IT asset management (ITAM) is critical to effective delivery and management of the IT-powered services that drive your business. But despite what some vendors and pundits might have you believe, a tool does not a complete solution make. Here are some things to consider before you make any purchase decisions.

ITAM: What Do You Expect Your Tool to Do?

This is likely a question you and your team have already begun to address, as it is critical to setting your selection priorities appropriately. Here are four things you should consider evaluating as you consider that question.

Will the tool gather the best possible information from all of our critical IT assets? Your tool must be able to access and gather all the data you need from all of the assets that matter most to your business. As your infrastructure evolves, your tool must adapt seamlessly, acquiring and delivering information from both incumbent and new assets. This may mean your tool may need to be enhanced with new, updated, or custom-built data collection agents. This may be a higher priority if and as your organization pursues deployment of cloud-based resources or Internet of Things (IoT) deployments.

Will the tool consolidate and present our infrastructure knowledge effectively? Your tool should be able to consolidate and present your asset information in consolidated, actionable ways. This means it must not only collect the information you need, but also enable you and your team to report on that information flexibly and comprehensively.

Will the tool automatically populate and update our configuration management database (CMDB)? Your CMDB should be the “single version of the truth” that informs all IT management decisions at your business. To do this, it must have the most accurate, complete, and up-to-date information about your critical IT assets. Your tools must be able to deliver automated updates, configurable based on your business needs, to maximize the business value of your CMDB.

Will the tool adequately support our IT service management (ITSM) and IT operations management (ITOM) efforts? Your tool must interoperate with your chosen ITSM and ITOM tools and processes. The specifics of that interoperability will depend on the specific needs and goals of your business. Whatever those are, however, your ITAM tool must be able to enable and support them, today and tomorrow.

ITAM: More Than Just a Tool

As is true with IT service management (ITSM), you need more than a tool to succeed at ITAM. But you do need that tool. And it must include some core capabilities to deliver the business value you want, need, and expect.

Your chosen tool must be able to consolidate and manage all the information your business needs to manage its most critical assets effectively. But most ITAM tools cannot determine what that information is, nor gather and prioritize it, without human help.

There are two primary reasons for this. One is that most ITAM technology is not autonomous (or magic). The other is that the specifics of the information your business needs is unique to your business. This means your tool needs input from those at your business who know how those IT assets are used, and from those who prioritize your business’ specific needs and goals.

Your chosen solution also cannot and should not operate in a vacuum – or a silo. The functions of your tool affect and are affected by your ITSM solutions and processes. If your business is pursuing IT operations management (ITOM), DevOps, digital transformation, or other IT-related initiatives, these must be cross-pollinated with your ITAM tool and efforts as well. And whatever tool you’ve chosen, the information it produces must be able to be enhanced with relevant knowledge from your people.

No ITAM is an island. And no tool alone can deliver the functions and value your business needs for comprehensive, successful ITAM. But when supported by the right people, processes, and related technologies, you can maximize the value of any ITAM tool, to your IT management efforts and to your business. Part 2 of this post will focus on what it is your business should expect from ITAM, and what you need to succeed with it.

Virima: Your Partner for Comprehensive ITAM

Virima’s solutions for discovery, ITAM, ITSM, and ITOM can help you maximize the effectiveness and business value of your IT estate. Virima solutions can automatically discover and map those critical IT resources and the interconnections that link them to one another, your applications and services, and your users. And Virima’s autonomic social discovery features can help your team “crowdsource” critical information about your IT assets.

Virima solutions are easy to use and configure, and designed to work well with each other. They also produce useful, actionable reports about your IT environment, for your IT team and your business leaders. These features can help your IT management team be more effective, efficient, and proactive, maximizing the business value, reliability, and security of your IT estate. Learn more about Virima’s solutions online, or contact Virima today.

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Mike Bombard

Mike Bombard COO Virima Technologies - Mike oversees Virima’s ITSM product sales, marketing and support organizations. He has been providing solutions to solve complex IT challenges for nearly 25 years. He has been with Virima in Atlanta, GA for 8 years.