Comment Numara Software has released a report whose findings, it argues, demonstrate a need for more use of asset management software by IT professionals.
The case being made is that IT budgets have been static or reduced over the past couple of years and this cost constraint is likely to continue, meaning IT departments must make better use of their assets, which means tracking and managing them, which is best done by buying Numara software.
That's the overview - the detail is much less clear-cut.
The research found that 82 per cent of IT managers in UK, French and German organisations say that IT funding has been affected in some way, meaning frozen or reduced, over the past two years and this was notably more so in the UK.
Numara's announcement bigs this up, saying: "The consequences of this financial hardship on the IT department is already damaging with IT infrastructures becoming overburdened and unable to respond effectively to business needs."
This ignores the point that the IT department has responded very effectively to the main business need, which is to save money.
The most common key pressure for those surveyed is being able to resolve users’ technical problems quickly enough (69 per cent) (71 per cent in the UK). This is followed by 54 per cent (69 per cent in the UK) who say keeping track of IT assets in an ever-changing technical landscape is a challenge.
Almost all (96 per cent) of these senior IT professionals say it is important to have flexible asset tracking systems in the current business environment. Well, they would. In an ideal world, etc. But that wouldn't help much in resolving users' technical problems quickly enough.
The report announcement is confused about the future, saying on the one hand: "the majority of respondents in companies where IT funding has been affected expect investment to improve in 2010/2011." And on the other: "Alarmingly 63 per cent of respondents think the rest of the business may have become so used to the reduced spending that IT budgets across Europe may continue to suffer."
We're told that Andy White, Numara Software's MD for EMEA and APAC (meaning every geography outside the Americas), is "a highly experienced IT service management and IT asset management thought leader, and what he thinks is: "Recent economic circumstances have also forced many IT departments to save costs by sacrificing the human organisation.”
(Human sacrifice in IT depts? Has it happened in your shop or is this just an unfortunate translation of a Japanese press release?)
He also says: "In today’s tough economic climate, hidden costs simply aren’t acceptable, and knowing an organisation’s ‘real’ costs in relation to hardware and software assets is key. In order to do so, organisations need to have an idea of what’s in their IT estate and ensure that they have an asset discovery tool in place as part of their overall solution."
Yes and no. Maybe instead of better tracking assets the IT deportment could make better use of its budget by changing assets and, say, being bold and migrating from desktop PCs to much, much cheaper tablets.
Computacenter is working on an iPad trial at Evershed', the law firm, and Cisco has announced a coming Cius business tablet. Perhaps IT managers could think about a move to tablets and getting rid of their desktop and notebook Wintel asset estate rather than tracking the boxes and licensed software.
That's an extreme idea, but perhaps imaginative and ground-breaking steps are needed rather than tinkering with how you manage your IT assets. What do you think? ®