Streamlining internal processes and removing points of friction across all functions is becoming a strategic advantage. And a major operational pain point is the effort required to manage the physical and digital assets employees use to get their work done every day.
According to Harris Interactive, 89 percent of consumers have switched to doing business with a competitor following a poor experience. Businesses are increasingly realizing the direct and significant impact that smooth employee-facing processes have on an organization’s ability to deliver excellent customer experiences.
The solution: IT asset management (ITAM).
Why enterprise IT asset management matters
The concept is simple: a system for keeping track of all your organization’s hardware and software systems, including computers, routers, peripherals, cables, and more. A complete system would also address all network assets, digital assets, software licenses, and mobile devices linked to your network. Once you have this comprehensive data, you can easily implement a set of best practices incorporating all the assets used within the organization.
Investing time and energy to standardize asset management improves efficiency and productivity, upskills employees, and helps ensure that your organization is equipped to offer a differentiated customer experience—one that is meeting or exceeding expectations.
Further, standardizing asset management helps transform your business assets from a siloed, unmanaged set of tasks into an effective, integrated component of business operations. This integration reduces friction and improves your team’s execution of all goals that contribute to a great customer experience.
What are the benefits of standardizing asset management?
Here’s how internal workflow improvements—in the form of standardized asset management—translate into improved customer experiences.
Updated IT asset information ensures quick issue resolution
If your organization has a structured information system with accurate, fully updated hardware and software information, it is much easier and more efficient to manage employee tickets. A single source of truth for your assets reduces internal bottlenecks for faster issue resolution times, allowing employees to quickly return to their core responsibilities.
Likewise, including management of hardware contracts and digital assets (such as software licenses) in your system helps ensure that critical equipment and software applications are always compliant, in warranty, and in the best shape to help you serve customers.
Actively tracking licenses also guarantees that the software tools you use to push customer requests or to pull data from different sources are always working, and there is no risk of these tools causing operational distress due to compliance issues. This gives your customer representatives confidence, as they are readily equipped to handle customer issues.
Well-maintained assets mean less downtime, safer data
To provide great customer service, it is imperative to make sure your hardware devices are in optimal shape. Devices that are at high risk for malware infection, a component malfunction, or network miscommunication can obstruct operations and eventually impact customers. Further, if such an incident occurs, you risk losing critical data.
Implementing asset lifecycle management strategies for hardware helps you maintain protocols for device maintenance and servicing. A complete system would include scheduling the maintenance of crucial hardware assets according to the guidelines and best practices set by your IT team.
As your hardware assets are major IT investments, your IT team can also provide you with maintenance manuals, checklists, and guidelines for asset servicing—all of which can be centralized for easy access. Regularly having your hardware assets serviced will enhance their lifespans and eliminate any risk of unplanned downtime that may disrupt customer service or cause a loss of important customer data.
Standardized processes boost efficiency
If your organization does not create procedures for your IT processes, then your employees likely spend a lot of time figuring out the processes themselves. This not only leads to missteps but also keeps them tied up in IT problems and distracted from their primary responsibilities.
To avoid this, use an effective system that includes standard processes for IT asset management, endpoint security management, configuration management, and incident management. By offering standard procedures, you will empower your employees to help themselves—with low impact—instead of waiting for an IT representative to assist them. Standardized processes also help reduce asset loss and theft, decreasing long-term costs.
Standardized asset management unlocks actionable insights
Tracking your software and hardware assets usage data for compliance has an added benefit: it forms the basis of actionable insights. These include (but are not limited to) understanding which devices and software tools enable the best performance and customer service, which vendors are most reliable, and which assets to buy for longer lifespans.
Tracking asset data also allows you to prepare for budgets and upcoming procurements, so you can always know when a new device or software will be needed—you will not have to disrupt operations or wait for a new one.
Asset management keeps you and your customers safe
Accurately tracking your software assets helps ensure you are following compliance procedures and reducing the risk of external audits and cyber attacks. The disruption caused by an audit or a cyber attack can slow your customer support processes and, in the worst case, compromise your customers’ Personally Identifiable Information.
A ransomware attack is one example of an extremely negative outcome that may be averted through standardized asset management. Such attacks can be devastating, both in cost and brand reputation. Proactive asset management is a foundational component of a successful strategy to reduce the risk of data breaches that may result in the loss of confidential customer information.
Maintaining detailed and accurate information about your assets minimizes risks, saves time, and improves efficiency. Smooth internal workflows translate into great experiences for your customers—what happens inside an organization matters on the outside, too.
AssetSonar streamlines the management, tracking, and maintenance of hardware and software assets directly from within the Zendesk environment. Fully integrated IT asset management enables faster issue resolution and deeper insights that improve service desk performance, increase support team productivity, and ensure excellent customer experiences. Learn more about how AssetSonar and Zendesk work together.