Know the Data You Have – Not Just the Data You Think You Have (It Asset Management Accuracy)

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IT Asset Mangement Risks…

Don’t be surprised the next time you look for IT asset data. Whether you are trying to resolve a major incident, planning a technology migration, assessing a security risk or effectively managing IT costs – accurate and complete data of your IT assets and their relationships are essential to make data-driven decisions. For most companies, the data they require to make these decisions is found in their Configuration Management Database (CMDB) or IT Asset Management (ITAM) system. That data is in these systems because of either a manual inventory or it was part of the original procurement records when the asset was purchased (which may be many years old).

Your IT environment is constantly changing. Are your configuration records current?

IT environments are constantly changing as a business evolves. Users move to other physical locations and/or tasks, and new technologies are introduced. Change is good in IT because it means your company is taking advantage of new and improved technology capabilities to support user productivity and business problems. Unfortunately, companies that rely on manual processes to update their asset and configuration records often struggle to keep their data current with the pace of business change.

Once you fall behind, it is almost impossible to be current again (because the pace of business doesn’t slow). Manual inventory techniques are not only costly and slow, but also introduce the potential for human error. After a period of time, the data you thought was quite good has lulled you into a false sense of security about the quality of the data your leaders are using to make critical business decisions.

You can’t rely on the knowledge in people’s heads – you need discovery and you need asset management!

It’s great to hire smart people for your IT team and leverage knowledgeable and experienced vendors for your IT ecosystem. You can’t, however, rely on the knowledge in people’s heads to keep track of the total breadth of your environment, especially when it’s constantly changing. Every time someone changes roles, leaves the company and/or you change vendors, you risk losing knowledge about your IT environment that may be critical for such situations as major incident management and migration planning. To maintain this information consistently and to keep it current and make it available to decision makers, you need automated asset discovery capabilities (to indicate what data you actually have in your environment) and asset management capabilities (to keep track of everything). The scale and rate of change in modern IT environments are far too complex to expect even the best IT staff to manage manually.

Data you can trust leads to confident decisions

The key to confident decision-making is to have the right amount of data with the right level of quality. IT Asset management is important and your data doesn’t have to be perfect, but you must understand how good it is and its limitations. The biggest risk of IT asset management data is to assume a higher level of quality. It is easy to see how much data you have. It is much more difficult to assess its current status and accuracy and what data might be missing. These are factors that contribute to the trustworthiness of data for decision making.

Automated discovery, relationship mapping, a centralized CMDB and visualization capabilities can help you understand not only what you have, but also reveal gaps and issues that must be resolved to have better data for decision making. Your data may be “quite good” (or it may not). Confident decision-making is a result of knowing “how good.” With Virima, you will know with certainty what data is in your IT environment, not just what someone thinks. To learn more, watch our latest BrightTalk ITSM Summit webinar. It explains the importance of knowing the data you have before your next major incident occurs and learning how to connect the dots to help deter issues from becoming major incidents.

Summary:

IT Asset Management and Configuration Management

Your IT environment is constantly changing. Are your configuration records current? IT Asset Management accuracy is very important. IT environments are constantly changing as a business evolves. Change is good in IT because it means your company is taking advantage of new and improved technology capabilities to support user productivity and business problems. Unfortunately, companies that rely on manual processes to update their asset and configuration records often struggle to keep their data current with the pace of business change. Once you fall behind, it is almost impossible to be current again (because the pace of business doesn’t slow). You can’t, rely on the knowledge in people’s heads to keep track of the total breadth of your environment, especially when it’s constantly changing. The key to confident decision-making is to have the right amount of data with the right level of quality. Your data doesn’t have to be perfect, but you must understand how good it is and its limitations. The biggest risk of IT asset management data is to assume a higher level of quality. Automated discovery, relationship mapping, a centralized CMDB and visualization capabilities can help you understand not only what you have, but also reveal gaps and issues that must be resolved to have better data for decision making.

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