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You’ve decided you need an ITAM tool. Now what? (Part 1 of 2)

This article was originally published here on May 13, 2020.

IT asset management (ITAM) is critical to effective delivery and management of the IT-powered services that drive your business. But despite what some vendors and pundits might have you believe, a tool does not make a complete solution.

In this part, we examine things to consider before you make any purchase decisions.

What do you expect your tool to do?

This is likely a question you and your team have already begun to address, as it is critical to setting your selection priorities appropriately. The following are the criteria by which you should judge the tool pre-purchase:

Will the tool gather the best possible information from all critical IT assets?

Your tool must be able to access and gather all the data you need from all of the assets that matter most to your business. As your infrastructure evolves, the tool must adapt seamlessly, acquiring and delivering information from both incumbent and new assets.

This may mean your ITAM tool may need to be enhanced with new, updated, or custom-built data collection agents. This may be a higher priority if and as your organization pursues deployment of cloud-based resources or Internet of Things (IoT) deployments.

Will the ITAM tool consolidate and present infrastructure knowledge effectively?

Your tool should be able to consolidate and present your asset information in concise , actionable ways. This means it must not only collect the information you need, but also enable you and your team to report on that information flexibly and comprehensively.

Will the tool automatically populate and update the CMDB?

The configuration management database (CMDB) should be the single version of the truth that informs all IT management decisions at your business.

To do this, it must have the most accurate, complete, and up-to-date information about your critical IT assets. The tools you choose must be able to deliver automated updates, configurable based on your business needs, to maximize the business value of your CMDB.

Will the tool adequately support our IT service management (ITSM) and IT operations management (ITOM) efforts?

The tool must interoperate with your chosen ITSM and ITOM tools and processes. The specifics of that interoperability will depend on the specific needs and goals of your business. Whatever those are, however, your ITAM tool must be able to enable and support them, today and tomorrow.

More than just a ITAM tool

As also true with IT service management (ITSM), you need more than a tool to succeed at ITAM. And it must include some core capabilities to deliver the business value you want, need, and expect.

Your chosen tool must be able to consolidate and manage all the information your business needs to manage its most critical assets effectively. But most ITAM tools cannot determine what that information is, nor gather and prioritize it, without human help.

There are two primary reasons for this:

1) Most of ITAM technology is not autonomous (or magic).

2) The specifics of the information your business needs is unique to your business. This means your tool needs input from those at your business who know how those IT assets are used, and from those who prioritize your business’ specific needs and goals.

Your chosen solution also cannot and should not operate in a vacuum — or a silo. The functions of your tool affect and are affected by your ITSM solutions and processes.

If your business is pursuing IT operations management (ITOM), DevOps, digital transformation, or other IT-related initiatives, these must be cross-pollinated with your ITAM tool and efforts as well. Whatever tool you’ve chosen, the information it produces must allow for updating with relevant knowledge from people.

No ITAM is an island. And no tool alone can deliver the functions and value your business needs for comprehensive, successful ITAM. But when supported by the right people, processes, and related technologies, you can maximize the value of any ITAM tool, to your IT management efforts as well as your business.

The second part of this post will focus on what your business should expect from ITAM, and what you need to succeed with it.

Virima: your partner for comprehensive ITAM

Virima’s solutions for IT discovery, ITAM, ITSM, and ITOM can help you maximize the effectiveness and business value of your IT estate.

Virima features can automatically discover and map those critical IT resources and the interconnections that link them to one another, your applications and services, and your users. And Virima’s autonomic social IT discovery features can help your team “crowdsource” critical information about your IT assets.

Virima solutions are easy to use and configure, and designed to work well with each other. They also produce useful, actionable reports about your IT environment, for your IT team and your business leaders.

Virima is here to help. To get started, contact us today to schedule a demo and explore the possibilities!

If you’d like to publish us in your publication, please reach out to us at info@virima.com

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Virima is a SaaS platform that solves your toughest IT operations management and reporting challenges. Learn about the various IT challenges IT Asset Discovery, App & Service Dependency Mapping, IT Asset Management, Build a CMDB, Change Management etc.

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