ITSM for high-velocity teams
IT asset management best practices
IT asset management (also known as ITAM) is the process of identifying, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of IT assets. IT asset management helps teams avoid outages, facilitates innovation, and reduces costs for your businesses. ITAM isn’t a new process; it’s a well-established and important part of ITSM that continues to evolve. Two important trends in ITAM are the tracking of non-IT assets like buildings and vehicles and the deeper integration of ITAM and configuration management. Jira Service Management is an ITAM tool and here are some best practices that you can apply across industries and company sizes.
5 IT asset management steps to get you started
Embrace a team-centric approach
Creating a culture of collaboration and transparency makes the hardest part of ITAM significantly easier. A team-centric approach helps you decide what you need to track for each of your assets. A finance team will need the costs of assets while an ops team will focus on the lifecycle of those same assets. Work with teams around the business to create a standard set of qualities that you will track across all assets in your ITAM tool.
Start where you are
ITIL(Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a widely accepted set of best practices designed to support IT service delivery. One of the four principles in ITIL is to start where you are. This encourages teams to analyze the services, methodologies, people, and tools you already have and use those insights to identify where you are and how to begin. It’s tempting to build solutions from scratch, especially when you have a shiny new ITAM tool to play with. Teams benefit from first honoring the people and systems already in place and deciding what you’ll continue using, what you’ll change, and what you’ll build upon.
Take a top-down approach for quick wins
Don’t dive right into the nitty gritty of infrastructure and microservices. Focus on the assets and services that are most visible and most critical for your business. Imagine that your team manages hundreds of networked Point of Sale devices used by a large retail chain. A widespread failure of those devices would bring the entire business to a standstill. Consider the following questions to identify some quick wins:
- What type of IT devices are important for you to track and manage?
- What do you need to understand about them?
- What types of software licenses do you track?
- What do you need to track when onboarding employees or contractors?
Once you’ve documented the above, business leaders will see the value of your ITAM investments. Then you’ll have an enthusiastic thumbs-up to go one click deeper.
Match your software tools to your needs and scale as you go
There are a few features that everybody needs when investing in an ITAM tool. There are also advanced features that only the most mature ITSM teams can benefit from. Your goal is to take an adaptive approach, starting with where you are today and scaling as you go. An ideal tool limits context switching and keeps asset information side-by-side with your operations and support workflows. The best power-up is a tool that combines an asset repository with your CMDB (configuration management database). You can learn more about managing these processes in tandem in this getting started guide on asset and configuration management.
Communicate and celebrate success
Celebrating success is a virtuous cycle. Communication and celebration can increase adoption of ITAM which creates even more to celebrate. Teams that celebrate success throughout the process have so many more touchpoints with the business than a team that writes a wrap up blog once everything is sorted. Each time that you touch base, you further communicate the value of asset management and build an understanding of the process. As you work towards completion, offer ways for teams and individuals to get involved. Support and operations teams can get trained on finding assets fast and business teams can get a rundown of what gets tracked and why. Celebrate each of these trainings and give kudos to the teams getting involved. Soon enough, you’ll have a long list of teams looking to deepen their understanding.
Help your team get started
Asset management helps your team make better decisions, improve efficiency of processes, and saves the business money. Teams often need help deciding how to structure their asset management and what tools to use. Jira Service Management is an option that provides structure and integration into how support and ops teams already work. For a more detailed look at getting started with IT asset management, check out Atlassian’s Asset and Configuration Management Handbook.