field to provide real-time updates to ServiceNow’s Asset Management database. This ability to update the database in a consistent and near real-time fashion provides IT with the most accurate picture of the real world.
MOVING FORWARD WITH ASSET MANAGEMENT
What are your top asset management problems? Do you have a plan to solve them?