In our last blog, we took a look at the current state of asset management as organisations rapidly implement strategies in response to COVID-19. With careful consideration to IT Asset Management (“ITAM”), where does that leave organisations who are looking to a future beyond COVID-19?
What can organisations do right now?
If you have any asset data, static or otherwise, use it!
Right now, ensuring you know what you have and where it is will be is the most important thing. If you have a base of information to start from (purchasing records, Microsoft System Centre Configuration Manager data, etc.) use it to help build a picture of your landscape. This baseline will be useful in ensuring there is a register to work from when ensuring the devices make their way back to the organisation beyond COVID-19.
If you have a technology intelligence solution, you likely already have all the information you need, and it’s being dynamically updated to keep your asset register true and correct during this pandemic.
Review your ITAM Policies and Processes- or build some!
Review current policies and procedures for ITAM and consider if updates or additional tweaks are required to enable the practice to function remotely. These processes will have likely been written while at work, with a mindset of being in the office all the time.
If you don’t have existing processes, now is the time to write some. You can speak with ITAM practitioners such as Data#3. Additionally, here are three fundamental starting points to consider;
As ITAM professionals, we still need to protect the organisation’s risk profile, regardless of where the assets are located.
Make ITAM a part of the Business Continuity Plan
Ensure ITAM is a key component of the organisation’s Business Continuity Plan (“BCP”). The organisation’s investment in IT Assets will form a large portion of annual budget, and the financial officers of the organisation will expect they are protected. Any BCP plans should include this element.
This inclusion helps organisations satisfy the ‘Asset Management’ component of a BCP, and will by proxy ensure that in the event of a crisis, the information is available to ensure quick and accurate decision making.
We already know organisations are struggling to manage what they have and where it is during COVID-19. Having trustworthy and accurate data helps maintain visibility during the crisis and supports future modelling of requirements.
Some key ITAM points to consider including in the BCP:
These things should form the ITAM component of the organisation’s BCP, which will likely be owned for IT by the Chief Information Officer (“CIO”).
If there is resistance to the inclusion of ITAM in the BCP, let’s reframe it for those who may disagree:
“Look at the impact COVID-19 had on many organisation’s abilities to quickly mobilise their workforces to work from home. Stock shortages led to rogue purchases at premium prices, and software spend increases were unexpected and unbudgeted.
If ITAM was a part of the organisation’s BCP, proactive plans would be ready to go (possibly including surplus asset stock arrangements) to quickly render the organisation operational. This would eliminate any scrambling to find devices and increase licensing subscriptions for critical systems in the eleventh hour, amidst multiple challenges. This monumental work from home event due to COVID-19 wasn’t even possible without IT Assets.”
Peter Taylor, National Practice Manager, Data#3
The clear answer is: ITAM must be in the BCP. An organisation’s IT assets are truly enabling businesses to keep their employees safe and productive during a crisis like COVID-19.
Get the tools and support you need for the task at hand!
If your organisation doesn’t already have a Technology Intelligence Solution, now might be the time to get visibility over the IT estate and prepare for the future. By investing in the right technology to gain the required visibility and control over your asset base, organisations will be able to see who has what technology, where it is and how it is being used.
Right now, during this critical time, it will also inform your BCP and ensure you can effectively support your organisation during this pressing time of uncertainty.
So, where to from here?
When the COVID-19 pandemic passes and it’s back to ‘business as usual’, you can rest assured the efforts you make now to improve your processes, policies and procedures will return dividends. Furthermore, it enables your ITAM function to operate smoothly and with certainty during a crisis. Trust me, it will be worth it long after COVID-19 leaves the news.
If you chose to improve your maturity around the solutions to help with tracking and managing these assets, it will demonstrate that you can adapt and respond to challenges quickly and manage an asset base that will more and more move toward a remote working environment.
We’re all in this together. Reach out to me any time if you need further guidance or information on how Data#3’s asset management solutions can help.
Stay safe out there!