A lot of organisations that have addressed their IT Service Management practice might be missing the cost-saving potential Software & IT Asset Management offers them. Often, ITSM and ITAM processes are present in an organisation at different levels of maturity and develop separately for some time. The most interesting thing happens when they meet.
As an existing user of ServiceNow who is looking at implementing or improving their existing SAM implementation, the ServiceNow ITAM module should be on the top of your list. It will help organisations modernise and automate their IT, slash IT costs and reduce technology risk.
Highlights of this page:
- Cost savings with ServiceNow
- Achieve Compliance, Control & Cost savings by implementing, managing and continuously improving SAM & ITAM in a structured manner
- The benefits of ServiceNow ITAM & the Softline House of ITAM®
- Softline Apps for ServiceNow
- Managing licenses in ServiceNow
- ServiceNow release overview
Next to SAM, the ServiceNow ITAM product line also features Hardware Asset Manager and Cloud Insights. It enables organisations to automate the end-to-end lifecycle for software licenses, hardware assets, and cloud. In the ServiceNow Tokyo release, an exciting new feature is the Cloud Cost Simulator. This feature allows ITAM managers to simulate the cost of moving their onpremises resources to the cloud environment before performing the migration
Creating synergy via one single platform
The implementation of SAM Pro benefits substantially from the implementation activities of other ServiceNow modules and create synergy between ServiceNow SAM Pro and investments already done in modules like ITSM, ITOM and ITBM. A perfect example of synergy is the reusability of data, creating consistency whilst maximising effort and costs. The ITAM team can piggyback, for example, on asset discovery done by IT Operations Management Discovery (ITOM Visibility).
This way, an organisation can reduce the number of point solutions, creating a significant impact on the TCO for SAM, by using a single system of action.
Cost savings with ServiceNow
ServiceNow enables an organisation to prevent recurring software management mistakes, such as changes made to the IT infrastructure without taking into account the software running on that infrastructure. Historically, the infrastructure team would make such a change and the SAM team would only discover that when there’s an audit - internal or external.
Instead of reacting to those changes, with ServiceNow they can be intercepted at a much earlier stage - because the SAM & ITAM solution is delivered on the same platform as the ITSM solution. So, when a change to a server is requested, ServiceNow will show - on the change record itself - what the license costs implications would be. Presenting the person doing the change with the full information about what they could do or whether they should approve that change - based on the financial impact. More information on this can be viewed in the on-demand webinar series brought to the market by Softline and ServiceNow.
Achieve Compliance, Control & Cost savings
To implement, manage and continuously improve Software & IT Asset Management in a well-structured manner, Softline developed the Softline House of ITAM®. It is based on the ISO/IEC 19770-1 2017 Standard for ITAM, and forms the basis of the tried and tested approach that is built on many years of SAM experience.
The approach is visualised as a house that is built from the ground up. The maturity levels are represented as floors in the house and processes as building blocks on the separate floors. All built upon a strong foundation, the management system that uses the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model as a founding principle and process for continual improvement.
Softline House of ITAM®
On the right side of the model, the three main objectives are visualised that organisations typically want to achieve with the implementation and execution of IT Asset Management: Compliance, Control & Cost savings.
In the centre of the model, the actual operational IT processes are shown: what building blocks do organisations need to have in place to realise their objectives?
The left side shows the maturity model: which building blocks must be implemented in what order to move from one maturity level to the next?
- Our Knowledge Base is full of expert tips on ITAM & SAM
- BLOG: SAM, ITAM ITAM: do you know what is what?
- TIP OF THE WEEK: Use PDCA-cycles to achieve continous improvement in ITAM.
- TIP OF THE WEEK: Continous improvement & ITAM: Apply a proven improvement method and focus on getting results.
