You can’t fix what you can’t see, and in an enterprise increasingly relying on mobile, virtualized and cloud assets, that can be a real problem for service desk operations.
IT service management (ITSM) is a huge factor in the modern enterprise, in a sense it is the grease that lubricates the interrelationship of business processes and IT assets. Automating that interrelationship is a key goal of many, if not most organizations.
The problem is that service management requires coordination between compute, network, storage and human processes. Creating a seamless, automated flow to keep everything running smoothly is a major challenge. Incident, problem and change management usually employs some automation and some very time-consuming and costly manual processes.
Automated solutions that do exist generally are fragmented, siloed responses to specific issues, such as server patching, hypervisor provisioning and asset lifecycle management, for example.
The helpdesk operation is often reliant on email to communicate change management issues with the operations team managing endpoints.
Multiple data center platforms, physical and virtual servers, storage and mobile devices comprise those endpoints. Generally, they require too many tools—and too many teams to operate those tools—as well as too many error prone manual processes and too many custom scripts.
IBM’s SmartCloud Control Desk (SCCD) takes a unified approach to asset and service management, enabling organizations to manage these different processes together. It provides a single platform for managing incidents, problems, service requests, changes, configuration, releases, assets, procurement, service levels and licenses.
Now IBM has moved to bridge the traditional silos of endpoint management and service desk with an interface between SmartCloud Control Desk and IBM Endpoint Manager.
Traditional standalone help desk tools are limited to whatever information is entered into incident or trouble tickets, which most commonly are maintained in local spreadsheets. They generally don’t have a view of the asset inventory.
IBM’s integration provides SmartCloud Control Desk with visibility into that asset inventory, with auto discovery and inventory collection on a continuous basis. One client discovered through IBM Endpoint Manager that hundreds of users were using a version of Microsoft Office that included Microsoft Access, opened by less than half those users. The company saved USD $500,000 on software licenses and avoided more than USD $1 million in license noncompliance fines.
Most tools on the market that attempt to integrate service desk and end point management rely on resource intensive scanning that consumes bandwidth and other resources—and the information is only as good as the last scan.
IBM Endpoint Manager operates a continuous loop of agent polling on the endpoint itself to provide near real-time inventory information with little bandwidth consumption. With the added insight provided by endpoint manager, SCCD can now fully automate the change management process without any manual intervention required unless the calculated risk is higher than an acceptable level. This enables service desk staff to focus their attention on the riskier changes without slowing everyone else down.
That integration also provides the endpoint management team with a full service request management interface that incorporates incident, problem and change processes. The result is faster service delivery and complete asset management from acquiring through to decommissioning.
As IT infrastructure grows increasingly complex, it is going to take greater automation to manage the full range of digital assets. Through IBM Endpoint Manager you get real time visibility across all endpoints - regardless of type or location - resulting in more available, accurate and actionable information about those endpoints. This, in turn, results in faster cycles, increased savings and continuous compliance,