IT Asset Management: How Myths Affect Projects (Part 2)

    When implementing ITAM solutions, one often encounters various myths. In order for the project to be successful, it is important to understand the nature of these false representations of the client, remove all open questions, get rid of unnecessary misconceptions or make sure that this is not a myth.


    In a previous article, I examined several myths:


    • Guaranteed up-to-date information on IT assets through automatic inventory;
    • optional communication with the ITSM system;
    • about the lack of influence of IT asset management on the Service Catalog, etc.

    Today I will analyze the next batch of myths that have been accumulated during the implementation of projects for the automation of IT asset management processes.




    Information on licenses and schemes can be collected automatically


    The best option is when in the IT system the calculation of the licenses used is carried out without “manual” participation. If information on installed software can be collected automatically, then their automatic connection with certain licenses is a more complicated task. And this information is only a basis for normalizing and supplementing data.


    What is required to fully automate the process of accounting for the use of licenses


    Accounting area
    How to automate

    Source of data
    on available licenses


    1. Integration with the source of data on concluded contracts (and the separation of software contracts from the general series of contracts).
    2. Inventory (automatic or manual) of all acquired software licenses.
    3. Automation of the process of linking licenses and contracts in order to take into account the validity of licenses.


    Software Installation Data Source


    1. Integration with automatic inventory systems for periodically updating data on software installations.
    2. Automation of comparison of installations and licenses (license keys).
    3. Search for data sources for specific information on individual licensing schemes (for example, if the software is licensed by processor).

    Licensed model


    1. Configure missing licensed models in the box.
    2. Design and automate the process of ordering and periodic audit of unused licenses.


    It is also necessary to first budget for the purchase of specialized software, which already describes popular licensing schemes. Such software is quite expensive, and the figure below is schematically displayed as a cast-iron bridge and wing from a Boeing.


    As in the case of automation of cost accounting for Services, the practice of total automation is not always justified.




    Automation of IT asset purchase request management process accelerates procurement


    This is the case when automation does not guarantee final success, because it alone cannot accelerate the planning or procurement process.


    It is not enough to automate the processing of requests for new IT assets; organizational and process changes are necessary:


    1. Increase the frequency of procurement procedures per year.
    2. Introducing stock replenishment practices.
    3. Calendar dilution of procurement procedures between branches.

    Without all these changes, you will receive an automated annual procurement process and a long wait for the user who requested the IT asset.




    Requires maximum information from the inventory system of IT assets


    This approach is erroneous for the reason that different IT systems should not completely duplicate each other either in terms of functions or in the information stored in them.


    You should not turn an IT asset management system into a storage system for technical configuration data that does not directly affect IT asset management processes, but is needed to maintain a “sense of beauty” among system administrators.




    The success of the project is in the implementation of all processes at once


    An idealistic approach to IT is not uncommon: we do everything at once. But practice shows that the simultaneous implementation of large complex IT systems can lead to disruption of the project timeline or to blur the boundaries of “important” and “unimportant” from the client.


    Good:


    1. Select a separate area important for a functional customer and solve a specific problem.
    2. Move from one small victory to another and adjust plans depending on the results.

    Poorly:


    1. Choose a narrow field of implementation and solve the problems of inability to start due to predefined restrictions.
    2. Try to move from accounting in Excel right away to managing license cleanliness and forecasting the budget for the purchase of IT assets.

    Consultants work, we rest


    It is always tempting to delegate most of the tasks to the outside: we will invite consultants, and they will do everything for us. Effective implementation work requires teamwork from the contractor and customer.


    The first one knows the subject area, is experienced, has support in the form of a center of competence. The second one knows the specifics of the company, its regulations and is able to “land” the project on the real foundation of business processes. Taking into account the described interaction scheme, the customer will receive the result that he planned to obtain according to the results of the project.


    It is also difficult to ignore the following: if the process is given to the consultant on the “from and to” principle, then the issue of the cost of implementing such an IT system comes to the fore.




    To summarize


    Having questioned and analyzed a number of myths in the field of IT asset management, they came to the following conclusions:


    1. Automating the accounting process for the full use of licenses will require a number of additional steps. Integration, inventory, mapping, customization processes are indispensable.
    2. Automating the process of managing requests for the purchase of an IT asset alone will not speed up the procurement process. Have to think about organizational and process changes.
    3. Different IT systems should not be duplicates in either function or information.
    4. The success of the project lies in the progressive movement and the solution of IT problems.
    5. The optimal interaction scheme is teamwork, where the competencies of the consulting consultant and client complement each other.

    We are not afraid to question habitual things. IT myths can and should be worked on. Indeed, sometimes it turns out that this is not a myth, but the everyday reality of IT asset management projects .


    Then you have to "remove" the misunderstanding: explain, persuade, advise, share the information accumulated during other projects and the "rake" already completed, refine models and regulations, adapt processes, etc. And this is not difficult if the consultant and client are full participants in the process.



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