Many IT frameworks consider the value (and rightfully so) of tracking and monitoring the movement of IT assets within an organisation. The fundamental requirement to understand where a device is located, or hardware deltas that could skew a licence position that was thought to be settled, could lead to a dizzying amount of tail-chasing particularly if your IT estate numbers in the 10’s of thousands. IMAC (Install, Move, Add, Change) should act as a mantra to an IT Manager/Administrator in determining what steps to take and when, IT equipment floats from one department/cost center/country to another without so much as a nod or wink in the direction of the IT department.
And this problem is not going to disappear any time soon; the mobility and flexibility of workforces to move in ever-increasing circles means that IT’s job of tracking, supporting and managing devices is becoming more complex by the day. Throw into the mix the prospect of BYOD, and all of a sudden a career in accounting could look like the preferred option!
All, however, is not lost. Typically, we view our assets as groups of similar or identical types because it is easier to treat all software versions and editions in the Software Asset Management way, and so we can potentially resolve control over numerous installs with less key strokes than if we treated each installation as unique. Perhaps an approach that needs to be adopted in tandem might be to view our staff as assets and to consider their lifecycle within a company.
Joining, moving and leaving a company presents the biggest shift in the IT deltas that Managers and Administrators contend with; and so ensuring closer links with HR for status changes of employment should be paramount. If your Software Asset Management suite can import user data (e.g. from Active Directory), then a proactive process should be written to ensure that employment changes between a HR database and Active Directory are mirrored seamlessly (indeed, it could be that AD is circumvented altogether and the HR database communicates directly with your Software Asset Management suite). Either way, if an individual moves from one cost center to another, or another country, or another Business Unit (and licences have been scoped to that member of staff) then at least you will have faith in the data that has arrived informing you of a potential change in licence/hardware status.
This data should not be too troublesome to come by. Overpayment of ex-staff members who are no longer on the payroll is a rare occurrence; largely because such records are so scientifically maintained. By staying flexible with your mind-set, staying on top of changes within your IT estate should be easier by keeping in touch with Joining, moving and leaving data.
For a video on how this might be better managed please head over to the SAM Charter YouTube channel