- TIP OF THE WEEK: Collaborate with your compliance colleagues part 1
- TIP OF THE WEEK: Collaborate with your compliance colleagues part 2
Read more about the ISO/IEC 19770-1 standard for ITAM:
- BLOG: ISO/IEC 19770-1:2017 moving from SAM to ITAM (Part 1 of 3). Read here
- BLOG: Change from ‘processes and tiered assessment’ to an ‘IT Asset Management system’ (Part 2 of 3). Read here
- BLOG: Moving from SAM to ITAM: Repositioning of processes and tiers (Part 3 of 3. Read here
- TIP OF THE WEEK: Use ISO for better alignment & integration. Read here
Finally, the foundation of the House of ITAM®: the universal framework where all ISO standards are built upon, enabling an organisation to align and integrate its IT Asset Management system with related ISO systems. This foundation shows the governance model: what management processes based on ISO/IEC need to be implemented to control the operational functionalities.
The Softline House of ITAM® is based on the ISO/IEC 19770-1: 2017 standard for ITAM. It is built upon a strong foundation: the management system that uses the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model as a founding principle and process for continual improvement.
The ISO/IEC 19770-1 standard for ITAM is designed to enable organisations to integrate the ITAM system and processes with related ISO systems like
- ISO/IEC 20000 for IT Service Management;
- ISO/IEC 27001 for Information Security;
- ISO 55001 for Asset Management (non- IT assets, like buildings, cars, etc.);
- ISO 73 for Risk management.
With having the same structure and chapter layout, the focus lays on the management of the operation, and not the operation itself. Offering the possibility to easily align with other departments.
Softline is an ITAM Forum Patron
Softline shares ITAM Forum’s mission to promote and grow the business practice of IT asset management. ITAM Forum is working to create – and be a caretaker of – the world’s first, globally-recognised certification scheme for ISO 19770. This will enable organisations to demonstrate the quality of their ITAM practices. Softline’s Dennis Montanje is leading this Certification Work Stream (in his own name). Check the ITAM Forum website.
Mapping the benefits of ServiceNow ITAM to the floors of the Softline House of ITAM®
In the next paragraphs we will elaborate on how ServiceNow SAM Pro can help your organisation grow by mapping the benefits of SAM Pro on the floors/maturity levels in the House of ITAM®.
Ground floor: Management processes for ITAM
The management system uses the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model as a founding principle and process for continuous improvement of ITAM within the organisation. Softline has identified 4 ways ServiceNow SAM Pro can support organisations building the essential ground floor of their House of ITAM®:
- The stakeholders for ITAM greatly overlap the stakeholders involved in the implementation of ServiceNow’s ITSM module. Use the pre-existing investment, knowledge and involvement of crucial stakeholders to your advantage.
- The implementation of IT Service Management processes generally have a higher priority than the implementation of Software Asset Management or IT Asset Management. When an organisation links the SAM/ITAM program to ITSM by pointing out the obvious connections, the implementation of ITAM can benefit from stronger support coming from Senior Management.
- The roles & responsibilities involved with ITAM are comparable to those within ITSM, and even overlap partly. Best practices can easily be reused. By using ServiceNow SAM Pro implementing ITAM becomes the logical next step.
- The SAM Process implementation is relatively easy in ServiceNow as SAM Pro fully supports the ISO/IEC 19770-1:2017 standard for ITAM. The SAM and ITAM team leverages additional value of investments already done in the existing ServiceNow implementation (ITSM, ITOM, ITBM):
- On a company level people already have access to ServiceNow for logging incidents or requests
- Less resistance to change as ServiceNow is already fully embedded in the organisation
- Training on how to use ServiceNow is already partly covered
Level 1: Trustworthy data: Achieve compliance
Trustworthy data is about knowing what IT assets you have so you can manage them. It also includes the monitoring of changes in the infrastructure or organisation that can impact your ITAM practice, as well as securing the sensitive ITAM data against loss or unauthorised access. Think of:
- Change Management - Place responsibility of the impact of a change in the project management organisation where it belongs. ServiceNow SAM Pro provides the possibility to auto-calculate the cost of a change or savings as part of the standard IT change request.
