How ITAM Enables One of Gartner’s Top Technology Trends for 2017

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4 Ways RFID Can Help You Meet ITAM Objectives

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A Recipe for Success: Optimizing IT for Financial Value

GettyImages-479204066It goes without saying that we strive to be successful, both personally and professionally. When it comes to the latter, how can you be sure that the decisions you’re making are leading your business down the path of financial success?

The answer can be found in how you’re evaluating the decisions you’re making and ultimately adjusting to those results.

Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) found a direct link to the number of metrics in play and businesses and organizations who saw themselves as ‘more successful’ in optimizing IT for financial value.

The top three priorities were:

  1. IT CapEx costs
  2. The cost of delivering IT services internally
  3. IT OpEx efficiencies

When asked about the main challenges and hoped-for benefits of optimizing IT for financial performance, the number one answer to each respective question on the EMA survey was improved operational efficiencies.

So what’s the recipe for success? EMA’s data suggests groups can become more successful by focusing their efforts on the following areas:

  • IT Budget – 38 percent of successful organizations had an IT budget that grew more than 50 percent
  • Organizational values – Single coordination across silos, IT executive suite leading the way, CEO-level involvement
  • Discovery – More discovery/inventory tools overall, real-time updating, devote more time to reconciling data discrepancies
  • Service modeling – CMDB or a CMS deployed and ADDM capability deployed
  • Automation – More automation technologies deployed
  • Service catalog/app store – Least successful organizations don’t offer these option
  • Audit – Those who spent more time preparing for audits felt they were prepared for security-related vulnerabilities
  • Business technologies and analytics – Analytics for IT impacts on business outcomes, analytics in support of partner-related business process optimization, workflow automation for processes for linking business and IT stakeholders, and IT governance targeting
  • Metrics – Most successful organizations have at least five metrics in place, versus two for the least successful
  • Challenges – Tackle challenges such as lack of IT-to-business stakeholder dialog, fragmented technologies, sharing data effectively across IT silos, associating cost data with other parameters

EMA suggests using this data to develop a personalized plan for your organization. See how LANDESK can help you tackle some of these challenges and achieve greater value in your IT.

Screenshot 2016-11-22 12.16.36

Invest in These IT Strategies to Boost the Value of Your IT

laptop and financial chart with glowing points on abstract background.The mobile revolution has changed the way many workers perform their jobs. A smartphone or tablet can provide many of the tasks once exclusively limited to a desktop. This has created an even greater remote workforce, able to interact with customers and co-workers from anywhere. This concept isn’t lost on IT organizations, who are adapting to serve this mobile revolution.

According to a recent survey conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), 40 percent of respondents said their ITSM operation supported a mix of desktop and mobile devices. Respondents indicated that the top challenge for mobile endpoint lifecycle management was understanding all endpoint costs on a per-owner basis for mobile and non-mobile.
Another sticking point was data, which EMA found is a key metric of optimizing IT for financial performance. Data is a broad term. EMA reveals that successful organizations are able to sort the ‘good’ data from the ‘bad’ in order to make more valued decisions.

The survey showed that workers spend, on average, about 10 hours a week resolving data accuracy issues. Those who considered themselves ‘extremely successful’ in optimizing IT for financial performance spent as much as 25 hours per week reconciling data from different sources. According to EMA, this shows that data management is critical, but there is serious room for improvement due to a lack of tools to help organizations achieve this.

Businesses are also finding savings in Green IT where desktop power consumption, VDI power efficiencies, and data center power consumption were the top three priorities. IoT trends followed suit, with many organization’s ITAM operations dedicated to lowering utility and power costs, followed by building and facilities costs.

As for future investments, those who responded to the EMA survey said their organization was eying the following financial optimization initiatives in the next year:

1. Workflow/automation for processes linking IT and business
2. IT financial planning analytics
3. Executive dashboards for sharing information with IT
4. IT governance analytics targeting ITSM efficiencies
5. Executive dashboards/reporting between IT and business stakeholders

EMA points that these results show many organizations are looking to the above solutions to unify IT and use that information to influence business-related decisions.
See how LANDESK can help maximize the value of your IT and save money with award-winning solutions and products.

Screenshot 2016-11-22 12.16.36

Trendspotting: Is Your Organization Optimizing IT for Financial Performance?

