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The Business Value of Integrating ITAM with ITSM

25 May 2021

Sharing this from Phil Bowermater at Ivanti-Cherwell...

As organisations experience increasing complexity and expanding perimeters, IT professionals are looking to get a better understanding into their distributed software and hardware assets. IT teams need immediate access to detailed information in context of services and underlying assets they run on to make more intelligent decisions about their IT 

investments. Having asset visibility at their fingertips enables them to maximize cost savings, secure assets, and improve the employee experience. In doing so, they align digital infrastructure with their business needs.

IT asset management, or ITAM, enables greater control over IT landscapes, and optimizes asset lifecycle management. Organizations are able to more quickly and easily manage costs, and improve agility and compliance.

ITAM starts with knowing what you have within your IT estate. As enterprise perimeters expand with multi-clouds, the everywhere workforce, and IoT, managing digital assets and their costs grows more complicated and expensive.

Visibility of digital assets improves help desk services

Without question, ITAM and ITSM are more effective when integrated. If you already use ITSM, but still use spreadsheets to track assets, integrating ITAM will make help desk staff and system admins more effective and improve the employee experience. By better understanding the lifecycle of enterprise-wide assets, and having the information easily consumed within an intuitive dashboard and in context of the service, they can make better service delivery and management decisions.

ITAM enables proactive service management by identifying, classifying and managing assets, no matter their location. Service desk personnel need detailed information about their user’s software and hardware. The information needs to be instantly available, so they can better support their users. With asset information at their fingertips, greater insights will be at their disposal to help resolve issues with efficiency and speed. ITAM helps service desk personnel identify trouble ticket patterns developing within specific software versions and hardware models. They can instantly see the product’s warranty status, so they can effectively guide the user.

Integrating ITAM helps improve IT service management operations and outcomes:

  • Service desk personnel need detailed information about hardware and software to understand the root causes behind the issues. ITAM can assist by quickly identifying and helping resolve conflicts related to unauthorized software that causes operational issues.
  • When users request new assets, it’s important to understand what they already have. ITAM helps the service desk avoid overprovisioning and overspending. It also prevents incompatibility issues, when new software is known to conflict with certain OS’s or applications.
  • Detailed information about the assets helps automate self-service capabilities. This is particularly true for role-based IT profiles. A new application request can be compared to the assets already installed on the user’s device, verified against approved software for their role, and automatically installed.

Leveraging spend intelligence

Integrating ITAM with IT service management helps save time and resources, lowers costs, and improves the utilization of IT assets. Research has shown that on average, organizations have 12 or more discovery and inventory tools. It’s no wonder IT spends an average of 10 hours per week resolving data-accuracy issues.

Clear visibility of IT assets, services, security posture, and processes leads to better IT insights, and therefore, better business outcomes. It lays the foundation for properly managing, securing, and optimizing your IT estate. According to the survey linked above, 43% of organizations still use spreadsheets to track their assets, 50% use endpoint management solutions, and 45% use inventory tools. These siloed products generate siloed service desk activities that take too much time and effort to identify, associate, correlate, and solve issues. ITAM uses a single dashboard view that correlates your entire asset inventory, to provide optimal service to customers.

Improving the digital experience

The challenges of expanding asset locations with work from anywhere users, clouds, and IoT devices, have never been so impactful. The swift and unprecedented changes we’ve experienced in the work environment have created avoidable security risks and preventable cost inflation. Detailed and accurate information of all assets is required for an agile enterprise, enabling flexibility for employees and apps delivered and supported from anywhere. IT teams need visibility that shows context. They require policies that dictate how assets are managed, deployed and used.

Enterprises are going through a digital transformation journey to improve business operations.  However, no matter what stage they’re in, many still track their assets manually. ITAM is fundamental to a mature digital transformation. The advantages and use cases for ITAM abound, beginning with the enormous benefit of eliminating the manual effort of finding and keeping information up to date within spreadsheets. ITAM can help reduce the time required to understand contract positions and prepare renewals from weeks to minutes. Knowing where and what your assets are enables you to secure them and ensure software patches are current.

Complete visibility provides clarity and enables your service desk to act more decisively. Enterprises can improve the user experience, while ensuring IT will be even more productive and effective. The fusion of ITAM and ITSM significantly improves the IT organization’s ability to improve service quality and customer satisfaction. The end result is increased efficiency, a reduction in costs and risks, and overall improved effectiveness.

Damien Versluis

Written by Damien Versluis