- Existing data can be reused! No new discovery or inventory tools for ITAM needs to be rolled out: the ITAM team can piggyback on the discovery functionality by IT Operations Management, IT Service Management and IT Business Management and utilise the data already collected, for example by SCCM.
- Synergy is increased because of a shared responsibility with ITAM processes:
- Data Management - Having a clear view on all asset data is crucial for a complete and correct CMDB, and shared by Configuration Management, IT Asset Management and sometimes even Security. ITAM becomes a stakeholder of configuration management instead of bearing the responsibility for accurate data alone.
- The ServiceNow Incident module can be used to log and track ITAM related requests such as Improvement actions/ mitigation actions deriving from license position reports and improvement plans.
- Discovery: The SaaS License Management Overview dashboard can be used to view license usage data for SaaS subscription profiles. It enables organisations to view potential savings, subscription spend, subscription usage, and subscription usage over time. Organisations can than use this data to forecast future licensing needs and optimise licensing costs.
- Consumption: connections to SaaS API’s to collect consumption data and immediately reclaim unused subscriptions.
- Rogue software spend detection: Use the ServiceNow Software Spend Detection application to track, analyse, and optimise software spending from imported financial data coming from the general ledger or expenses.
ServiceNow Cloud Insights application analyses the full range of costs associated with cloud assets, and can be used to integrate with cloud solutions like AWS and Microsoft Azure. It can discover inventory in those environments, but it can also retrieve Billing and Usage data
Trustworthy data is about knowing what IT assets you have so you can manage them. It also includes the monitoring of changes in the infrastructure or organisation that can impact your ITAM practice, as well as securing the sensitive ITAM data against loss or unauthorised access.
Level 2 - Lifecycle integration: Achieve control
Lifecycle integration is about achieving greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the IT asset lifecycle, by assuring that IT assets are managed in the most effective way throughout their lifecycle:
- Realise savings using the Now Platform to reclaim unused licenses. Workflows between departments are automated, so no manual effort (emailing of Excel sheets) is needed to remove installations or revoke software privileges, even for SaaS applications!
- No more duplication of software requests from one tool to the other. SAM Pro provides the possibility to create Purchase Order requests for new software rights, and automate requests through fulfilment, again, even for SaaS applications.
- Available software lifecycle dates such as general availability, end of life, and end of service life cannot only be used for application rationalisation, but also to determine a possible impact on business services which are mapped in Application Portfolio Management.
Level 3 - Optimisation: Achieve cost savings
Optimisation is about achieving greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness through functional focus. Focus on the contractual and financial side of IT assets, as well as the risks involved with using them:
- Performance Analytics for SAM provides customisable visualisations of potential savings or compliance risks. Implementing processes on the underlying floors of the House of ITAM® ensures the quality of reporting you need to achieve cost savings using ServiceNow SAM Pro.
- Other modules within ServiceNow ITBM (IT Business Management) such as Financial Management, Project & Portfolio Management and Application Portfolio Management work closely together with ServiceNow SAM so you can better understand your IT landscape, gain control and start optimising.
- ServiceNow ITAM (IT Asset Management) contains the Hardware Asset Management Professional and Cloud Insights modules to fully manage and understand your IT
landscape from a financial perspective.
- The module “Service Mapping” within ServiceNow ITOM (IT Operations Management) can be used to visualise and manage how IT assets fit together to form the IT Services you deliver to the business. This enables you to move from managing the lifecycle of assets to managing the lifecycle of entire IT services, providing the context and insights you need to get the most out of your optimisation efforts.
In all cases, implementing processes on the underlying floors of the House of ITAM® ensures the quality of reporting you need to achieve cost savings using ServiceNow SAM. As always, the right mix of People, Process, Technology and Data is the key to ITAM success!