GettyImages-494940062Running IT as a business isn’t just a catchphrase; it’s now an important requirement for corporations and organizations trying to remain competitive and profitable.

But what does “running IT as a business” really mean?

That’s a gray area according to Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), who state that traditionally defined markets will isolate where IT needs to invest in order to increase value and minimize cost.

However, the industry struggles to define the cultural drivers surrounding IT’s move to more effectively align with business needs.

EMA survey

In an effort to shed some knowledge on this situation, EMA launched an investigation into the finer points of optimizing IT for financial performance. They surveyed 250 IT and non-IT stakeholders in North America and Europe, working in enterprises and organizations with more than 250 employees. It’s important to mention that a majority of the respondents (35 percent) were IT managers, and that 37 percent were at the director level or above.

Here are some of the interesting trends EMA discovered:

  • Non-business IT stakeholders were twice as likely as IT execs and IT professionals to prioritize improved IT-to-business alignment.
  • IT budgets are growing at a rate of more than 10 percent, with the average response reflecting a budget of more than $10 million annually.
  • The survey revealed that the top four internal organizations leading the drive to optimizing IT for financial performance were: IT executives, IT operations, ITSM, and ITAM. Surprisingly, only two percent responded that no one single group was leading the initiative in this area.
  • There’s a strong link between having a single coordinating organization across all silos of IT and success in optimizing IT for cost and value.
  • There was little separation when it came to defining what companies defined as their top IT financial priority. According to the survey, 16 percent said optimizing IT process efficiencies was their top priority, versus 14 percent who indicated that improving overall IT-to-business alignment was their primary focus. 10 percent pointed to preparing for audits as their top priority.

As per audits, results showed that organizations spend on average 30 hours consolidating asset inventory data and an additional 30 hours collecting asset entitlement data for a major audit. That’s significant considering the options available for tracking and inventory of software assets.

Another surprising observation is how companies are managing the assets they already have. EMA’s survey revealed that 35 percent of respondents were doing weekly discovery or inventory, with just 21 percent performing the same actions in real time. They’re also using a wide range of solutions to perform that task, with the average answer indicating that anywhere from 12-19 different tools were used across an organization to discover assets.

EMA discovered that in addition to workflow automation and IT process automation, more companies are incorporating analytics-driven automation to support financial optimization. That change shows that more companies are taking notice of the role IT plays in driving financial optimization.

Cloud-based solutions are on the radar of many organizations. EMA found that 35 percent of those polled viewed cloud as integrated overall with their broader approach for optimizing IT. According to respondents, cloud’s biggest challenges were security-related, with many saying security compliance for audits was their top concern while optimizing cloud processes for value and cost ranked more towards the bottom. One thing is for sure, cloud-related spending is growing at a 10 percent rate annually, with the average organization devoting 30 percent of their IT budget to support cloud services, according to the survey.

Are you spending to invest in the future of your IT, or are you dedicating your budget to just fighting fires? Let LANDESK show you how you can solve the biggest problems facing your IT, while helping your organization prepare for the future.

Screenshot 2016-11-22 12.16.36

No More ‘Small, Mid-Sized’ Businesses: Size Is out—Maturity Is In

Map pin flat above city scape and network connection conceptAs we approach another new year, some may already be thinking about resolutions for 2017.

Here’s a suggestion: Stop talking about your company in monolithic, size-focused terms such as “SMB” (“small to mid-sized business”) or “large enterprise.”

In all but the smallest companies, there is rarely if ever a situation where one size fits all. Why? Because in most enterprises (regardless of size) multiple initiatives and efforts are underway simultaneously. And while your business may be deeply experienced in some areas, some of those initiatives likely involve areas of focus at which you and your colleagues are novices.

IT presents several immediate and obvious examples. Your company may be expert in its primary business or businesses. But unless one or more of those is, in fact, IT, it’s unlikely that your company is as good at IT as it is at whatever it does best.

With this in mind, it may be more valuable and relevant to think less about companies in terms of “small” and “large”, and more about companies in terms of “start-up” and “scale-up” of specific initiatives. Or about processes that are more mature and less mature. Or environments or situations that are more complex or less complex.

Why words matter

This may seem at first like a pointless exercise in rhetorical hair-splitting. However, it turns out that how you frame discussions can have important effects on how those discussions play out and the results they produce.

