The help desk contribution to asset lifecycle management

ITSM and ITAM – why so separated?

While some organizations are still struggling on with spreadsheets and clipboards, others have the vision to apply effort to continuously evolving their ITSM / ITAM processes. With each area of activity supported by its trade organizations, annual trade shows and conferences, I sometimes think we may be missing opportunities to focus on synergies between the two areas. One quite simple example, which I bet happens very rarely, is the sharing and broader exploitation of information about systems and applications performance that accumulates in the IT support help desk issue database.

When your organization calculates its cost of ownership of a particular application, what elements of cost does it take into account?

  • Original license costs – for sure.
  • Annual maintenance costs – for sure.
  • Costs of testing and deploying updates – maybe.
  • Training costs specific to the application – maybe.
  • The costs of user downtime arising from usability issues and bugs – Yes? No?
  • The costs of issue resolution arising from problems of usability and bugs – unlikely.

Help desk – a great source of software asset information

Your help desk software, if it is of today’s standard of functionality, will be able to record several characteristics of each incident processed, including details of an application, including the version number, when it is that application that is at the heart of a user’s problem. Reporting should allow you to select any application and period of time and obtain data detailing how much analyst time was incurred in finding and applying resolutions concerning that application. This information on analyst time spent is often available on a per-department basis to support charge-back regimes, but is far less frequently summarized by application. Incident records should also include an assessment of the impact that each incident had on the user’s productivity, so that an associated cost can be estimated.

ITAM/ITSM – time to connect

All this represents welcome and productive connection between the worlds of ITSM/IT Support and ITAM/SAM. This synergy is a theme we are able to promote to our customer base from the convenient position of having software solutions in all these categories. We have the opportunity to seek out the touch points and make them happen. I cannot see the value in these areas of activity, ITSM and ITAM, continuing to promote themselves in isolation.