The time to start preparing for the future of Asset Management is now. Technology, and the way businesses view and use it, is changing – rapidly. Concepts such as DevOps and cloud have already had a significant impact on the way businesses view and use technology – and there are plenty more on the horizon! All this means that we must also change the way we manage our technology portfolios.
On top of all the change that was already planned, COVID-19 got involved and has massively accelerated digital transformation across industries. It is imperative that ITAM ensures it is able to keep pace.
We’ve created a short survey, alongside Deskcenter, to get your thoughts on managed services and automation. If you want to jump straight to the survey – click here – but make sure you come back and read the rest of the article! 😁
Although many of the new technologies we’re seeing organisations adopt are touted as “replacements” for existing ways of doing things, it is much more likely that they are additions. Most (if not all) organisations using IaaS cloud are in “hybrid mode” – where some things are in the public cloud, while other things remain on-premises. This is likely to be the case for the foreseeable future – there are just some things that organisations are not ready/able to put into the public cloud.
While some internal teams may be “100% cloud”, the overall business isn’t. What streamlines for others, complicates for ITAM.
This means that the already broad spectrum of vendors, licensing models, metrics, and contract types that ITAM managers are expected to understand just keeps getting bigger. It’s not possible to say, “we’re in the cloud now, I’ll stop thinking about on-premises server management” or “all our desktop software is SaaS – bye bye ELPs!”. You must understand and manage not just two separate types of assets and environments each with its own set of rules, but also the rules that govern how they interact. Scenarios where on-premises licenses are used in the cloud and where a single workload may span both on-premises and cloud are far from uncommon.
Each new technology added to an organisation’s portfolio increases the number of assets to be managed, and also the complexity of that management. The future landscape for business technology will need ITAM more than ever, but it also means the workload for ITAM will be bigger than ever.
Within all technology portfolios, some things will be considered more important and prioritised over others but we see there are, generally, three types of workloads that lend themselves well to working with a third party:
Exactly what these may well look different within your organisation but here are some of our thoughts as to the types of tasks and technologies that comprise these three areas:
Low value / repetitive
Complicated / resource heavy
Reducing the impact of a growing workload
The workload for an ITAM team is almost certainly going to increase throughout 2021, so identifying any areas where you can utilise outside help is something you’d be well served to do as we come to the end of 2020.
If you’re concerned about the business’ reaction, remember that most organisations use a range of service providers across the business such as:
- Car fleet management
- Window cleaners
- Facilities Management
And other more specialist areas including:
- Event marketing
- Website management
All these areas are integral to keeping a business running as well as helping it thrive and prosper…if they can be managed by third parties, why can’t it be the same for ITAM?
Create the business case
Bringing in a managed service provider will require budget and spend, so you’ll need to create a compelling business case:
- First you must understand your organisation’s business goals and priorities
- Next, define which ITAM activities help achieve and further those goals – and which activities don’t
- Then outline how spending “X” on removing those non-focus tasks from your plate will positively impact the overall business
Put together a proposal like:
“Outsourcing software reclamation and removal will free up 14 ITAM team days annually. This additional time can be used to reduce IaaS cloud spend by around 12% – an estimated saving of £300,000”
Back this up with an outline:
A growing option within businesses is to automate procedures and activities – using tools such as UIPath or Microsoft Power Automate. Some may view this as an alternative to using Managed Service Providers however, I believe that in reality, it is actually something else well suited to a third party.
Identifying, documenting, creating, and maintaining automated procedures is time consuming and can be quite complicated. This means, if performed internally, it can become a drain on resources and perhaps even leave you in a worse position than before you started! The benefits of automation – when done properly – are significant but having the knowledge, resources, and time is key to realising those benefits.
There are so many different aspects of ITAM that knowing the top places to start when it comes to reducing the workload is both great to know and hard to discover!
To that end we’ve put together a short survey, alongside DeskCenter, to help us better understand where you see the best opportunities for using managed services and/or automation within your organisation.
Ultimately, we want to use the information you give us to help identify where ITAM professionals should focus their efforts next year and start to build some best practices around managed service and automation utilisation. Your help is, as always, really appreciated and so for the first 50 validated entries we receive, there is a £20 Amazon voucher on offer (T&Cs apply) 😁
About Rich Gibbons
A Northerner renowned for his shirts, Rich is a big Hip-Hop head, and loves travel, football in general (specifically MUFC), baseball, Marvel, and reading as many books as possible. Finding ways to combine all of these with ITAM & software licensing is always fun!
Connect with Rich on Twitter or LinkedIn.