Or, to be a bit more succinct, word choice matters.

Especially when you’re considering or pursuing initiatives important to your business.

Depending on the words you use to describe it, an initiative to, say, improve IT security or asset management may come across as a daunting, boil-the-ocean exercise, or as a worthy enhancement to the processes that run the business. And since every significant initiative involves engaging the support of others, how you present the initiative can have a major effect on its probability of success.

The challenge of word choice is equally significant regardless of the size of your enterprise. There are lots of smaller companies that face IT and other challenges as complex as those faced by larger organizations. And not every challenge faced by a larger enterprise is necessarily more complex than those faced by their smaller counterparts.

Another challenge: making sure the words used to assess challenges and plan solutions are based on accurate, credible information wherever possible. This means that in many cases, a central, well-managed repository of relevant information, stored and organized with an agreed-upon taxonomy, is the best foundation for communications based on or related to that information.

LANDESK solutions

LANDESK has both the solutions and the thought leaders to help you use the right words to pursue your IT initiatives successfully, and to back those words up with the best available information about your environment.

  • ITAM

Are you considering or pursuing an IT asset management (ITAM) initiative? You can read about how different people view assets differently, as well as what should be in your ITAM database, in this excellent blog post by ITAM Evangelist Patricia Adams: What is IT Asset Management?

You might also want to check out Patricia’s on-demand webinar in which she introduces her ITAM Attainment Model. There is also the very useful Info-Tech ITAM Report in which LANDESK was named a “Champion” vendor.

  • Risk management

How about risk management? Read Effective Risk Management Without Boiling the Ocean, another great post by our CSO, Phil Richards. In it, Phil discusses why a risk register aids risk and security management initiatives, and suggests some of the words that can help avoid boiling the risk management ocean.

  • Service management

Service management, within and even beyond IT? Got you covered there, too. LANDESK Service Desk combines social, mobile, and self-service support with data connectors and multiple integrations with other tools and data. Its ability to deliver a federated view of your configuration management database (CMDB) and other features are why Garter named LANDESK a “Visionary” in its 2015 IT Service Management and Support report.

Of course, we have other resources and solutions to help you succeed with initiatives in these and other areas as well. Check them out online, or contact your LANDESKAppSense, Shavlik, or Wavelink representative to learn more.

Let LANDESK help you make 2017 the year in which your organization increases the maturity of its IT initiatives and processes, to the benefit of the entire business.

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I Visited a LANDESK ITAM Customer in Chicago and Here’s What I Found Out

GettyImages-507573282 (1)I recently visited one of the world’s emerging biotech companies who pioneer solutions in rare disease therapies.

The company has asked that we not share their name for privacy reasons.

Hardware and software asset management

Aside from the task of developing new and groundbreaking treatment options, one of the main challenges the company faced was how to effectively manage their hardware and software assets.

A recent merger increased their global workforce to 25,000 to 30,000 employees. It also brought with it a number of new devices and software, all being managed by a singular IT asset management team.

One of their greatest challenges was managing all those ‘new’ assets, a task they used to do within spreadsheets and various point products. It’s not the most accurate approach, and it could potentially expose them to serious security threats.

LANDESK solutions

With solutions from LANDESK, they’ve been able to gain a deeper knowledge of what assets they have, where they’re located, and most importantly, how they’re performing.

These same solutions are also helping them shore up their IT security. Devices that potentially contain pirated software can open the door to malware, leading to costly data breaches that can permanently damage a company’s bottom line and reputation.

LANDESK Security Suite features application whitelisting and blacklisting – preventing users from putting their organization at risk.

With LANDESK Asset Central, they’re in the process of discovering and inventorying their assets in order to gain visibility on each device connected to the company’s network and the software on those devices. It’s the first step in a global ITAM strategy and a crucial task when preparing for the inevitable audit.

Previously, their IT asset management team was making software and hardware purchases based solely on requests. They’re now using LANDESK Asset Intelligence to track software installations and usage, a move that allowed them to reclaim $100,00 in software licensing.

They now know exactly what has been purchased, installed, and used. With this information, they’re able to reduce costs and better negotiate with vendors.

Many organizations are following suit, as software companies realize just how lucrative audits can prove to be.

