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The modern business domain is essentially a digitally-driven field. To survive and prosper in the cut-throat competition of today, companies make extensive use of hardware of different kinds, where CRMs, ERPs, specialized mobile apps, and other enterprise solutions dwell. The wisest of them invest in IT integration services whose best practices aim to ensure that all types of software play well with each other. 

However, most organizations tend to focus on some aspects of the functioning of their IT environment and fail to realize that multiple endpoints and solutions form a complicated and ramified system that should be taken care of in its entirety. It is quite a tough row to hoe, or would be, if not for ServiceNow IT asset management software. This ITAM platform streamlines and facilitates all efforts enterprises make to implement an across-the-board strategy of managing high-tech assets a company owns.

Aspects of Asset Management in ServiceNow

ServiceNow IT Asset Management example

ServiceNow asset management in the IT sector covers three domains.

  • ServiceNow hardware asset management (HAM). This process embraces the life cycle of all enterprise equipment, starting with its acquisition and ending with the final disposal of machines that no longer satisfy user requirements.
  • ServiceNow software asset management (SAM). This is responsible for strategic planning, decision-making, and budgeting related to purchasing, using, and phasing out software resources a company utilizes in its workflow.
  • ServiceNow cloud management. This type of ServiceNow ITAM is used to provision cloud services and infrastructure with an emphasis on cost transparency and consistent administration. 

Let’s have a closer look at each element of comprehensive asset management in ServiceNow.

Zooming in on ServiceNow Hardware Asset Management

Before discussing ServiceNow HAM, it is necessary to make clear what equipment is meant under the umbrella term of enterprise hardware. As a rule, it includes:

End-user Devices

Here belong all gizmos that personnel utilize in their daily shop floor processes. Alongside the company-owned desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones (and SIM cards in them), and other gadgets, personal devices that employees use to perform business-related assignments are considered the organization’s hardware assets as well.

Networking Hardware

This is auxiliary equipment (routers, switches, video conferencing, and other telecom systems) leveraged for the transmission of all kinds of data between endpoints and users.

Data-center Machinery

This category embraces not only servers used for data storage but also other equipment (for instance, utilities or security devices) that allow for the seamless operation of such servers.

Peripherals

The efficient functioning of a modern office is impossible without printers, scanners, projectors, headsets, etc. Moreover, even such minor elements as cables and adaptors are covered through ServiceNow hardware asset management.

The outburst of the global pandemic has mainstreamed the concept of remote working. That is why ServiceNow HAM aims to make sure that, together with all such equipment located on-premises, the hardware that remote workers operate out of their homes meets all requirements of the company.

ServiceNow IT Asset Management example

ServiceNow hardware asset management handles the entire life-cycle of all this machinery, which includes the following components:

1. Request

Enterprise hardware must conform to a whole range of conditions, such as technical requirements, cost, compliance, etc. But all of them boil down to two basic questions: What hardware do we need to fulfill our business needs? And what budget do we have to acquire it? Once you figure out answers to these questions, the request for hardware that will be the best fit is submitted.

2. Fulfillment

When you know what to look for, you start to sift through available vendors, consider the scope of technical support and warranty they extend, and gauge the compatibility of the machinery they offer with other IT resources your company has. In case the enterprise encourages a bring-your-own-device approach, the fulfillment stage of the hardware-focused ServiceNow ITAM should ensure the security of personal gadgets and their access to internal environments.

3. Deployment

When the hardware is at your disposal, you must deliver the device to its future working area, configure it, and integrate it with other assets it should work in agreement with. End-users of this hardware should be briefed on the acceptable-use policies and agree to follow them.

4. Monitoring

While the equipment is being employed, authorized employees must track its performance, prevent its leaving the designated location, and forestall all malfunction risks (which grow proportionately with hardware aging). A specialized reporting tool of ServiceNow ITAM can help you control the whole IT infrastructure and optimize resource consumption within it.

5. Maintenance

This stage presupposes not only regular service sessions, updates, upgrades, or emergency repair. Specialists must also be able to identify whether the asset can still be exploited or should be retired and recycled.

6. Retirement

Once the equipment is no longer functional, serviceable, or/and secure to operate, it must be decommissioned from active use. In this case, all corporate data is removed from the device, after which it can be sold, donated, recycled, or disposed of in any appropriate way.

ServiceNow asset management solution for hardware enables the creation and management of a HAM data repository, monitoring contractual and inventory details, and automating the lion’s share of HAM-related processes. 

ServiceNow Software Asset Management Scrutinized

ServiceNow SAM aims to track the software assets of an organization through essentially the same life-cycle stages as those of hardware components—from demand to retirement. However, the nature of the digital assets necessitates quite different tools involved in ServiceNow software asset management.

Software Inventory 

All solutions the organization employs are listed there, with the relevant data indicated (file info, title, size, version, date of creation, and product ID).

License Management

This solution is, in fact, a repository instrumental in the license reconciliation of data furnished by inventory tools. By leveraging its best practices, companies can keep a strong license position and get timely notices where their software is under-licensed.

Software Metering

This tool enables the determination of software utilization in hard numbers, as well as indicates whether it is in compliance or not.

Access Control

This element of ServiceNow SAM is honed to define access to certain software or even certain areas of an enterprise solution. In this way, you will be sure that no unsanctioned person is allowed to handle secret business data.

Patch Management

Once such patches are necessary, mechanisms of software asset management in ServiceNow see to it that they are automatically deployed to all solutions the organization utilizes. In this way, all professional software is kept up-to-date and security compliant to exclude breaches and leakages.

ServiceNow software asset management comes in two versions. SAM Basic is quite limited in the scope of its functions, so it is recommended to make use of ServiceNow SAM Professional. This is a fully-featured platform that receives data feeds from ServiceNow Content Service and can perform all asset management tasks related to the enterprise software.

