The role of technology has changed over the years and it is now the most strategic part of every organization. Technology has grown from supporting business processes to the underlying driver for almost every product or service consumed. As technology has increased its presence throughout every organization, there is a need to broaden IT Asset Management to Enterprise Asset Management. The governance of these assets requires an enterprise view and a seat at the leadership table.
Why is Enterprise asset management important?
Enterprise Asset Management establishes a standardized mechanism for repeatable outcomes. It all starts with a policy document that ensures all assets in the production environment are governed by the process. This policy offers viability to the process and gives company executives confidence that no unauthorized hardware or software is purchased or resides on the corporate network or in the data center. Company executives desire the comfort that comes from knowing there are no surprises.
To reach optimal efficiency, Enterprise Asset Management requires a balance of people, process, and technology. It takes all three areas working in a coordinated fashion to fully treat each technology asset like an investment, which each is.
It takes people to execute the Enterprise Asset Management process. People are also the ones who ensure the process is delivering the desired Returns on Investment (ROI). It is also people who calculate the financial impacts for decisions made on those assets. Lastly, it is people who are tasked with getting the most from asset management technology. Without adequate people resources – both quality and quantity – the Enterprise Asset Management initiative will not attain the desired outcomes.
Factors Why Enterprise Asset Management Is Crucial for Your organization?
Enterprise Asset Management will develop a process for consistent handling of all hardware and software, including the onboarding, tracking, and decommissioning of each asset. The most important part of any process is creating repeatable outcomes for all stakeholders.
More and more organizations are becoming dependent on asset management technology to enable outcomes. This becomes a double-edged sword for many as the technology can automate and create great results but is reliant on people and processes. Asset management technology is highly utilized for both hardware and software. It frees up personnel to focus on the high-value parts of the role.
When working together, the people, process, and technology are harmonized and efficient. In recent years, the technology piece has grown in stature and usage due to the complexity of technology, but we need to remember that it still just executing and automating the process. It is the people who monitor the metrics to measure the success of the Enterprise Asset Management program. For example, the technology can tell the people how many – and which – assets are approaching end-of-life status or the comparison of software purchased to what is installed. But, in each case, it is the people who understand the process to know how to use that data.
The asset management system will show a software license status of red (under-licensed compared to usage) or green (optimally- or over-licensed compared to usage), but it is the people who know how to reassign the licenses appropriately or buy more. It is easiest to consider the three areas in this way: the people establish and execute the process, program the technology, and review the results. The key to success is the people.
One other consideration is partners or service providers. These outside organizations are providing more and more operational support to permit organizations to focus on their core areas. The partner technology hardware and software asset needs must be factored in the Enterprise Asset Management people, process, and technology. Further, when determining the optimal vendor model, Enterprise Asset Management should have a seat at the table to help guide the pricing strategies as the outsourcing will have a germane impact on risk (Hardware Asset Management) and cost (Software Asset Management).
Keys to successful EAM
For companies going through mergers and acquisitions, Enterprise Asset Management is a strategic part of the equation and all three areas (people, process, and technology) are leveraged to provide value. Imagine trying to normalize all the technology hardware to a few preferred vendors or suppliers when each company has its preferred partners. This could result in buying – or replacing - thousands of pieces of technology hardware. Conversely, imagine trying to calculate the licensing needs for each software title, negotiate new agreements for each because the licensing needs have changed, and trying to marry the software to the user personas and technology hardware. In each case, it takes people, process, and technology to yield the expected value.
The role of Enterprise Asset Management is strategic and can be a useful tool for leaders seeking to reduce risk and cost. But, doing so requires harmony in people, process, and technology.