While ITAM has been an ever-increasing field over the last 15-plus years, we often encounter misconceptions about lifecycle asset management. Let’s take a few minutes to dispel four of the most common misunderstandings that we hear about LAM.
Myth 1: We Don’t Need IT Asset Management Software
While some organizations seek to approach LAM from a purely technological perspective, others feel that they can omit technology and tackle asset management with a purely process-driven approach. When conversing with customers around current tracking processes and tools, the most popular response we hear is, “We’re using Excel.” In reality, a process that relies on manually visiting machines and taking inventory in spreadsheets is ineffective, time-consuming and often inaccurate. Take licensing requirements, for example: The rules governing license compliance are so complex that CDW has a team of more than 200 people who manage product use rights for just the top 10 publishers. That intelligence is built into enterprise asset management tools, and there’s simply no feasible way to manually track your IT assets.
Myth 2: Technology Alone Drives Asset Lifecycle Optimization
Some IT professionals believe that they can tackle their lifecycle asset challenges by simply purchasing and deploying a new tool. It’s certainly true that technology plays an important role in LAM programs by providing a common platform for consistently tracking asset information and automating common tasks. At CDW, we firmly believe, however, that technology is just one of five pillars of lifecycle asset management. Organizations must also pay attention to the remaining four components of a solid practice: people, processes, communication and continuous improvement.
Myth 3: Lifecycle Asset Management Is the Same as Service Management
Service management is now pervasive throughout the technology field, and most organizations deploy service management tools to help track incidents and end-user support. While this practice is closely related to, and often integrated with asset management, the service management processes and tools serve wholly separate functions, and it is important to understand the distinction. When having conversations about asset management we often hear, “Our service management tool has asset management capabilities.” While this can be true, these technologies are generally missing some of the most important capabilities of a true LAM technology. Enterprise LAM solutions include automated asset discovery, data normalization, effective license positions based on entitlements, as well as the inventory and license management components that relieve administrators of a significant workload and provide the necessary information to optimize the asset landscape.
Myth 4: We Can Solve Lifecycle Management Challenges Through a One-Time Project
Organizations are beginning to adopt LAM solutions to manage their financial, security and compliance risks. We often meet with clients who understand that their current practices need improvement and want to conduct a project to address an immediate pain point. While an organization with asset management deficiencies will certainly benefit from a remediation project, it’s very important to consider that initiative as the beginning of an asset management journey. Organizations perpetually change, and it is important to maintain changes with a long-term solution in place.
LAM practices hold great potential for organizations of all sizes. Technology teams will gain better insight into the assets currently deployed throughout the organization and then use this insight to optimize costs, maintain license compliance and reduce security vulnerabilities.