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JML – an IT toy story

JML: how many toys do we have to put down before we can pick new ones up?

If, like me, you happen to be scrolling your timeline on LinkedIn, then it won’t be long before a post arrives with a photo of shiny new IT equipment announcing someone’s first day at a new place of work.

And isn’t it great to see that various IT departments have their act together? Empowering new starters to be productive from day one!

This touchpoint between the HR and IT asset lifecycle is not the only one to be managed. Of course, there are also the posts that represent the flipside of the shiny new equipment – posts along the lines of “I’m sad to leave Xco after so many happy years…”; while I don’t tend to see photos on LinkedIn for people who have changed their jobs within the company they work for, even thought that may well result in a change in their IT hardware and software profile.
Inevitably, many IT assets can be carried from one position to the next, but this then places a financial load on the former department to re-supply a new employee when certain IT assets could have been left behind for the new employee to use.

The worst offender though, must be the point in the HR lifecycle when IT assets should be recovered in their entirety and that is when staff members leave a company. I’ve yet to see a photo on LinkedIn when someone brags about all the IT kit they got away with when leaving a company(!) but our (financial) willingness to write off assets after a given period due to their perceived lack of value, could be setting up Information Security breaches, or worse still, run-ons of licences being used by ex-members of staff. With our move to the cloud, SaaS becomes an ITAM paradigm shift that should see us as ITAM professionals becoming nimbler. Annual or quarterly checks of licence/ services consumption is not going to be good enough.

Of course, if the licence/ service is not released after someone has moved to a new a company, then we will experience a double-whammy that is true of on-site licences and cloud-based licences alike, by placing a purchase load on the shoulders of our company to buy new licences/ services for any replacement staff that might arrive.

Many of these issues can be avoided if HR and IT share data; how does IT support HR’s onboarding protocol? Believe it or not, HR have more to do than just concern themselves with laptops and monitors going to the right people, so ITAM could start by profiling departments for the typical equipment and software used by their current workforce. This could act as a picking/ reservation list to be presented to Service Management when new staff of a given department are newly employed. That way, if a new staff member has a particular request specific to their needs, then they aren’t starting from scratch on day one requesting the essentials.

Periodic refreshes of departmental IT profiles will flush out software and hardware trends and indeed, can start cross-propagating into the supported software catalogue to start informing guiderails and improvements for the software request process to speed up levels of service generally, not just for new joiners. Never let improvements in one process go to waste when they can start driving improvements in others!

And once your supported software catalogue and your software request process are humming along nicely, you can start to count how many new employees from your company post on LinkedIn about the wonderful IT service they received, whether or not they’re a new joiner! 😉