Monday, August 15, 2005

Asset Management Framework
The State maintains a variety of asset management tools that relate to IT (Information Technology) assets. These tools provide limited integration, and in many cases are manually maintained. Visibility into enterprise and agency IT assets is very limited. Little attempt has been made to address life cycle management best practices for IT assets.

An asset management framework could be designed as a comprehensive and customizable suite of application tools, data, and services to help the State integrate and manage multi-vendor and platform distributed systems, mainframes, handheld devices, software, and network and other IT resources.

Asset management includes the following aspects:

* Business Processes including procurement; asset tracking; financial information; IT capital planning; software license management; installs, moves, adds, and changes (IMAC); and ultimately, asset disposal or surplus.

* Assets which includes the ability to track all IT assets across the enterprise.

The illustration that follows illustrates a possible architectural framework for a comprehensive asset management system.


Architecture Framework Components

The framework illustrated incorporates the following technology components:

* Asset Repository provides the primary data store for asset information from a variety of backend data stores.

* User Interface includes the desktop services request component, customer order applications; help desk, and directory and authentication services.

* Directory services provide authentication, identification, and access control for all of the user interfaces and appropriate access to backend data stores as required with a single sign on methodology.

* Business Intelligence and Reporting provides analysis of all of the asset management transactions that feed the asset data repository. Business intelligence facilitates proactive management attention to asset related issues, such as requirements for upgrades, licensing compliance, etc.

* Discovery Tools gather data from DMI compliant assets such as computers and collect data on the device configuration including operating system and patch levels, and installations of licensed software. Utilization levels of software licenses are also gathered.

* Procurement information is gathered from agency systems used for ordering and procurement of IT assets.

* Billing and Chargeback Systems gather necessary license, utilization and compliance information to support accurate billing for network and related billable items.

* HR Employee Profile Data provides information to the directory store and other related data so it is possible to develop an employee profile that details IT assets assigned to any employee.

* IMAC tools address requests from employees for installation, moves, adds, and changes to IT assets.

* Customer Ordering Tools and Service Catalogs contain vendor information for master license agreements and potentially for all services available from internal service providers. This is the principal service provisioning tool for IT services and licensed products.

* Other External Data Sources include specialized agency data stores from asset management and related agency databases that may be locally used to gather asset management information within the agency.

* Financial Systems include access to required components of the financial software system that has been deployed by the enterprise plus and additional specialized financial information pertaining to IT assets that is collected and maintained by the agency.

* Help Desk Tools include help desk systems currently deployed within agencies.

* Portfolio Management (PM) Tools include an interface to the asset management repository for IT assets procured as project components within the (PM) system.

These components largely exist within the State's IT portfolio. If this model is sound it should be possible to build an Asset Management Framework with a combination of well defined business processes and data integration.

8 comments:

Todd Biske said...

Have you looked at tools like Flashline or Logic Library?

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