“Can IT asset management bring us complete control of IT assets in our enterprise?”
“If we opt for software, will it be able to handle our entire database?”
“Does cloud based ITAM software guarantee security and compliance?”
“Is the ITAM software customizable enough to cater to our unique workflows?”
Are these questions keeping you from automating your company’s IT asset management? Enterprises host large databases, oversee innumerable processes throughout the day, and demand strict security measures. With stakes so high, they need to evaluate business technology very carefully prior to software adoption.
Enterprise-level companies demand collaboration between hundreds of employees, all of whom interact with thousands of company assets to deliver success. In this pursuit, frequent hardware breakdowns or missing systems only impede success.
However, these stringent requirements do not mean that you have to settle for a product that only meets you half way. The right IT asset management (ITAM) solution will enable you to not only gain effective control of your hardware and software, but also tackle the mega challenges that your organization faces.
So, what are some of the most prevalent enterprise challenges and how can you overcome them?
Common ITAM challenges faced by enterprises — and how to overcome them
Let’s explore the issues that dissuade enterprises from automating and streamlining their IT asset management.
1. Complicated enterprise workflows
Enterprise workflows are complicated and demanding. This bleeds from the complex use of IT infrastructure in most enterprises. IT assets, whether hardware or software, are often spread throughout locations, departments and databases.
Let’s say, your enterprise has customer service professionals dealing with clients on the front-end. They often need to collaborate with their product and business development department to come up with unique solutions for their customers.
To make this entire process more seamless, ideally, the IT assets, database and software applications used individually by these departments should be integrated. It helps track the progress of each project and collaborate as needed. With basic spreadsheets, keeping a holistic overview of IT asset usage and maintenance along with customer demand planning is next to impossible.
Solution: Customizable ITAM software
In face of such intricate workflows, the next thing that enterprises want to deal with is an ITAM solution that further complicates IT asset management for them.
The ideal ITAM software will be one that is easy to use and can be customized according to the enterprise’s unique workflows. Most competent ITAM solutions offer custom integrations with business applications of your choice so you can iron out operations and communication across departments.
Some of the most widely used business applications by enterprises include Zendesk and Jira Service Desk for IT service management. Others may include Salesforce, Zoho and G Suite for collaborating across teams. A good ITAM solution is typically built on server-less architecture. It offers both ready-made and custom third party integrations for your business.
This helps you sidestep the cost of developing in-house integrations and even saves your developers the trouble of squandering hours on custom integrations.
2. Stringent data governance and privacy regulations
Authorized access to and use of critical data has always been a concern for enterprises. For large organizations, 2020 will be a crucial year for data governance, security, and privacy.
GDPR and other data protection regulations often prevent innovative research and may limit enterprises, if not duly complied to. Hence, you need to look for ITAM solutions that safeguard your IT asset data and cater to all the compliance regulations relevant to your field of operations.
The main reason behind this is cloud computing. Since most ITAM software providers host enterprise data in the public cloud, access control is becoming a bigger concern. Public cloud is more vulnerable to account hijacking, DoS attacks and other cyber threats. Effective policy-based data governance needs to be in place.
Another challenge about managing IT asset data intelligently is the cost associated with it. The higher the volume of data, the more cost you will have to spend on building and maintaining storage, network, and data centers.
Solution: ITAM software built on private cloud
Due to security concerns, enterprises often struggle between deploying on-premise software and using a private cloud based ITAM system. However, private cloud based software is generally recommended because it saves you the manpower and cost of deployment that an on-premise system requires.
The ultimate ITAM solution is one that comes with a private cloud option. You get a ready-made solution for your enterprise, built specifically for your data and security needs. It hosts your IT asset data on a virtual cloud, siloed away from the data of other enterprises. It protects your company data via Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and data encryption at rest.
Good ITAM solutions are also compliant to international security standards like ISO 27001 and GDPR. This ensures that your confidential asset, employee and client data is always protected. It also helps increase the confidence of your stakeholders by showing how well you manage security risk.
3. Enterprises are ever-growing
Enterprises often have their resources spread across globally. These consists of both employees and capital assets including IT assets.
With ever-increasing competition and the need to diversify into more markets, these enterprises are burgeoning even more. More product lines, departments, assets and employees translate into more and more data.
Hence, enterprises need software solutions that have an unlimited capacity to house, process and manage this ever-growing data.
Paper documentation and spreadsheets can only store much information, and even if they do, it’s hard to keep track of long paper trails. While traditional ITAM software can consolidate data for you, it may lack the capacity for data storage.
Solution: Scalable ITAM software
An ideal ITAM solution for your growing enterprise in this case is one that’s scalable and offers unlimited data storage capacity.
It should be able to store data about thousands of employees and IT assets, ranging from software applications and power cords to complex IT infrastructure.
The system must be flexible enough so you can scale it up or down as you need. It should also be granular so you can store and manage data down to smallest possible working units or tasks.
4. Enterprises cannot afford system breakdowns
Since most large-scale enterprises run global operations, they deal with hoards of data simultaneously. Often times, traditional ITAM systems may break down while processing thousands of transactions and item or employee data.
Maintenance of such systems may cost you around 20% of the initial deployment. This amounts to thousands of dollars when your deployment cost is in millions.
Another concern with system breakdowns or latent responses is slowing down of daily operations. This may have a trickle down effect on your customer delivery and hurt your bottom line.
The large scale of enterprises calls for high performance on part of ITAM software.
Solution: ITAM software with SLA Management
To support high performance and low latency, it is recommended to invest in ITAM software with offers SLA management.
SLA management refers to monitoring of server level agreements. These agreements set a minimum uptime percentage for the availability and performance of business applications critical to your enterprise. Failure to meet the specified SLA mandates the ITAM provider to credit part of your subscription fees.
A good ITAM solution typically offers approximately 99.9% SLA uptime. This helps ensure that you always derive high value from your IT infrastructure and processes.
5. The need for mobility
One key challenge for enterprises today is the need for mobility. Many IT-intensive companies use software applications on personal handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones.
An example of this is hospitals that now use EMR and other key medical systems on iPads and tablets. For such enterprises, aligning these devices with their existing IT infrastructure and compliance standards is a big deal-breaker.
Solution: ITAM software on your mobile
Having an ITAM solution that runs on your desktop devices is not just enough. By 2021, the use of desktop computers in enterprises is expected to fall from 38 to 26%. This indicates a shift towards mobile devices.
For this reason, you need ITAM software that is compatible with iOS and Android, and can run on smartphones and tablets. Mobility of ITAM software means it can be used by your employees wherever they are. It gives you more visibility into your operations, even when your employees are in transit.
Running an enterprise-level ITAM software requires comprehensive training
Functionality isn’t everything. Your employees may struggle with new ITAM software because of clunky user experience and poor on-boarding. Therefore, they may even put off adding data in the application logs.
Unless the employees in your organization are actually using the ITAM software, you cannot do away with the challenges that your enterprise is facing.
When you’re on your hunt for an enterprise ITAM solution, make sure to pick one that offers premium on-boarding and a comprehensive training of the software to your employees. This ensures that the software seamlessly integrates with your existing workflows and your enterprise gets the most value out of it.