High-profile IT failures are reported frequently in the news, causing many businesses to wonder if they’re next. Technology definitely hasn’t reached the bulletproof zone yet.
In July 2016, a faulty router and failed backups forced Southwest Airlines to cancel 2,300 flights. Just a couple weeks later, on August 8, Delta Airlines had to cancel flights due to an electrical component failure at their Atlanta headquarters, costing them millions of dollars. A similar incident took place in 2011, when most of Amazon’s cloud hosting went down.
The Strathclyde Emergencies Coordination Group reports that after suffering a critical IT failure, 80% of businesses go out of business within three years. The reason they can’t recover is that the planning stages were not completed before the event. Being unprepared for a data disaster is a ticket to failure.
Smart organizations take these examples as motivation to better manage their own IT systems so they don’t end up on the chopping block with lost revenue and upset customers. However, despite their sense of urgency, they don’t always know where to start.
If you haven’t implemented an IT asset management system, or you’re aware that your existing system needs improvement, you’re in the right place to learn how to get some leverage. The secret? Automation and ITIL.
Automation is always your best leverage
Regardless of your industry, automation is always your best leverage. If you can get something done faster, more accurately, and by using fewer resources, jump on it.
The most effective automated IT asset management systems will utilize the ITIL framework to maintain standardization of the selection, planning, delivery, and support of all IT services. ITIL standards will drive the success of the system.
Under these standards, the customer needs are systematically identified, addressed, implemented, and monitored for opportunities for improvement.
ITIL standards minimize service disruption and demonstrate the true value of your services clearly to your clients. ITIL also supports your business to:
- Identify and focus on the highest value activities
- Serve customers with varying requirements
- Tailor relevant metrics to help you make decisions
- Automate tasks and apply lean principles to your work
- Help teams understand the impact of interdependencies
Spreadsheets aren’t an asset management system
Two decades ago, it was acceptable to use a spreadsheet to track your assets. If that’s your strategy today, it’s going to hurt you. The data you need to document and track far exceeds the capabilities of even the most perfectly programmed spreadsheet.
It doesn’t make sense to continue using something once it’s become outdated. Using a spreadsheet to track devices and serial numbers might work for a small team, but it won’t work for a large corporation. Even with a small team, updating a spreadsheet is tedious, time-consuming, and you’ll always be missing important information you just couldn’t put in the document.
Using a professionally programmed automated system is the only thing that’s going to help you. One of the top tools in the industry is made by CMDBuild.
Utilizing an IT asset management tool like CMDBuild READY2USE bypasses the need to create a crude system in Excel. Their asset management workflow “manages the requests for materials and order issues, the CI delivery and acceptance, the CI assignment and loan to users, the CI transfer among users or seats or warehouses, the CI disposal and scrapping.”
The software also includes other ITIL compliant workflows, like Incident Management, Request Fulfilment, Change Management, and two wizards to manage network wirings and IP addresses. It has sync connectors with other tools like Active Directory, OCS Inventory, VMware VCenter, etc. and as well an APP Mobile interface.
These are vital aspects of IT Governance management that, obviously, can’t be done with Excel.
Disaster recovery depends on good asset management
Not having the right asset management system means you don’t know the true cost of your assets. If that’s true, then you don’t know the cost to repair those assets. In this regard, not having a plan is a huge risk to your company.
If you can’t track your assets after a disaster, you’ll be in hot water. Plant the roots for getting leverage while you’re still planning your network infrastructure.
Don’t wait until it’s too late, or use a crude spreadsheet “just for now.” Creating your asset management system correctly from the start will be your biggest asset.
Currently, Larry writes for Entrepreneur, Social Media Week, CEOWORLD Magazine and the HuffingtonPost among others.