Managing Cloud Resources with ServiceNow

Any contemporary enterprise solution is crippled if it doesn’t make use of the vast scope of opportunities provided by cloud technology, and ServiceNow IT asset management lends a helping hand in administering cloud-based technologies. 

  • SaaS. You can manage Software as a Service solutions by keeping track of acquiring, implementing, renewing, and licensing all such applications the organization employs.
  • IaaS. Since Infrastructure as a Service is all about data warehouses hosted in the cloud, you can control the utilization of its data storage and capacity.
  • PaaS. Platform as a Service provides a deploying environment for the cloud-based apps the company runs. Its management consists of purchasing resources from a cloud provider for app deployment and monitoring their usage to stay within budget or usage contract.

By leveraging ServiceNow, you can order cloud services, schedule daily operations with cloud-based solutions, conduct audits, deliver efficient services across multi-cloud environments, and govern all assets deployed in the cloud.

Whatever IT resources are covered by your asset management strategy powered by ServiceNow tools, it brings numerous perks in its wake.

Benefits of IT Asset Management

ServiceNow IT Asset Management example

What boons do you receive by onboarding ServiceNow asset management software?

Single Source of Truth 

When assets are tracked by a bunch of people, no one has a comprehensive picture of the organization’s assets. With ServiceNow, you get a centralized and consolidated record of every app and keyboard the company owns and can make knowledgeable decisions guided by this awareness.

Cost Saving 

Once you have a complete overview of all resources of the company laid out fair and square, you can calculate your expenditures down to the penny and expose areas where you might cut down on cost. You can also avoid regulatory penalties related to the failure of the compliance policy.

Time Saving

Any piece of data you need can be found lightning-fast. Plus, the automation of a slew of workflow processes (updating software, renewing licenses, launching software and hardware requests, monitoring compliance, etc.) leaves you more time for pursuing more productive or creative activities.

Streamlined Audits 

With all asset-related data at your fingertips, you can conduct swifter and more efficient checks and audits of any aspect of the organization’s functioning. 

Optimized Usage

Well-organized management of all resources is a safeguard of proper usage of both hardware and software by employees, improved equipment loss prevention, and curtailing waste. 

Increased Compliance and Security

When armed with a complete roster of assets, including those that are vulnerable to various threats, security teams can map out comprehensive coverage policies and ensure compliance with established regulations.

Augmented Productivity 

All the previous boons accrue to translate into this one. An adequate asset management strategy implemented via the utilization of ServiceNow tools ushers efficient workflow procedures when employees can predict impact, forestall emergencies, and boost the overall efficiency of the organization.

To make the most of all these benefits, companies should follow ServiceNow asset management best practices.

Maximizing ServiceNow IT Asset Management: Useful Tips

What are the essential steps that will help you excel at asset management?

Get Universal Buy-in

Naturally, IT asset management is the core task of the tech department. Yet, even the most diligent effort of the IT personnel is doomed to defeat if other employees are indifferent to it or—even worse—give the job the cold shoulder. It is especially true if the assets to be managed are distributed across multiple subsidiaries. 

To get all stakeholders involved in the process, the top brass must provide effective two-way communication between the tech crew and the rest of the staff. The latter must be aware of what they are to do in the discovery of assets or measures to be taken if an equipment piece is out of order. In this way, you promote asset ownership and encourage employees to keep assets in functioning condition.

Come to Grips with Asset Conditioning

It can be done by monitoring key metrics, that is indices which control how principal metrics dovetail into business objectives. To perform such monitoring efficiently, you should start with objectives (for instance, improving purchase decisions) and keep track of all KPIs (average maintenance cost, asset depreciation rate, lease violation fines you pay) that can be instrumental for addressing this very challenge. 

The importance of such monitoring is conditioned not only by more knowledgeable strategic moves the organization is enabled to make having such data (which cover non-IT assets too, by the way) at fingertips. The availability and relevance of these records is also essential for any audits to come.

Split Ingestion into Segments

When a new asset roster is created, stakeholders are tempted to enter into it huge amounts of assets in one go. While ServiceNow Discovery can handle large portions of such data, the IT crew will certainly find it hard to ingest and verify all entries at once. 

The recommended approach is to move by entering digestible data quantities. The rule of thumb is to start with the IT department’s assets and validate the ingestion process taking this assignment as a benchmark. Later, the assets of other departments can be ingested one by one along the same lines. 

Automate Asset Discovery 

The ServiceNow platform plays well with artificial intelligence and machine learning. Such native support of these technologies enables automatic asset management via the Configuration Management Database. In this case, if the real-time status of a gadget differs from the one defined in the Database, your tech crew is alerted via a ticket and can disable the device. After that, the device user must bring it to the IT department for maintenance or inspection.

Prioritize Data Quality

Invalid or outdated data, as well as incorrect or disorganized entries, muddle asset management significantly. To mitigate such occasions, you should audit the accuracy of the data entry process and results regularly. ServiceNow has automatic tools to scan the network for new assets. If you go for manual asset input, the personnel responsible for it should rigorously follow a straightforward process of asset registry population.

Conclusion

In the age of Industry 4.0, enterprises rely heavily on all kinds of state-of-the-art assets—hardware, software, and cloud. Managing them as standalone items is a fallacious strategy. ServiceNow offers a comprehensive platform that will allow organizations to keep track of all IT assets they have across their life cycles, optimize their usage, streamline internal workflows, and remarkably boost the productivity of the company at the end of the day.

NIX United, as a seasoned player in the IT realm, can consult you on the nitty-gritty of harnessing this technology and lend a helping hand in implementing ServiceNow into your company’s practices. 

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