Companies expect their IT departments to provide a set of systems and services to enable business agility, ensure robust user experiences and manage technology risk for their organization. That is a tall order, especially for a function that is also under intense pressure to manage (lower) operational costs. For IT leaders, the completeness and accuracy of IT asset management data has a big impact on whether they will be able to accomplish the department’s objectives successfully. For those of you who aren’t familiar with IT asset management, it keeps track of a company’s technology assets, so leaders can make better decisions.
Managing Costs and Risk
Managing operating costs and managing technology risks are two of the most common challenges IT leaders face. As assets age, they require more maintenance, patching and upgrades to remain stable and secure. Eventually, newer devices with higher capacity density, processing power and modern features must replace the assets. IT asset management provides companies with the means to track the lifecycle of individual assets to understand and predict when maintenance activities will be needed and project cost vs. benefit to determine when they should replace an asset that has exceeded its useful life.
Security and technology risk is also a big concern for IT leaders. With the proliferation of 3rd party components in the IT environment and the increase in malicious activity (hackers), it is important companies understand their security risk exposure and the status of patching activities to remediate vulnerabilities. IT asset management data serves as the master inventory of the devices and services installed in your IT environment. This data is linked to configuration data and threat data (from your governance, risk and compliance system) to provide leaders with a big-picture view of what you have and where action is needed to mitigate risks.
Addressing Performance Constraints
The old adage, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” is very applicable to IT environments. Most IT services are comprised of a complex set of components and dependencies (software, hardware, storage, networking, processing, access control, etc.). This is known as the service’s dependency chain. With most resources and assets shared across multiple services, it is not uncommon for some components to become overloaded, slowing performance and limiting capacity of the services that depend on them.
IT asset management combined with configuration and performance monitoring data helps leaders see capacity utilization and understand what resources in their environments are constraining the delivery of services to end users. This insight enables them to make informed decisions about where to add capacity and/or upgrade components to have the greatest positive impact on end-user experiences.
Companies are constantly evolving and their needs for technology and information are constantly shifting as well. Business agility requires IT environments to be agile too. Modern technology architectures and components include features that make it easier to support frequent change as well as manage the operations of systems in the IT environment. Many organizations struggle with what is knowns as “technical debt,” or the legacy components, configurations and implementations that impede the ability to change easily and adopt new features. The asset portfolio is part of ITAM and provides critical information about what legacy components are present, so their replacement/upgrade can be planned.
IT leaders have a tough job balancing the growth and agility needs of the business, demand for new/modern features and the mandate to control costs and risks. High-quality IT asset management data as well as a set of efficient tools to keep it current and make it accessible for analysis and decision making are essential to enable informed IT decision making. Virima is an industry leader in ITAM and ITSM solutions, providing discovery, configuration management and ITSM solutions that allow IT staff to take control of their IT asset management data and enable leaders to make better decisions. You can learn more about Virima’s IT asset management capabilities here.