ALM 360 Service Components
The ALM 360 service focuses on the following key areas to help you manage your IT assets from requisition to disposal:
Physical Asset Management
Tracking and managing all IT assets whether they are distributed or located in the data centre requires a two pronged approach involving a combination of physical visits and automated discovery techniques.
Auditing is typically used in support of other projects where electronic and physical IT asset data is needed in a fairly short timeframe and on-going change control is not required.
We believe that our approach is unique in the sense that we offer truly managed audits with:
- increased integration with the business purpose behind the audit whether it is for contract base-lining, renewal, licence compliance or outsourcing
- Higher quality delivery and results using high quality audit processes.
- Higher bandwidth structured project management.
- Improved ability to cope with peaks and troughs of demand through the use of multiple resource channels.
- The best automated discovery and bar-coding technology available on the market included.
This service is quite unique in the audit industry. It means that we are usually a little more expensive than ‘traditional’ audit only providers who use student labour, but we are better able to deal with change, deliver better customer service and confidence in results. We can typically start and complete audits faster with lower levels of error and we can customise our audits more effectively.
Barcoding & RFID
Capturing hardware asset tag details and tracking – especially using barcoding is typically regarded as a mandatory activity by auditors looking at capital asset treatment and is very useful in:
- Linking assets across procurement, finance and IT operations processes.
- Automating repetitive processes such as MADC (Move, Add, Deletion & Change).
- Reducing human errors.
Asset tagging also acts as a method for reconciliation of invoice to goods receipt to disposal, creating a ‘stock pool’ as new items arrive and are scanned into the repository or CMDB and old items are disposed and are scanned out of the repository.
Based on experience we recommend that our clients examine asset tagging more holistically, considering the use of barcodes and readers to increase MADC process automation where possible and practical.
The infrastructure required is not expensive and only requires ruggedized PDA readers with lasers embedded, simple PDA based workflow which is user definable and wireless communication from the readers back to a simple staging database.
So whether you are looking for basic self-adhesive or RFID enabled tags and/or readers we can find the most cost effective solution to your asset tagging & barcoding needs.
Discovery & Software Usage
The foundation for IT asset, software licence and IT service management is the ability to accurately discover all hardware and software assets deployed within the organisation and understand how they are used.
There is a strong daily requirement for automatically discovered and easily reported asset information within the organisation. Discovery tools play a fundamental role in supplying this information but also act as a policing vehicle for a CMDB or asset repository.
Although there are many technologies available on the market each with different strengths and weaknesses and capabilities, including software usage monitoring, metering and recognition, web access and agent-less dependency mapping plus many moreetc., the best discovery tools enable the IT function to:
- Automatically identify and track all software and hardware assets on the estate
- Report on any new assets entering the network and provide a direct view of the installed estate, configuration and location
- Understand how software assets are used, when, how, by whom and for how long
- Provide a baseline for software licence consumption.
The discovery database represents a non-real time view of the asset fields and configuration information which is being automatically collected over the network. Although this information is constantly updated, changes to its data are not controlled or managed, therefore it is vital at the foundation stage that the right tool is selected to provide good quality data. ITAMS can help you to:
- Achieve better results from existing technologies.
- Define requirements for, select, deploy and support new discovery technologies through our relationships with all of the major technology vendors in this area.
- Understand the key differentiators between discovery technologies and their technical complexities and advise on a solution focused around your organisation’s needs and current gaps.
- Link discovery capability to other systems and processes to ensure that the management information you need on your assets is readily available and being actively used to reduce cost and risk.
IT Asset Lifecycle Repository & CMDB
Whilst discovery is an automated function which requires neither manual control nor management, the asset lifecycle repository is an extension of discovery and seen as a focal point to store the latest asset information. The CMDB is essentially an evolution of the asset repository but is ITIL integrated.
Some discovery tools try to emulate the asset lifecycle repository this but are typically not very successful or complete in their treatment of the problem. The key role of the asset lifecycle repository is to:
- Track assets through lifecycle events and stages from requisition to disposal.
- Centralise both discovered data and non-electronically collected data such as financial, contractual and asset status information encompassing enhanced capabilities for hardware, contract management, hardware asset pooling, asset status, asset location, asset allocation and SLA.
- Provide a basic capability for the finance department to track the light depreciation of assets through their lifecycle. (Via this facility disposals may be better managed by finance if this is integrated with their processes. For more extended financial capabilities we recommend fixed asset registers.)
The key difference between the asset lifecycle repository and the CMDB is that alongside the data in an asset repository, change, problem, incident and often release information / objects also exist in the database and are managed constantly by service desk, change and configuration relationship administrators and processes.
There is a common misunderstanding of the differences between the discovery database, the asset lifecycle repository and a CMDB. From our experience in dealing with organisations of varying sizes (small to multi-national), we can show you how to successfully build a good foundation for best practice ITAM, SAM and ITSM.
The advice we provide centres around our vision, starting with good discovery capability, moving to licence repository, progressing to asset repository in the medium term then followed by CMDB in the longer term.
For further information please contact us.