Implementing IT Asset and Configuration Management: ‘Must-Knows’ Before the Start
IT Asset and Configuration Management processes are like two doors of a building where each door uses its own corridor to lead you into the same room. And this room is the hall of IT property management.
The IT Asset Management door is usually for people with IT costs in mind. In its corridor, they track physical, financial and contractual information about IT and non-IT assets to increase the efficiency of IT service provision. And the Configuration Management door is for people involved in IT service operations. Behind it, they track technical states of configuration items (CIs) and relationships among them.
As for the core elements of the two processes, an asset and a configuration item participate in different procedures and depict different sides of the same IT infrastructure element, but not in all cases. Only if an asset’s failure can seriously affect a business service, the asset gets a corresponding configuration item. For instance, Microsoft Exchange Server gets its own configuration item, since its failure impacts the email business service. Given that, some assets stay ‘alone,’ for example, a computer mouse (its failure won’t affect anything much since it can easily be replaced). And some configuration items also stay ‘alone,’ if they can’t be financially viewed as assets (say, business services themselves).
For Configuration Management, such essential processes are connected with daily operations of managing and restoring IT services:
Situation 1: If you already have Incident, Problem, and Change Management and aim to keep organizing your IT processes according to ITIL, Configuration Management should go first. The reason is, it supports IT operations and brings more clarity into IT service maintenance.
Situation 2: If you don’t yet have an established system of ITIL processes and want to first focus on organizing financial tracking of your IT property as well as clearing up and managing its life cycles, Asset Management goes first. You may not even plan to go further into IT operations and stop at Asset Management alone. However, companies rarely do so because they want to achieve greater IT efficiency by implementing more ITIL processes.
Situation 3: If you have not yet set up any ITIL process, you may include both Configuration and Asset Management into your ITIL starter pack to support Incident, Change, Problem Management, and Request Fulfillment. This will help you to cover your further ITIL process needs in advance.
To ensure better user adoption, you need to announce the coming changes upfront and then plan for future user training sessions at the final process implementation stages.
Still, one of the most important tips that you should mind throughout the whole implementation preparation process is to remember to pace yourself. Make a step at a time and don’t try to force and hustle the implementation process. Such a grand change as implementing IT Asset or Configuration Management needs to be thoroughly planned and administered to meet your set business goals.
About the Author
Pavel Rodin is an ITSM Consultant and ServiceNow Developer at ScienceSoft, an official ServiceNow partner. With 10+ years of experience in the field, Pavel focuses on ITIL concepts and ITSM tools (ServiceNow, BMC). He holds a range of certifications, including ITIL v3 Foundation, Certified ServiceNow System Administrator, Certified ServiceNow Implementation Specialist – IT Service Management and BMC Remedy AR System Skilled Professional Certificate.