Measuring the most basic of ITAM metrics
Accurately tracking the total number of IT assets in an organization plays a fundamental role in the negotiation of IT contracts. The number of desktop computers used in a business, for instance, may guide the negotiation of a licensing agreement, and will be used as a benchmark in any planned business activities, performing a key role in that organization’s strategic growth. With this in mind, I was shocked when I read of ITAM Review’s recent findings that indicate many organizations are not measuring the accuracy of their inventory data:
Sample Size: 80 attendees of 12 Box Training Session, March 2016
Less than half of the respondents claimed to be measuring whether or not their inventory data was correct. It can be deduced then, that the remaining 53.7% are forecasting IT spend and budget based on false figures – they are at risk of either overspending or non-compliance.
Software auditors and estimated IT asset numbers
The accuracy of an organization’s IT asset count is an indicator of its ITAM maturity. A lack of visibility or an absence of exact numbers will attract the attention of software vendors, who could use an estimated total as reason to audit. A round number sounds like an estimate and so, as Martin Thompson so brilliantly puts it:
“… even if you don’t have a handle on things put your poker face on and don’t submit a rounded number!!” – Basic ITAM metrics and red flags for auditors
Discovery systems, inventory tools and Active Directory
Inventory and discovery tools should ideally provide an accurate, up-to-date and dynamic view of an organization’s total number of IT assets. SAM managers having complete visibility of all software assets to accompany the IT manager’s 360 view of IT assets is a feat in itself, but as assets can be added and removed from an organization’s network at any time it becomes even more tricky. By not testing the accuracy or coverage of an inventory solution, businesses naturally put themselves in a risky position.
License Manager 10: Working with your Active Directory
LM10 onwards deals with your constantly-changing IT network by allowing the import of active directory data alongside discovery systems to highlight any variation. The upgraded platform offers a comprehensive overview of your IT estate to ensure software licensing compliance, as well as:
- The ability to track changes in compliance and software usage over time
- A full summary of the IT asset landscape real-time with an audit trail of any changes made
- The ability to track the source of the software inventory by data repository
- Full device coverage to track and manage the % of the IT landscape currently being reported against by a recognized inventory source
- Notification of changes in data if further action is required and the ability to export these notifications
Having more frequent data feeds provides an accurate snapshot of your IT estate, which your organization’s decision makers can rely on in making business decisions regarding licensing optimization. License Manager 10 simplifies the importing of inventory data, and increases the frequency of those imports for up-to-date and accurate information.