Governments worldwide are working towards delivering greater value to their citizens via IT transformation. The goal: Speed up, streamline, and automate processes. For instance, government departments are increasingly moving towards the self-service model, enabling citizens to complete paperwork online for documentation such as licenses and passports.
As government agencies leave legacy systems behind, they need to replace them with a strong IT infrastructure. This includes integrated systems, automated processes, and a digital future enabled by cloud technology.
As part of this digital transformation in government departments and agencies, they will be adding a lot of software and hardware IT assets that need to be tracked effectively.
Here are some challenges they may face as they transition to the digital mode:
1. Non-scalable IT infrastructure
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments’ need for IT services in a completely remote environment put the spotlight on non-scalable IT infrastructure. Lack of an IT ecosystem in the cloud presents major data loss, cyber-security, and network challenges.
2. Identity and access management risks
Government agencies deal with and move around a lot of confidential and sensitive data on a daily basis. Maintaining data confidentiality, integrity, and availability is a top priority. If there are no tiers created for access management, it poses a risk to data security.
3. Licensing complexities
As part of digital transformation in government, agencies buy multiple software. With hundreds and even thousands of users scattered across disparate systems, it can be challenging to accurately track the licenses and use of particular software.
4. Mapping and utilizing IT assets
To get a proper ROI on expensive IT investments, government offices need to implement software with discovery and mapping capabilities. Lack of such software leads to ghost IT assets, asset theft, misuse of IT assets, and other potential damages.
5. Lack of real-time data
When an agency is not digitized, data lies in siloes and cannot be shaped into useful information to leverage future decisions. Lack of strategic planning and uninformed decisions due to the absence of actionable insights may cost a government agency in employee productivity and overheads.
6. Lack of user provisioning
Digital transformation in government agencies leads to a lot of new IT devices which means it requires provisioning of users and machines at the time of new hiring and employee retirements or transfers to other departments or locations.
Without a proper system, inaccurate IT asset tracking data can lead to poor decision making while purchasing new licenses or hardware assets.
How to boost digital transformation in government sectors?
Digitally transforming a government entity includes automating manual processes and freeing up resources, putting standardized protocols in place, and having the right set of tools for the management of IT infrastructure.
Here is how an integrated ITAM and ITSM system can drive digital transformation and solve the above-mentioned IT challenges.
1. IT asset tracking
Efficient IT asset tracking helps optimize the use of assets, greatly reduces the risk of stolen or ghost assets, and gives you a clear view of which IT assets your government agency has.
According to a report by Vizor, the US federal government spends an average of $9.1 billion on commercial software in about 42,000 transactions which are 30% more than necessary for software.
Robust IT inventory management software can help prevent overspending by accurately tracking the use of your software and hardware assets.
2. IT service desk
With IT service management software in place, government agencies speed up the ticket resolution process. As most government entities have a larger number of employees and multiple locations, self-service help desks assist in issue resolution without involving another employee.
An efficient ITSM tool will help the government employees better connect with IT platforms and sources of data, resulting in less time to resolve a ticket.
3. Advanced reporting
Modern ITAM tools have built-in reporting features that offer insightful data on the entire IT asset landscape. You can either choose from various built-in reports or create custom reports for specific data to drive strategic planning.
4. Identity and access management
Protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is a top priority for every government institution. Standardizing protocols for identity and access management can mitigate security risks and fortify your government agency against foreign threats.
With an ITAM tool, you can allow or deny access to information by specific people or groups of people, ensuring that the sensitive information is only being accessed by those who need it.
5. Automated compliance protocols
Being a government entity means that your employees have to adhere to higher compliance standards and a well-implemented ITAM tool enables compliance.
It ensures that no employee is using unauthorized or blacklisted software and that every employee is complying with government standards. Furthermore, with the tool’s SAM capabilities, you can also make sure that you are complying with vendor contracts to avoid hefty penalties in the future.
6. Enhanced procurement
Most government agencies have limited budgets and funding so it becomes even more crucial to optimize your IT investments. Having a clear understanding of the IT assets your agency has and a clear picture of their utilization will help you make better procurement decisions.
Furthermore, with all vendor information in the ITAM system, you can generate and send purchase orders with a few clicks.
Benefits of an ITAM solution for a government institution
AssetSonar is uniquely positioned to help government institutions achieve their digital enablement whether the priority is on accurate IT asset tracking, employee productivity, cost efficiency, or better insights into data — leading the way to a digitized future.
- Centralized IT ecosystem: With ITAM and ITSM software working in harmony with other IT tools, you can centrally manage IT assets. From details of their lifecycle to allocation and purchase data, all information is on your fingertips. As most government institutions have to put in requests for more funding, this accurate information will help you make your case for procuring your next IT investments.
- Save taxpayer’s dollars: Government institutions have to be extra vigilant while spending the taxpayer’s dollars. With an ITAM in place, your agency can automate processes, maintain updated inventory to avoid penalties, monitor maintenance for hardware IT assets, and optimize the use of existing IT assets.
- Effective tracking of software assets: As government entities usually spread over multiple locations, it becomes almost impossible to carry out effective software asset management manually. With an ITAM tool in place, all software assets are tracked from a centralized platform and you can view which version of the software is provisioned and deployed successfully, its usage and licensing status, hence reducing the risk of license complexities.
- Hardware asset management: Although the government sector is following the suit of the private sector for digital transformation, government institutions still house a number of on-premise assets like servers and other network hardware. ITAM software keeps these assets in check and proactive maintenance of these assets ensures that there is no unplanned downtime in the future.
- Improved ITSM: If your government agency is using a strong ITSM tool like Zendesk or Jira, ITAM capabilities will strengthen IT service management. It will speed up the ticket resolution time and the issues will also be fixed faster because your centralized system will have easy access to real-time IT asset data and your employees will be in a better position to fix the issues quickly.
AssetSonar is the leading software asset management tool used by IT-intensive organizations and businesses all over the globe.
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