Automation of IT Asset Management (ITAM) to fit the Digital Age Part 1

DiscoveryPark Place TechnologiesParkView

Paul Mercina March 24, 2021

When it comes to keeping track of assets in your estate and understanding and leveraging interdependencies, isolated ITAM & CMDB tools appear no longer fit for purpose in a globally networked, cloud and app driven world. Today’s ITAM needs to be agile, automated and pervasive across the entire estate. Gone are the days of pre-scheduling and discovery mapping at a given point in time, systematically stored in spreadsheets. It’s now about ongoing, true auto discovery with predictive purpose to make your estate leaner, cleaner, compliant, and dependable for digital empowerment.

Let’s face it. IT Asset Management has never been at the top of a CIO’s boast list of functions and even more so in today’s innovation-driven business landscape. ITAM sits awkwardly in the digital age where agility, speed, access and automation are pre-requisites for widescale transformational app rollouts. So how do you make your ITAM align to achieve your competitive business goals in an increasingly fluid IT landscape?

Most ITAM solutions by their very nature, deliver static fixed asset lists as a starting point in an estate’s discovery journey that will somewhat satisfy compliance and will help estimate procurement and maintenance provisioning.  Ownership for ITAM delivery spans across multiple areas – IT, facilities, operations, service management and legal departments – so it’s unsurprising that few single individuals cite ITAM as being a primary element of their direct job function. Likely with good reason. ITAM carries an overhead of huge manual responsibility with reporting and documentation being incredibly time-intensive and error-prone. The results often prompt a cycle of issue identification and remediation, delivered also by the very IT resources that should instead be focussing on driving competitive innovation.

However, as pressures on IT budgets have gradually increased, IT has proactively started to embrace ownership of ITAM, supported by a more effective model. This is despite ITAM’s problem-child reputation, allowing IT to achieve more from existing assets without embarking on unnecessary technology refreshes, while ensuring maintenance contracts are optimized. Given the IT infrastructure of today nearly always spans outside of a centralized model, IT is now faced with managing an incredibly fluid, frequently mixed, and deeply cloud-enabled, landscape – from desktop, to data center, to edge, to cloud. Unmanaged, the increasing complexity and the interlinked critical dependencies can create an eco-system of havoc. Managed properly, IT can proactively push critical applications onto the most appropriate resources, whether on prem or in the cloud, and can thereby reap many fold increases on both budget allocation and application performance across the infrastructure.

Whatever Asset Management is in place, it’s clear that to play a significant role in any digital journey, it should be automated, dynamic and continually updated to gain reliability and to retain paramount trust in the data being returned. Maintaining accurate information cuts cost and risk and is also the key from which Asset Management can be used in a predictive capacity to detect problems before they occur. It allows IT to reach fast conclusions such as, upgrade asset or retire asset. Additionally, driven by true data capture, IT can now forward plan alignment of high business value applications with available infrastructure. And if that’s cloud based, you are now able to realistically plan the costs of accessing and storing data within the cloud. Armed with reliable usage reconciliation facts, finance can confidently access the same ITAM and can correctly settle invoices for cloud-based subscription services.

Regardless of digital enablement, one element of IT Asset Management hasn’t changed over the years. It all needs to begin with accurately establishing what is out there. Discovery is not however, as straightforward as it may sound as networks have dispersed. Organizations in the past decade have become more complex than ever as they have morphed, merged, and consolidated. Add to that, the recent challenges of adding IoT edge devices and incorporating remote working devices as a result of COVID. Manual discovery suddenly belongs to another era of tech.

About the Author

Paul Mercina, Director, Product Management Marketing
Paul Mercina brings over 20 years of experience in IT center project management to Park Place Technologies, where he oversees the product roadmap, growing the services portfolio, end-to-end development and release of new services to the market. His work is informed by 10+ years at Diebold Nixdorf, where he worked closely with software development teams to introduce new service design, supporting implementation of direct operations in a number of countries across the Americas, Asia and Europe.