Time for procurement and IT asset management to align

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Benefits for the whole organisation from closer collaboration, says ITAM vendor

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2 October 2019 | 0

While much of the talk around IT asset management (ITAM) systems revolves around the increasing impact of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, one vendor in the field is emphasising a different integration.

AssestSonar recommends ITAM to be more tightly integrated with procurement to allow both to function more efficiently and deliver greater value to the business.

According to the vendor, many organisations designate separate teams for the tasks of ITAM and procurement, but argues, a better idea would be to integrate departments at some level.

“This lets you gain proficient insights into how the nature of IT assets evolves over time. Taking this into consideration, the procurement and management teams can collaborate and take decisions accordingly. If the two teams do not have a strong working relationship, this can cause numerous risk situations for the organisation,” said AssetSonar in a blog.

This allows far greater control over the typical milestones of the lifecycle of an IT asset, from planning, procurement and deployment, through usage. Decommissioning and potential salvage.

Further to this, the closer collaboration allows procurement to avoid certain pitfalls that can lead to unnecessary costs, such as non-optimised purchase. This is where procurement is not keeping pace with technological, business or regulatory changes in purchasing. An example might be orders for desktop PCs when a mobility or virtualisation initiative has been undertaken.

Another potential problem area might be around undesirable contract conditions or reporting requirements. These may arise when older contracts or conditions are running down, particularly where services might be transitioning to consumption-based agreements, instead of old style product or service contracts.

The combination of the strengths of ITAM to track not only assets, but usage profiles and associated licensing and agreements with the ability of procurement to rationalise, combine buying power and drive better deals, means that organisations can achieve more than the sum of the parts.

For establishing a working relationship between the asset management and procurement department, the key is to invest in a central tracking program. In order to do so, the majority of firms opt for a cloud-based system which lets you monitor all types of assets through barcode tags. For optimal results, it is best to define the key metrics you want to record for all tools and equipment. This allows the system to focus on dominant aspects of the workflow and derive insightful analytics. Such a database is useful for both the procurement and asset management teams.

“By using real-time data collected through tracking assets over time, procurement teams can keep themselves updated with the current hardware and software specifications,” said AssetSonar in its blog.

“This helps to seek out relevant vendors for asset and software upgrades. Along with this, warranty and license tracking provide back-up support when it comes to maintenance and repair for IT assets.”

The Irish Computer Society is helping organisations adapt to developments in this field with introductory courses in ITAM, aimed at anyone who is new to discipline, including IT administrators, CFOs, project managers, and other IT roles.

It is accessible to those without an IT background. The course is geared for people from all departments, as ITAM programmes are generally implemented interdepartmentally, including by roles such as budget managers, IT service departments and finance.

See here for more details of this two-day introductory course starting on the 9 October.

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