In our previous article IT Asset Management (Part 1 – Accounted For), we spoke briefly about the need to account for every single IT Asset that exists within the environment. In Part 2 here, we explore what it means to deploy those IT Assets.
So, before we get into the “Deploy” part of IT Asset Management, there are a few areas of pre-requisite which we need to consider here.
Persona of Users / Group of Users using the IT Asset.
Standards of the IT Asset Configuration.
Way of deploying the IT Asset to Users.
First thing first, when we talk about the persona of Users/Groups of Users. We need to clearly identify who are these users and what type of work do they normally perform. We can divide the users into Departments (e.g., Finance, Sales, Support, Logistics and so on). This should give us an idea of the total number of users in each of those departments/functions. The gathering of information based on the persona of the number of users will give us an idea of how many IT Assets we require for a start.
Next, we need to determine for each department/functional team on how these users carry out their day-to-day job. Do they open more than a few spreadsheets? Or do they mainly use word processing and e-mail only? Or do they use graphics tools? Gathering such information will help us determine the next step on the type of IT Asset configuration that we need to consider.
Below is a sample table where you gather the necessary information for Persona of Users and how they do their daily job using which type of tools.
No. of Users
Typical Use of Tools
Graphics Tools and E-mail
Spreadsheets (typically open 10++) and accounting software
Web base quotation, Product Demo and Presentation tools
Once you have gathered the information mentioned in Step #1 above. Now we need to look into Step #2 the different types of Standards of the IT Asset Configuration. This step is usually ignored by many as they find it too complicated to set the standards and/or configure the IT Asset to meet their different persona of users within their organization. However, if we do not do Step #2, we will miss the opportunity to “optimize” the IT Asset so it is “fit for purpose”.
Let’s start with the marketing team persona. For the marketing team, having a large screen on their portal device is key if they have to edit graphics and video. So large memory (at least 16GB and above) would come in handy when handling large multi-media files. A good onboard graphics card (4GB of memory or more) would also be key to ensure good performance when dealing with multi-media files here.
For our Finance team that needs to generate reports and handle multiple sources of Spreadsheet data, the large memory would be advantageous. However large storage is not required as compared to the Marketing team here, as most financial data files should be stored securely on the servers. Also, a lower specification of the graphics cards can make do here as well.
As you can see from the examples above, with the profiling of the Departmental Users we can optimise the configuration of the hardware to ensure its “fit-for-purpose” here.
It would be in your best interest to ensure that you establish a “standard configuration” of sorts on the devices that you provide to your different groups/departments of users to ensure the “right fit” and help you optimise the budget as well.
Now let’s talk about how we can deploy these devices to your specific groups of users. Again, most organizations these days still depend on the manual and individual setup and configuration of devices that are inefficient, slow, resource intense and may prone to errors. Such old fashion way of deployment on a one-on-one basis inevitably increases the Total Cost of Ownership and put a burden on the IT team.
For a typical small firm with less than 50 units of devices that required deployment time of say 3 hours each. That would translate to 50 units x 3 hours of deployment time = 150 hours in total. It would take 3.75 weeks for a single support person (working 40 hours per week) to complete the deployment work itself for all 50 units of devices here.
When the total number of devices increases with the size of the organization, that would mean a resource constraint to get things done. Therefore, Automated Deployment should be the way forward here.
If you are using Microsoft 365 along with Azure Active Directory, you have tools options like Microsoft Auto Pilot, Microsoft Intune, and Microsoft SCCM to seamlessly setup the configuration profile and have a self-service deployment configured with little IT knowledge from your users to work. Such automation is key to reducing the burden of the IT team and improving your Total Cost of Ownership. The time saved using Automated Deployment can be a better channel to other value-add work as well.
Total Cost of Ownership = Is a financial estimate intended to help buyers and owners determine all the direct and indirect costs of a product or service. It’s a Management Accounting concept that can be used in full Cost Accounting or even Ecological Economics where it includes Social Costs.
In this case, one would include:
Total Cost of Ownership = Hardware + Warranty + Software License + Support + User need to learn + Electricity Consumption + Others
Should you have any questions on the items raised here in this article, do drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org and our consultants would be happy to engage and provide advisory accordingly.