At SoftwareONE, we often stress the importance of people, processes, and technology to encourage powerful IT asset management strategies. Whether your IT assets are on-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid of the two, it’s important to devise the best way to manage, control, and protect assets. A significant portion of this is leveraging the right people with diverse skill sets and expertise, and ensuring they have the right skills to manage your software environment.
After all, the people in your organization have unique skills and capabilities that technology alone cannot achieve. Let’s take a closer look at the skills that are needed for a proper IT asset management team.
Analyze and Communicate Insights
While applications and programs are necessary to provide transparency into data, people still have a key role in analyzing and communicating insights derived from this data. Even though some of the most advanced IT asset management tools on the market can conduct a full-scale analysis of your IT assets, it’s up to IT management personnel to communicate this across the organization in a meaningful way. This requires understanding and communicating where data is located, who owns and uses certain applications, and how much budget certain assets are demanding.
Getting this information requires a consistent 360 degree view into your software estate across its entire lifecycle. Once this information has been obtained, all teams must be informed of what software is being used in their department, and what their responsibilities are to maintain the SAM program. This enables teams across the organization to gain control of their IT environment proactively, allowing them to become stakeholders in IT management.
Adhere to Clear Roles and Policies
Defining and adhering to clear roles and responsibilities for those who interact with your organization’s software environment will simplify the user experience considerably. With this in mind, asset management teams must have expertise in the following areas:
If an IT Asset Management team lacks individuals with these areas of expertise, don’t hesitate to SAM Diagnostic Services.
Any subsequent policies created by these teams must have full alignment and cover the entire scope of your software environment. For example, outline what the IT help desk’s standard protocol should be, or which users are allowed to have administrator rights. This will promote better control and visibility over your entire software environment.
Minimize Financial and Legal Risk
As your software environment becomes more complex, your risk of legal incidents and financial inefficiencies will become more significant. It’s important to work with stakeholders across your organization to identify and patch any holes in your organization’s IT asset management strategy.
IT asset management should communicate with your legal team regarding your organization’s current contracts, and be sure they’re not aware of any existing legal risks within your organization. Then, get in touch with your operations team and make sure they’re actively concerned with right-sizing your current software assets. By creating a two-way conversation between these departments, all key stakeholders will have access to details on what’s deployed. This will protect your organization’s reputation and enable better financial planning of assets in the future.
Evaluate Licenses and Ensure Compliance
To make sure that your IT assets are optimally managed, it’s imperative to have experts take a look at your complex software agreements and manage subsequent entitlements accordingly. Otherwise, it’s likely that attaining and maintaining compliance will be a struggle for your organization.
The first step to ensuring compliance is establishing a baseline of your current state of software compliance. Take a look at what’s currently installed versus what your organization is entitled to use. If possible, it’s best to consult people who are experts in dealing with certain large vendors like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and SAP, as these vendors typically have complicated requirements that should be navigated by an experienced individual. This will help your organization mitigate both financial and legal risks by continuously ensuring your IT deployments are right-sized.
Establish and Uphold Publisher Relationships
People will always be key to IT asset management initiatives because processes and technology lack empathy. Personnel within your organization should strive to understand a vendor’s objectives, and make clear connections to how they connect with your organization’s goals. By keeping this information in mind, your organization will better understand the motivations and priorities of your software vendors.
Additionally, try to keep vendors involved in your strategies. Establishing a good relationship with your vendors can come in handy – research has shown that most organizations that fall out of compliance do so unintentionally. If your SAM team has a longstanding, positive relationship with a vendor they may give your organization additional forewarning about cases of noncompliance, or be more sympathetic if your IT team makes a genuine mistake. You’ll also better understand what they prioritize regarding compliance, helping maintain a proactive software environment and minimize instances of non-compliance.
Why People are Key to IT Asset Management
Ultimately, people provide a human touch to processes and technology that helps to facilitate effective IT management strategies. By leveraging team members with the right skills, your organization will have strong channels of communication, a better understanding of quantitative information contained in contracts, allowing your IT team to manage their software assets in an accurate, cost effective way.
However, a wide range of expertise is needed to allow your IT team to optimally manage your software assets. If your organization has any skill gaps among personnel, then consider leveraging the help of experts to create a best-in-class IT asset management strategy.