Technology Asset Management – TAM
The role of technology is increasing at a rapid pace, one unseen in history. In the past, technology was reserved for the IT group. Technology has moved from operations to a strategic seat at the C-suite table in the past two years. This has translated into the need to view each piece of technology like a strategic asset. In doing so, these strategic assets must be treated in a methodical manner that maximizes the investment.
How Technology transforms the asset Management Industry?
Every organization is increasing its technology footprint because it is the technology that drives innovation. This innovation is what differentiates organizations and allows many to outperform their competition. Technology also enables automation and the ability to deliver outcomes more quickly and safely.
Consider the other drivers for this emphasis on technology throughout the enterprise. Two main initiatives within organizations are the emphasis on cloud migration and the need to be secure from cyber attacks and data loss.
With technology seeping into all areas of the organization, there is a need for governance. This governance allows for a standardized approach to enable speed-of-innovation and remain secure. This is where organizations must adapt how they govern the technology. In the past, this governance resided in IT, but with technology expanding, so should the governance. IT Asset Management has become Enterprise Asset Management as it governs the technology assets throughout the enterprise.
For the last few decades, this governance has come in the form of the ITIL standards. These ITIL frameworks have enabled organizations to create value for business stakeholders while ensuring security, continuity, availability, and IT services capacity. Now that these services encompass the entire organization, the ITIL form of governance should, too.
How much control do you have of your Technology Assets?
Having a methodical, standardized manner to onboard, track, and decommission technology assets serves as a way for the organization to treat these enterprise assets like the investments they represent. The technology assets may be hardware or software, but the Enterprise Asset Management process will guide each in a standardized way.
Think about it from a governance point of view. If technology assets, hardware, and software, are not on boarded in a strategic, standardized way, security and compliance issues will arise. The organization needs to know what assets are approved for deployment and meet the security and compliance requirements. This is one of many reasons Enterprise Asset Management and Information Security should be aligned and working together for the common goal.
Beyond just onboarding the assets, tracking them throughout their respective lifecycles enables the treatment of each as an investment. This tracking includes all financial depreciation and amortization and knowing the status, ownership, and relationship to other assets. This strategic information drives the ITIL version of Configuration Management and the Configuration Management Database (CMDB). Enterprise Asset Management tracks asset information for business and financial reasons, while the CMDB tracks each asset’s relationship to other assets. The CMDB, which is the foundation for all the ITIL processes and practices, relies on Enterprise Asset Management onboarding and tracking each asset and decommissioning.
The ability to decommission assets in a standardized manner saves the organization millions of dollars each year to avoid technical debt. If an organization does not decommission end-of-life assets, it will continue to pay for the hardware and software to support something that offers no business value. This technical debt multiplies exponentially over time. A solid Enterprise Asset Management program enables the decommissioning of assets in a manner.
Keys to successful TAM
Treating Enterprise Asset Management as an official process or practice is the first step in ensuring a standardized set of business outcomes, creating strategic value. With this in mind, Enterprise Asset Management becomes the “front door” to assets going live in the production environment and the “back door” as they are decommissioned. This process allows the ability to order a laptop or a full-blown software application in an organized manner with the involvement of appropriate strategic groups like security and accounting. From a leadership point of view, this is critical. It means that the average employee or leader cannot just order something on their company credit card without authorization from the applicable groups. Every new hardware or software asset both introduces risk and impacts current assets. Having an established process – with leadership support – enables standardized outcomes for all assets, regardless of type. This Enterprise Asset Management process lays the foundation for the rest of the ITIL framework.
The core areas of ITIL (Change, Incident, Request, Problem, Event, and Con scope’s common understanding of the scope. This understanding comes from knowing what assets are life in production. For example, you can only have an Incident on an asset in production. So, Incident Management must know what assets are not performing. Their respective attributes (e.g., status, ownership, etc.) and the CMDB will reflect the relationships to understand better what may be impacted.
The ability to treat technology assets in a methodical, process-driven manner will provide a governance mechanism for every organization.