All well-run IT organizations need a cost-effective and scalable system for acquiring, deploying, monitoring, maintaining, upgrade and retiring IT assets. Known as IT Asset Management or ITAM, these systems maximize the value organizations receive from assets that can represent up to 50% or your total assets or 80% of your capital purchases1.
Traditionally, ITAM has required large teams focused on functions such as Logistics, Provisioning, New Hires, Vending Machine Support, Inventory Management, Donation Support, E-Waste, and EOL Refresh. These teams required significant headcount and also substantial warehouse space. Performing these functions manually was clearly very labor-intensive and expensive, but it was required to achieve needed levels of asset visibility, control, value, and inventory optimization.
This old, labor-intensive model of IT Asset Management is now obsolete. Using modern automation techniques, it is now possible to deploy and operate large-scale IT asset management systems where no IT resource physically touches an employee’s device until it needs a hardware repair or reaches the end of its life. Procurement, imaging, deployment, software provisioning, ongoing support, reverse logistics and other functions all take place via automated systems or via vendors. At Milestone, we call this approach Near Zero Touch IT Asset Management. It is the future of IT asset management.
Near Zero Touch IT Asset Management provides several significant advantages over traditional IT Asset Management including:
- Support for end-users working from anywhere – from home, in the office, at a field office, at a customer site, etc. Furthermore, end users can change their work locations over time as situations warrant
- A superior employee experience via reduced lead times to receive new devices and status alerts at all stages of the workflow
- Dramatically lower labor, inventory and warehouse costs
- Superior visibility and accountability for all assets, through all lifecycle stages
- Most IT workers involved with IT Asset Management can also work from any location
Near Zero Touch IT Asset Management works by organizing the work into six basic steps:
- Collaborative Procurement, where the end-user interacts with an AI-based intelligent purchasing assistant to order a new device
- Workflow Orchestration, where automated systems process the order and submit it to a fulfillment vendor
- Zero Touch Imaging, where a vendor prepares the device and ships it directly to the end-user
- Device Reception, where the end-user receives the device, plugs it in and has all their software automatically downloaded and configured
- Troubleshooting, where if necessary, AI-based virtual service desk agents and human agents work with the user to resolve problems
- End of Life Dispositioning, where the user returns the device to corporate.
At Milestone, we are helping our clients implement Near Zero Touch IT Asset Management as a managed service, and by consulting with them on building their own systems. If you are interested in finding out more about Near Zero Touch IT Asset Management, you should read Milestone COO Doug Tracy’s new eBook called Near Zero Touch IT Assets! Click here to receive your copy.