Choose Your Own Adventures in Unified ITxM
As the dust settles on 2019, I decided to look back to my session from our Sydney & Melbourne Interchange events and share some of the ideas that the attendees suggested on the benefits of a unified ITSM & ITAM platform.
Aside from a few product updates my goal for the session was to talk about the benefits you can realise once you have proactive discovery scanning and feeding the data into a normalised, reconciled asset repository.
Now the extent of the benefits your organisation will realise will grow along with the ITAM maturity, for example let’s talk about the Asset repository for a minute, day one it may not be a repository that supports all ITAM processes - read another SILO - you can just start with the CMDB being populated with an automated discovery tool and extend it to support ITAM process later, in fact IAITAM best practice supports the benefits of having a tightly integrated CMDB/AM database. This is one of the key reasons Ivanti chose to build the ITAM platform on the Service Manager platform, it allowed the extension of the existing CMDB module to support ITAM processes such as Financial, Contractual & Vendor management.
But back to Interchange and some of the great ideas from our customers. I thought I would map these out into a mini maturity model of where your ITAM processes need to be to realise the value from the below reports when combined with ITSM data, so here goes.
At level 1, we assume discovery is in place and the data is being automatically update to a repository, for existing Ivanti Service Manager customers the repository is the Configuration module, even at this level we can still see the benefits from ITSM processes though relationships between CIs and ITSM processes:
- Report and trend assets (CIs) with high level of incidents / problems
- Report on users with multiple devices (based on discovery data of logged in users)
At level 2 we need to introduce the full ITAM modules into the Service Manager instance, then start developing ITAM processes & procedures. Initially we will focus on creating a Product Catalogue, so we have details of manufactures, models as well as assigning assets to users & locations. For reporting we can then:
- Report and trend asset related incidents and problems by manufacture or model
- Develop asset model specific knowledge to enable Service Desk to better support customers
- Report on differentials between Assets assigned users & discovered ‘logged in user’
- Report on differentials between Assets assigned location & discovered location
- Report on manufactures or models that will are impacted by a Change control (eg. Bios upgrade)
Level 3 we look at introducing Vendor management processes so we can start linking the assets and incidents back to the vendor, such as:
- Report and trend asset related incident and problems by vendor
- Ability to review number of incidents against assets as a metric when managing vendor relationships
Time to introduce Contract management processes at Level 4, like level 3 the benefits of relating contracts to incident and problem reporting will be visible through:
- Report and trend asset related incident and problems by Contract and Contract Line Items
- Ability to review number of incidents against assets as a metric when reviewing contract renewals
- Use reports as a metric to support contract renewal process
Level 5 introduces some of the complicated processes to support management of cost and other financial aspects. If you are at this point, you will be mature across most of the 12 key process areas as defined by IAITAM best practice. Combining this with ITSM data you can start reporting on:
- Total cost of ownership (TCO) of an asset manufacture model, including repair costs and even add average costs of time spent resolving incidents related to these assets
- Report on asset costs for each business unit (if you are cross charging within your organisation) and include incident costs
So that is some of the report idea that I produced and what the Interchange attendees suggested, if you have any other ideas, I would love to hear them so please contact me.
While it might seem aspirational to be at a level of maturity in your ITAM (or ITSM even) journeys to start realising the benefits, as an organisation you will start seeing the benefits even at what I’ve described as Level 1, of course Ivanti can help with this with through our Discovery capabilities, combined with our unified Service Management and Asset Management solutions and support your organisation maturity journey.