Tracking the lifecycle of employees and their devices is also critical in the highly-regulated field of biotechnology. Having comprehensive onboarding/offboarding procedures will ensure sensitive information like patient data or proprietary assets are secure and won’t be leaked.

More benefits

The switch to LANDESK has also made generating reports simpler. Before LANDESK, it took a lot of research and work hours to generate a report on a specific topic. Now, LANDESK’s solutions allow for the instant creation of comprehensive reports across a wide-range of subsets within the ITAM structure.

The scalability and customization of tools like LANDESK Asset Central and Xtraction allow users to drag and drop the information that’s most important to them, making for an easy-to-read to display.

The benefits extend beyond the core IT team. LANDESK Workspaces allows everyone from C-level to front office staff, gain visibility into their network based on their role within an organization.

Installing LANDESK Asset Central in their environment was a breeze. One software asset manager said it was the smoothest transition he’d experienced in his two decades in the industry. They’re incredibly satisfied with the support they received from LANDESK and the products we’ve provided.

So what’s next? The company is looking to use LANDESK to automate certain processes within their IT workflow. It’s a time saving move that will allow them to focus on more important mission goals. Why not join them? Send us an email at contact@landesk.com and see how we can help you gain control of your IT environment while saving time and money.

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LANDESK Accolades in 2016—and Why They Matter to Your Business

GettyImages-491790670Before joining LANDESK a little more than 15 months ago, I spent much of the preceding three-and-a-half decades as an industry analyst, reporter, and consultant.

In all of those roles, my colleagues and I paid close attention to the accolades accorded to the vendors we followed by their peers and other outsiders. We saw many of those kudos as real-world validations that those vendors were delivering real value to their clients and partners, as well as being good corporate citizens of their respective communities.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the people and products of LANDESK have received a fair number of interesting accolades throughout 2016. Here’s a quick review.

February

April

June

July

September

Now, I may be a bit biased, but I see this list as both impressive and meaningful to any people or companies doing business or considering doing business with LANDESK.

Collectively, the accolades represent and underscore our company’s commitment to hire the best people, deliver the best solutions, and treat customers, partners, and our communities with the utmost respect.

When I was a callow young marketer, a far more seasoned colleague said this: “If I say it about myself, it’s just advertising. If someone else says it about me, it’s PR, and far more credible.”

While that colleague was half-joking, there’s a lot of truth underlying the humor. What others say about us often speaks far more emphatically and credibly than anything we say about ourselves.

So when looking at LANDESK or any other vendor, look beyond the offerings. Check out the above accolades, and pay attention to those accorded to every vendor with which your company does business, and every vendor that seeks to do business with your enterprise.

After all, you want to make absolutely sure that your company is always in the best possible company, don’t you?

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Enterprise Agility Isn’t Just About Speed

GettyImages-468796246When you hear the word agility, you think of track and field sprinters, or a running back darting through the defense at breakneck speed. Or what happens when you put jet fuel in your minivan. Well, maybe not that last one.

IT teams are learning the power of agility within their own environments and how that translates to better performance across the board.

Traditional IT service management (ITSM) is driven by stability and cost control. Detailed enterprise strategy and planning initiate requests for technical capabilities to support those plans in a waterfall style that is often slow-moving.

Although cost control remains important, the goal is now innovation and relationships with business users.

Enterprises today turn to IT as the primary means of help, and they expect IT to be at the forefront of strategy. From IT’s perspective, everything it does must be about creating business value and enabling greater enterprise agility.

What is enterprise agility?

Enterprise agility concerns the ability to react and adapt to expected and unexpected business changes and opportunities as they arise to gain leadership, market share, enter new markets, and operate in a competitive environment.

While agility encompasses numerous aspects, the constant is time. It’s the ability to identify new risks and opportunities and develop a strategic response quickly, with the flexibility to execute on the response.

The market leaders in today’s digital world are those who identify changes and respond to them with speed and agility. It’s an operational and competitive requirement for every successful enterprise. It should be no surprise that linking together IT execution and enterprise strategy within a flexible environment is the foundation of enterprise agility.

To accommodate this new operating environment, service management teams must be more responsive and adaptive to organizational changes.

IT teams must step outside the mind-set of merely supporting and maintaining email systems and such to become innovators who enable and shape business strategy. This requires changes in systems, processes, and the roles that people perform.

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