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Three projects for your five-year ITSM plan - Part 1

When creating objectives for IT service management (ITSM), IT leaders usually adopt one of two approaches.

They either improve what they already have by integrating with other IT systems, or they adopt forward-looking projects that can leverage IT trends and advancements such as cloud, mobility and IoT to help improve efficiencies and plan for the future.

Gartner’s recent “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends” report highlights the growing demand for this consideration. “IT leaders must understand and prepare for the impacts these disruptive trends will have on people, their businesses and IT departments, and then determine how they can provide competitive advantage.”

With both incremental and future needs in mind, I propose three projects to consider when creating a five-year ITSM plan. The first project is linked to asset management, and in this series, I will detail all three projects that are fundamental to consider when creating your ITSM plan.

Project 1: Integrate IT Asset Management

IT Asset Management (ITAM) is defined as the underpinning building block of the IT world. Services and solutions cannot exist without the foundational IT hardware and software. As the multitude of services, solutions and processes increase, it is vital to have visibility and control over the assets across your network.

A lack of ITAM integration means technicians must rely on discovery when looking to pinpoint and solve an issue, a process that can waste valuable time. By mapping IT assets to the person using the asset, support can quickly determine which devices and software the employee is using, including hardware, OS and application versions, recent updates and warranty expirations.

Gaining easy access to this information aids in decision making and rapid problem resolution. Analysts can also easily determine if certain devices or configurations are the source of recurring or major incidents. In a complex business ecosystem, managing alternate departments, partners, and multiple devices, asset control and visibility are crucial for ensuring asset security.

It is regularly seen that IT organisations are now automating repetitive tasks and processes, including ordering and assigning IT assets. For example, if someone needs specific software for their job, an automated request and software delivery process can eliminate the need for an analyst to get involved. Automations can result in an improved user experience. However, software asset management is a vital part of securing this process, in order to track software entitlement and protect the organisation from allocating more licenses than it owns, or enabling access to closed assets.

Despite the obvious benefits, organisations seemed to consistently fail at properly defining and funding asset management projects in the past. With the rapid rise of IoT devices on the network, however, this is no longer an option.

Gartner estimates that a typical family home could have more than 500 smart devices by 2020 – a significant increase from the estimated ten we see today. Imagine, then, the impact this will have on average-sized organisations–especially when you consider the fact that connected devices are expected to explode from 4.9 billion in 2015 to 25 billion in just five years.

This aspect of an ITAM-to-ITSM project is forward-thinking in its nature. For many organisations, there isn’t an immediate need to integrate IoT into their ITSM solution. However, as the influx of IoT assets continues, it’s hard to imagine controlling hardware inventory, licenses, and security without a proper IT asset management system in place.

Whenever an investigation into issues on the network takes place, there are always costs associated with it. The longer it takes to find the issue, the more it costs. With potentially millions of IoT devices in a large environment, determining where those assets are located could quickly overwhelm IT resources.

Organisations can prepare for the oncoming IoT surge by taking on the right projects now, and integrating IT asset management into an existing ITSM implementation is a good place to start. By controlling assets, you aid in the security and visibility of asset usage, which is fundamental when looking to adopt modern disruptive technologies.

Next up in the series is a deconstruction of the demand for automated processes in the asset management space, as well as insight into why there is a need to integrate tools wherever possible.

Image source: Shutterstock/OPOLJA