Successful organizations take their IT seriously. More specifically, they see their IT as a direct driver of a healthy bottom line. Any investment in the development of mature IT practices is a direct investment in organizational health. Not surprisingly, one of the IT functions that impacts financial health the most is asset management. As employees join or leave an organization, add software to their devices, interact with the help desk, or order new devices (and likely keep the old ones), costs can easily spiral out of control. Like it or not, ITAM affects all business units but when done right, mature ITAM can significantly reduce costs and empower each business unit to thrive.
Here are four ways asset management is impacting your bottom line:
As cloud based software tools like Office365, Cisco, and the Adobe suite become more ubiquitous, many organizations have a blind spot when it comes to license compliance. More than ever, it’s essential that organizations raise their awareness and mature their software compliance practices.
Software license compliance issues can show up in a few key ways at your organization:
True-Ups – With employees coming and going, do you know how many licenses you actually require? Are you paying for more than you need? Are users sharing licenses or using trial software because they haven’t purchased a license? It is important that organizations stay current with their licenses and can answer these questions at any given moment with complete accuracy.
Perpetual Software – Outdated software is a security risk, plain and simple. It can’t be patched and it requires unnecessary resources to manage. Do you know if your users are using outdated software?
Rogue Software Installs – If your compliance and permissions protocol aren’t right, employees will download and install software that you haven’t authorized. Aside from the obvious security risks, this can present major licensing liabilities as well. IT asset managers need to know what software is running, at any given moment, on each and every machine they issue.
Geographic Licenses – License compliance can change based on the country in which the licenses are issued. If your organization operates in multiple countries, you could very easily be at risk for fines. Organizations need to make sure that the devices they manage are always compliant, no matter the location.
Moving beyond the vendor audit lifecycle and developing mature ITAM compliance practice is key to your organization’s health. If your organization is audited (which happens more than you think), you could face copyright infringement fines up to $150,000 per instance of unlicensed software. On the flip side it can significantly boost your bottom line. We recently helped a large software company institute software asset management practices at their organization and they saved $600,000 within the first 6 months.
Organizations all over the world are prioritizing employee experience as a valuable attraction and retention mechanism and ITAM’s role in making or breaking employee experience can’t be understated. There are three common scenarios in which ITAM can either drive a great employee experience or be the detractor that pushes employees to move on, adding significant costs to the organization.
Scenario 1: “Welcome to your new job!”
According to Digitate, organizations with poor on-boarding programs have double the chances of experiencing employee turnover. With many organizations taking days or even months to give new employees the hardware or software they need, you can see why. In contrast, high maturity organizations have devices ready to go when the employee sits down at their desk for the first time.
Scenario 2: “I need a new device”
Employees constantly request new devices for any number of reasons. They may need a new phone because their contract is up or a new computer because their current machine is outdated. Mature companies stay one step ahead of employees, by taking proactive measures to simplify new device delivery. I.e. pre-approved contracts with one or two large cell service providers or pre-assigned machines for specific roles dramatically reducing setup and install time for IT. Whatever the reason, getting employees new devices quickly and easily is a clear sign of high ITAM maturity.
Scenario 3: “I found another job”
Managing assets when employees depart your company is extremely important. If done right, organizations can significantly reduce costs from lost devices or intellectual property. High level maturity organizations know the exact number of devices any employee possesses at any time, as well as what intellectual property each employee has access too. They have established policies when it comes to employees keeping or returning devices when they leave and they make sure no employee with access to IP walks away with company information.
Closing these loopholes can save your organization (and your department) some serious money. We recently helped a large non-profit use ITAM to rebuild and streamline the device request process so users could get what they needed without having to involve IT. We also helped them build ITAM practices into their onboarding and offboarding flow and it reduced their spend dramatically.
Have you considered the impact asset management can have on field services? At its worst, poor ITAM forces field services to gather information manually, often resulting in extended down times, inaccurate information, and a severe drop in employee productivity.
At its best, mature ITAM enables the help desk to thrive by making all essential information quick and easy to access. Device specs, device location, the patch level of any software on the device, any unsanctioned software installs, and user permissions are all at their fingertips.
Mature ITAM also empowers SecOps — letting the help desk easily monitor server or device patch levels and keep them up to date as needed. Recently we helped a large finance organization implement these exact ITAM practices within their help desk and they saw an incredible reduction ticket resolution time.
While mature ITAM practices can save you money across the board, here are some ways asset management can lower costs right now:
Bulk Purchases – Buying devices in large quantities is a quick and easy way to help your organization save.
Establish Standards – Establish clear guidelines for employees around hardware and software purchases and installations. Without policies around purchases, costs can easily spiral out of control.
By implementing these and other software asset management best practices, we recently helped a large manufacturing organization save around $2,000,000 in IT spend related to assets within the first two years.