Introducing Asset Intelligence | The Changing Face of IT Asset Management

Posted on Thursday, August 01, 2019
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By David Morgan-Frith
Head of Asset Intelligence Services

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Asset Intelligence: The Changing Face of IT Asset Management

 

Asset Intelligence is the evolution of traditional IT Asset Management, a term we use at Softcat to describe a collection of services focused on the creation of ‘actionable recommendations’ that come from the information and data you produce. 

Your organisation is generating incredible amounts of information – and a lot of noise – from technology solutions and business activities. Our asset intelligence services take this complex information such as asset data, cloud consumption, logs and software entitlement data and analyse it to effectively provide intelligence. This helps organisations drive transformation and improvements in areas such as IT asset management, public cloud optimisation and visibility, software licensing and security.

We work on the principle of capturing information and turning it into intelligence, storing this information appropriately in a suitable place, and ensuring that its available, maintained and able to support decisions when you need it to.

How do asset intelligence services work? 

First, we look at your business objectives, to ensure that we create a solution in line with your priorities. We look at where you’re headed, so we can help you get there in the most efficient and effective way possible. Then depending on the area you are focusing on, we will work with you to capture the relevant data from your estate, helping you make the right decisions based on the latest information.

Generally, we start with an assessment service to analyse your current infrastructure or assets. There are a variety of assessments for key areas of analysis, such as cloud migration, software compliance, software tail assessments and consolidation, and security to name a few.

These assessments use technology coupled with an expert consultant to bring to life this information, creating an output of actionable intelligence to support your business decisions.

Through this process, we’ve found that the information we discover can be used to develop other areas within the organisation, and our services link together to support this. For example, the results from a licensing assessment may identify a route to a public cloud migration – we can then link up with our technical cloud teams who will take the next step towards planning a migration to cloud.

Once an assessment is complete, a key focus is to maintain the information. Our assessment services seamlessly migrate into ongoing intelligence services, such as public cloud management with our Cloud Intelligence Service, compliance and renewal management from our SAM Intelligence team or even Security Event and Monitoring via our 24/7 analyst team.

Let's look at an example...

Software licensing (or SAM) is a necessary administration task which can be a pain to track and manage. All you’re after is the analysis of the information, both entitlements and asset discovery, but tracking information and storing it appropriately can instead be inefficient, and waste time. Our asset intelligence service takes a three-step process:

  • Discover/Analyse  
  • Optimise
  • Manage and Improve

In this example, we would carry out a software entitlement assessment, which looks at validity, cost, type and renewal details, to get an overview of all your software licences and renewals. This data would then be configured into a suitable repository ensuring that asset information is safe and centralised.

The valuable data collected from that initial assessment also allows us to potentially assess other areas to really utilise the data and make it work for you, for example:

  • Application Consolidation – by categorising the software information collected so we can identify similar use software to drive standardisation and cost savings
  • Cloud Migration – by providing a Cloud Assessment and recommendations to help you understand what you have now, what could be migrated to the cloud, and potential costs – and even which software entitlements can be utilised in a cloud environment.
  • Hardware Asset Inventory and Warranty Tracking – by discovering and assessing existing assets, we can create asset databases, discovering what warranties or support are in place and working with other Softcat teams to ensure you have a clear process for tracking deployments, support and retirement through to disposal.

Maintaining that entitlement information, compliance and an ongoing focus on optimisation is taken care of as part of our SAM Intelligence managed service, ensuring it is accessible ongoing to support activities such as renewal tracking and procurement.

Starting with the principle of asset intelligence, our teams work together to understand your business drivers to provide a complete solution where each element works in harmony. The next step is to implement those recommendations, and we have key consultants and technical experts to guide and support you each step of the way, from initial assessments to full managed services.

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If you’re interested in our asset intelligence services or have any questions about what has been mentioned above, speak to your account manager, or complete the form below.

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