January’s Market Guide looks at tools for ITAM Process Automation. As our roles as IT Asset Managers mature there is a need to deal efficiently with day-to-day operational demands on our time, and automation is a way of doing this whilst still retaining oversight & control. For many organisations, ITAM Process Automation will be an extension of existing IT Service Management processes, ensuring that license compliance and cost optimisations are considered when a service is provisioned.
Some challenges in managing EUC from an ITAM perspective include:
- Ensuring only software for which an entitlement is owned is installed
- Ensuring users get the software they need to do their job
- Ensuring that software is delivered within agreed SLAs
- Optimising software spend through harvesting and leasing
- Ensuring that software deployments are authorised appropriately
These challenges can be addressed by ITAM Process Automation tools providing the following functionality:
- Access to entitlement information for installation engineers
- Providing installation media and serial numbers to installation engineers
- Automating delivery and approval processes to remove manual checks
- Generating software removal jobs based on software metering data
- Providing free/cheaper alternatives at point of request
- Providing an audit-tracked workflow for software installation approvals.
IT Service Management tools to automate software delivery have been available for many years but it is only recently that integrations between ITSM and ITAM have been built. As you will see from this guide some implementations are provided from the ITAM perspective and others from the ITSM perspective. The approach taken by an organisation to these challenges may well be based on their ITSM maturity level and as such tool selection may be a fait accompli. For example, if your Service Desk runs on the ServiceNow Platform it may be logical to hook into their automation and delivery tools. Tool vendors in this market are aware of this and fortunately many have taken the approach of providing close integration between toolsets rather than trying to re-invent the wheel.
If your organisation has mature ITSM processes and tools, we recommend that addition of ITAM capabilities is driven by your ITSM service owners. They are key stakeholders for your ITAM programme and will be the primary daily users of the ITAM capabilities. First and foremost the new tooling has to work for them and support their processes rather than get in the way.
Do you already make use of automation in your ITAM processes? If so, which tools do you use? Do they deliver on their promises? Please post a tool review on Market Place, follow up in our Forum, or contact me directly.