Posted by Stephen Mann on October 10, 2011
The IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) organization is no different from any other business function. It employs a multitude of assets to create corporate value. Traditionally, however, I&O’s ability to manage its IT assets has been weak, from both a financial control and an IT asset life-cycle (ITALM) perspective.
Far too often, an I&O organization lacks the necessary controls to avoid IT wastage or remain compliant with software licensing or regulatory requirements. Thankfully (or unfortunately), to date most I&O organizations have been able to get by. But the-times-they-are-a-changing, as do-more-with-less efficiency mandates are prioritized, vendor software audits increase, and the business places greater focus on what IT costs and the value that internal IT delivers. Something has got to give and I&O leaders can step up their game and respond to these internal and external pressures by improving asset management processes to ensure that IT assets are leveraged to maximize the value generated for their parent business.
A recent Forrester Report – Updated Q4 2011: Cover Your Assets; Use IT Asset Life-Cycle Management To Control IT Costs – offers advice on where ITALM can help and what I&O leaders need to do.
Where Can ITALM Help?
The technical, financial, and service-related information available from an ITALM program can give I&O leaders the ability to improve both efficiency and effectiveness and to optimize its investment (or divestment) in its asset base. It provides a comprehensive view of the resources feeding IT service delivery and an assurance that best use is made of said assets. By investing in ITALM people, process, and technology, I&O leaders can cut costs, reduce risk, and improve the quality of IT services by performing the following activities better:
- Managing costs.
- Improving governance.
- Mitigating risk.
- Ensuring compliance.
- Making IT green.
- Improving organizational efficiency.
- Delivering higher-quality IT service.
- Better aligning IT services with business needs to make better decisions.
What Do I&O Leaders Need To Do?
A successful ITALM program requires many critical success criteria to be in place. Forrester recommends that I&O leaders get started by focusing on these seven key criteria:
- Involvement of all business stakeholders early.
- A repeatable process from start to finish.
- A data model that is flexible and extensive.
- ITALM positioned as a core business process and business enabler.
- Integrity and accuracy-checking mechanisms.
- Measurement of efficiency.
- No fear of what you will discover.
In terms of the last bullet, undoubtedly most organizations will uncover IT wastage. Rather than dwelling on past mistakes, proudly communicate your successes in light of improved asset management efficiency and effectiveness.
Remember, it's not just your assets that are on the line.
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