Every week we share our expert TIP with you.
#34: Sharpen your license consumption, check your device status
Completeness of data is key for IT Asset Management. Companies should always pursue and try to achieve a complete and reliable inventory database (CMDB) before creating compliancy and optimisation reports based on that inventory data.
The first step is to discover the whole infrastructure within all business units of the company. From experience we can tell that it is too ambitious to achieve a coverage of 100%. It is more realistic to reach a coverage of around 90% regarding your inventory database.
However, after discovering the “whole” infrastructure you should not rely on the data yet. The so called “Business Data” will not be picked up automatically by any magical inventory tool. Business Data is data that can be classified as:
- Geographical locations;
- Business Units/Departments;
- Cost Centers/Legal Entities;
- Role/Environment (Production/Test/Acceptance/Development/Standby);
- Status of a device.
This data is relevant as publishers can determine restrictions and exceptions based on the criteria as stated above. It is possible that a publisher creates terms and conditions that oblige a company to only use specific applications within the Netherlands, or that a company only needs to pay/report for production devices. It is necessary to have this information available within your ITAM tool to make this distinction for devices (and as well as for specific types of users).
For some companies it is possible to determine the role or status of a device based on its naming convention, but this deviates from company to company. This is why there is no out-of-the-box solution available to deal with this challenge.
Status of a device
One of the most beneficial, and low effort achievements, is to synchronise the status of a device. During its lifecycle, the status of a device can be changed to several values that can be considered as “inactive”. Since applications are not actively being used anymore, an inactive device should not be consuming license entitlements and should therefore be excluded from reconciliation.
Fortunately, ITAM tools do have the functionality to exclude devices from reconciliation once they have an “inactive” status. The only problem is that this status will not be updated automatically. All devices will be considered as active until an end-user tells otherwise.