New in ServiceNow Tokyo - Cloud Cost Simulator
ServiceNow has released an exciting new feature in Tokyo - called Cloud Cost Simulator. This feature allows ITAM managers to simulate the cost of moving their on-premises resources to the cloud environment before performing the migration.
As organisations are moving their resources to public cloud platforms like AWS and Azure, this feature enables ITAM Managers to make the right decisions in their cloud migration journey, by helping to answer questions such as:
- Which on-premises workloads or services could be moved to the cloud and lead to maximum cost savings?
- Which is the cheapest and most optimal cloud to migrate their on-premises workloads to?
Cloud Cost Simulator feature outcomes are:
- Decision support for migrating your workloads to AWS or Azure clouds
- Understand your cost with and without BYOL benefits
- Leverage automated recommendations to migrate software/hardware that is nearing the end of its life cycle and virtual
- machines running on low utilisation
Softline Apps for ServiceNow
SAM Performance Dashboard App for ServiceNow
Softline created the SAM Performance Dashboard, an app specifically created for the ServiceNow environment. This app brings a central dashboard that helps the ITAM and SAM teams to monitor the functional and technical processes within ServiceNow SAM. The app comes in the new “Workspace” that introduces a complete new look and feel to the ServiceNow platform.
With the SAM Performance Dashboard, organisations are able to see the exact status of their functional and technical processes within ServiceNow SAM at a glance. An administrator normally needs to look in different areas of the platform when troubleshooting SAM related topics. The SAM Performance Dashboard shows all relevant processes into a single dashboard. Data is transformed in actual information that can be used to uncover incompliance and realise potential cost savings that are otherwise overlooked. Some of the widgets show data that cannot be easily gathered within the ServiceNow platform, but with the SAM Performance Dashboard it is accessible to a SAM admin.
This app fits perfectly with Softline‘s mission of helping customers to mature their ITAM and SAM practice and furthermore emphasises our strong partnership with ServiceNow.
See the SAM Performance Dashboard App in the ServiceNow Store
Check out the on-demand demo on the SAM Performance Dashboard for ServiceNow
Asset Verification Workspace App for ServiceNow
The Asset Verification Workspace has been developed to support companies with their data verification processes. The most important goal of this application is to improve data quality and making the ServiceNow CMDB (and possibly other sources) more trustworthy.
Verifying data from different sources can be a time-consuming and manual (error-prone) effort. To improve data quality it is key to make sure your CMDB data is accurate and complete. The other way around, it is also important that your third-party security or IT Asset Management tool has trustworthy and complete data.
The Asset Verification Workspace is a native ServiceNow application that can compare asset data from multiple sources and identify gaps and report on lacking data quality.
Available in the ServiceNow store from December 2022.
Softline SAM & ITAM Knowledge Base
Softline has developed an online knowledge base with expert tips, eBooks, on-demand webinars and more - all on Software Asset Management & IT Asset Management!
So, whether you are looking for some quick tips or inspiration to help you in your daily work, you have questions about ITAM processes, tooling, software licensing, or you want to how to gain support in your organisation for your SAM / ITAM strategy...
search the Softline Knowledge Base!
Find tips on for example:
- Implementing ITAM
- Cost savings
- Trustworthy Data
- IT Asset Visibility
Other Insights on ServiceNow ITAM
The webinars are available to watch on demand. Visit the download page to request the session of your choice:
Case study: Covéa Insurance
With ServiceNow ITAM, the company will be able to simplify audits with fast access to data and better visibility of its IT estate to ensure compliance. “Eventually we’d like to be able to onboard partners to our platform to enable us to go to market quicker and take on more business, but the first step is getting a solid foundation in place,” explains Deborah Mulderrig (Digital Asset Manager, Covéa Insurance). “Although we’re early in our ServiceNow journey we’re expecting to make savings on software, efficiency gains, and reduce the volume of support calls.”
Read more about the Covéa Insurance case