The Provance Blog will provide you with expert advice, insights and opinions in regard to IT Service Management, Microsoft, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft System Center.
Typically, IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Asset Management (ITAM) are implemented in separate areas of the organization with entirely different business objectives and mandates. Some of their underlying processes, however, are already highly interrelated; they often share the same technology and data. If you combine them within a single application and single platform, you can achieve greater value and organizational impact. This post is going to detail how this can be done with Provance ITSM.
Time to Change
The first question many of you may have is if we’ve operated with limited interaction between ITSM and ITAM for a long time, why bother changing? First, enormous synergy and economies of scale can be realized by combining and consolidating the overlapping ITSM and ITAM processes, technologies and data. Second, there are some trends that will undoubtedly impact both ITSM and ITAM, including:
These trends will put increasing pressure on IT to become more efficient, effective and service orientated in how they run their IT operations. Although I think these trends may be challenging for IT, they are not only surmountable but will be quite beneficial. For example, picture a scenario in which an employee goes to the self-service portal and they are having problems with their Microsoft Surface. A Bot responds by looking up the asset record history and communicates that there’s less than 30 days until a planned refresh. The employee chooses the refresh option and is given a service catalog of options to choose from. Once chosen, a change request is automatically set up along with the necessary approvals needed before a new asset is ordered.
Share Knowledge and Integrate Activities
When you share knowledge and coordinate the activites between Service Desk agents and Asset Managers, you’ll achieve more efficient and cost-effective ITSM and ITAM. Below, I’ve outlined some specific benefits for each discipline.
Benefits for the IT Service Desk
You can speed up incident resolution and the fullfillment of change requests by making supplemental cost, contract and organizational detail – normally only available to Asset Managers – viewable by the Service Desk. Simply providing access to the ITAM knowledge base can improve MTTR, volume of calls/emails/chat/sessions processed, and customer satisfaction.
Here’s a scenario for you. The hard drive on a rack-mounted server supporting a critical application has failed, and is recorded as an emergency ITSM incident. With ITAM data about inventory and location easily available, the Incident Resolver can determine that there is an identical server of the same make and model available in storage. The Incident Resolver submits a Change Request to have the failed server immediately swapped out with the replacement in in the Change Request the Incident Resolver can specify the warehouse location of the replacement, its serial number and asset tag for proper identification, and can pinpoint for the Service Technician the exact building, room, rack and slot of the server to be replaced. In this example, supplemental ITAM information supports the most rapid resolution of an ITSM incident.
Access to ITAM information also fosters more cost-effective ITSM decisions. With knowledge of hardware warranty coverage, support contracts, leasing agreements, refresh dates, and unused inventory, a Service Desk agent can quickly determine what course of action meets the operational requirement at the lowest cost. And, of course, companies that have a better understanding of actual business service costs, will make better decisions regarding service levels.
Benefits for IT Asset Managers
The IT Service Desk is an important check point to capture and validate ITAM information. Details captured during ticket management, such as assignee, location, and life cycle status will greatly improve ITAM effectiveness.
By having ITSM information available, Asset Managers can factor ITSM information into their decision-making process with respect to make and model selections, refresh planning, and other business and financial decisions. They will also be able to take incidents, problems and service requests into account when assessing the total cost of ownership of an asset as well as vendor rating and agreement management.
And finally, applying ITSM process to common asset management functionality helps with inventory. For example, Asset Managers can benefit if all IMACD (install, move, add, change, dispose) requests are handled as service or change requests, thereby tracking and putting them through a series of approvals, which ensures more control and helps prevent assets from being accidentally lost.
Support ITSM and ITAM with a Common Platform
The best way to support the combining of ITSM and ITAM is with a common platform, which goes beyond mrere integration and instead uses a single architecture, a single database, and a single UI to deliver exceptional service and asset management. With Provance ITSM, which runs natively in the Dynamcis 365 platform, ITSM and ITAM can share the same workflow engine, the same database, data and information. Leveraging Provance ITSM for both ITSM and ITAM eliminates the need to re-qurey or re-enter the same information on several occasions and into several different programs. Updates from the ITSM group can be immediately seen by the ITAM group and vica versa, so all decisions are made with real-time and up to date information. Working with real-time data helps the Service Desk and Asset Managers make better, more informed and cost-effective decisions.
Want more info regarding Provance ITSM asset management capabilities? Watch this webinar.
 Leggett, Kate. Trends 2016: The Future of Customer Service. January, 2016.