In this, the last of my four-part series on PeopleSoft’s ALM product suite, I will discuss some of the key features/functions of the PeopleSoft IT Asset Management solution. Not much is known about it, but this product can provide tremendous value in a relatively short period of time, and do so with a very reasonable investment.
For real. Here’s the story.
In (somewhat) plain English, IT Asset Management (ITAM) is the physical, financial and contractual management of information technology assets for the duration of their useful life. As might be the case in your company, typically the ITAM function is delegated to pure-play third party systems that manage the use of software and hardware. In this case, the one major failing is that these systems are typically not tied back to the financials systems for financial cost tracking. This is a huge gap, because the financial analytics really provide some interesting insight into the real-world costs of IT assets, something very welcome in this economy. You start putting a price on things, and executives listen. It’s not just IT nerdery anymore.
If you look up IT Asset Management on Wikipedia you will see that the management of assets is not limited to a technical function of installing software and adding hardware, but also has a financial impact to an organization. With today’s technological sprawl, we not only need to track laptops and PCs and their peripherals, but emerging mobile platforms like smartphones and web-enabled PDAs.
There have been some excellent studies done on the costs involved in this process. From personal experience (if you’ll let me drop an anecdote on you), I can tell you that I very recently talked with one executive about an incident at his company involving mobile phones. Here are his comments:
“I own what is considered a small business, approximately 40 employees. I like to think I manage it well. We recently changed cell phones from Nextel to Verizon. In the process we had to collect all the Nextels and reissue the Verizon phone to our employees. Now in the process I knew we had spare Nextels both in the office and at a few strategic locations around the state so that we were more efficient in replacing a broken or out of service phone when something went wrong. In the big picture, considering we have spares in the office and in multiple locations, I thought it was reasonable to have an inventory of 50 phones. When we were done collecting all the phones — both working and non-working — we had a total of 83. I was shocked. Here I am, someone who thinks he runs a tight ship, and in this particular case I was wrong. This exercise opened my eyes to how something so simple can get out of hand in a short amount of time. I can only imagine the waste in larger companies with a much more complex IT infrastructure.”
An ITAM solution allows you to track and reconcile your assets so you know what your actual needs are. If you think you have a handle on things, you might be surprised to find that your assumptions don’t jibe with reality.
Too many companies are wasting money purchasing licenses/units they don’t need and losing track of the inventory they currently have. Before long, you’re standing in the executive suite trying to explain how you went $550K over budget on IT license purchases.
Besides providing robust functionality, the biggest benefit PeopleSoft customers receive is the integration to their existing PeopleSoft Financial, HCM and Supply Chain systems. The PeopleSoft ITAM application offers native integrations with the following PeopleSoft products:
- PeopleSoft Asset Management
- PeopleSoft Maintenance Management
- PeopleSoft Human Capital Management
In addition, the PeopleSoft IT asset management solution integrates with third-party asset discovery systems to automate the process of hardware and software inventory reconciliation. In real-world language – and this is important – this means that if you are using IT asset discovery applications such as HP, Tivoli, Altiris or Centennal, then you are well on your way to a fully-integrated IT asset management solution. PeopleSoft ITAM has been designed with these best-of-breed players in mind, so that each of them can focus on their strengths and provide immediate benefits to your organization.
Anecdotes and feature-sheet integrations aside, there are two other huge reasons to look at ITAM: compliance and cost-cutting. This is where the big boys live.
Compliance is a huge topic for many companies. Through 2008, Gartner said that 30% of large enterprises experienced at least one on-site software audit per year. Likewise, Gartner estimates that fewer than 25% of companies worldwide have an enterprise-wide life cycle asset management program than can proactively address risk. In any language, that’s compliance exposure.
In a similar vein, not much can be more topical that cost controls. Gartner claims that enterprises that systematically manage the lifecycle of their IT assets will reduce the cost per asset by as much as 30% in the first year, and between 5% and 10% annually during the next five years.
But Gartner saves the best for last: through 2010, customers that commit a minimum of 3% of their annual operating budgets to ITAM programs and tools can expect a 25% reduction in their total cost of ownership.
That’s massive, especially when you consider economies of scale. Rarely do ROI numbers look so tidy.
If you’d like more information on the PeopleSoft IT Asset Management Product, please drop me a line – I’d love to hear from you. If you have questions, we can help answer them. If you’re so inclined, you can nab some information related to the PeopleSoft ITAM solution on the Oracle website. If you’re into social media, hit us up on Twitter or become our fan on Facebook.
Thanks for reading. This post wraps up my (fun!) series on PeopleSoft’s Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM) suite of products. In the next week or so, I plan on talking about some of the new features and functions that will be coming out with PeopleSoft Financials and Supply Chain Management 9.1. Stop back by if this is in your wheelhouse.
PeopleSoft Maintenance Management: A Deeper Look
PeopleSoft Real Estate Management: A Deeper Look
An Introduction to PeopleSoft Asset Lifecycle Management
Sneak Peek: PeopleSoft Enterprise Portal 9.1
PeopleTools 8.5: A Look Inside
Related whitepapers (PDF):
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