To realize the full potential, we first need to understand the basics of IT asset management. To be able to accurately track enterprise software usage, all hardware needs to be discovered by scanning the network and all the devices: laptops, desktops, mobile phones, servers, etc. These devices can then be inventoried to record all the hardware and software.
Check out our Interchange IT Podcast episode below, featuring author of this post, Phil Merson, Director, ITAM Specialist.
Hardware & Software Lifecycle Management
From a hardware perspective, you must be able to track a device from the time it first enters an organization to the time it is disposed of. This tracking includes the time when the device was first assigned to a user to all its software changes or upgrades during its life in the organization. This is huge. All organizations need to make this a requirement.
Server Environment Management and Licensing
The management of server environments is even more important. These are the business-critical devices that enable organizations to fulfill the IT obligations of the business. These server environments are becoming more and more complex with virtualization, clustering, containers, and other new technologies enhancing the power of delivering the tools the business needs to function and grow.
Sometimes regulatory control drives the need to track assets, and sometimes it is purely the proactive nature of modern demands that drive the need, but we cannot escape the requirement to closely track and manage all IT assets.
Tracking and managing enterprise software licenses completes the asset management lifecycle. The knowledge of all software used in an organization is a basic requirement, but not all software can be identified through the scanning tools on the network. It’s absolutely necessary to implement other mechanisms that can ensure you’re tracking every piece of software on your network.
For example, with user-based licensing for SaaS applications we need to find the data from the scanning of the application in the cloud or via an API of the application itself.
Server licensing is the hardest and most complicated area to manage efficiently. Software vendors acquire other products with a variety of licensing metrics and bring them together into new licensing metrics. These metrics are constantly changing to keep up with advancements in technology.
For example, many server applications are licensed by the power of server, how many processors it might have, or how many cores per processor. With some vendors we see other licensing based on the core but then multiplied by a factor depending on the model of the server processor. Those are two of the most common examples we see out of the hundreds of licensing metrics available.
There are additional challenges as well, such as the complication of virtualization and the many different rules depending on the hypervisor being used, as well as clusters to help manage the growing number of servers. Each extra level of technology brings extra levels of licensing complexity, especially when most organizations are managing a mixture of versions and editions of applications and operating systems, all with potentially different licensing metrics.
Overcome the Complexity With Ivanti
So how organizations overcome this complexity, especially when vendors are auditing their customers on a constant regime to help organizations pay for the licenses they are using? Many choose the ill-advised approach of over-licensing. Sure, it’s the easiest way to avoid a software audit, but it’s also the most detrimental to your budget. Research shows that more than 75 percent of organizations are over-licensed rather than under-licensed.
There’s a better, cheaper, and more strategic way to avoid this level of mismanagement.
Your solution to hardware and software lifecycle management.
Ivanti’s suite of IT asset management products can help you discover, manage, and provide valuable insights on both hardware and software assets. Ivanti’s solutions help our customers to simplify the complexity discussed above by using best of breed technology.
Leadership through innovation is one of our main goals at Ivanti. Our IT asset management experts work tirelessly to ensure we stay at the bleeding edge of technology changes and that our products deliver a unified approach to IT.
Asset management is only one part of the Ivanti “Power of Unified IT” approach. When we introduce and integrate service, security, endpoint and identity management. We give the power of unification to our customers. It’s at this stage that IT asset management becomes far more than just hardware and software management. Rather, ITAM becomes management of the users’ consumption of IT within the digital workplace, and is ready to react to the future advances and changes.
Our unified approach to IT is designed to help organizations save both financial and physical resources through automation, provide consistent data in real time, with dynamic analysis and reports that allow IT teams to take action on this valuable information to drive the business.