Although it’s never been easier to stay connected, it’s also never been more important for your help desk to work hand in hand with integrated solutions that support your entire IT ecosystem.
As we’ve mentioned before, a help desk solution is a great starting point for your IT operations. But simply having a help desk solution on its own isn’t enough if you aren’t keeping track of all the assets coming and going from your network. Although it’s never been easier to stay connected, it’s also never been more important for your help desk to work hand in hand with a suite of integrated solutions that support your entire IT ecosystem.
The Challenge: More Devices than Ever Before
We probably don’t have to tell you that almost everyone has some sort of device nowadays. To accommodate this, many organizations are allowing their students, staff and faculty to bring their devices as part of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs. Even if you don’t have a formal BYOD policy, chances are that you at least have smartphones on your campus. The Pew Research Institute reports that:
- 95 percent of all adults have a mobile phone
- Students are just as likely to have devices. About 75 percent of teens have access to a smartphone
- 80 percent of adults have a computer for personal use, including both desktops and laptops
- 50 percent of adults have a tablet in addition to all their other devices
These numbers aren’t all that surprising given all the devices out there on the market and the affordability of broadband Internet – but it poses a new set of challenges for IT. Simply cataloging the devices and software that you have in your facilities just isn’t enough anymore.
IT needs to keep track of:
- Known Devices – You’ve probably already inventoried all the hardware that you own, but location and user information is also important. This information is especially vital if you have a one-to-one device program that allows faculty and students to take devices home
- Software – From license usage to restrictions on downloads, software can be tricky to maintain. Since you physically can’t see your users carrying software around, it’s even more important to track what your users have downloaded and limit what they can install
- Unknown Assets – Since the majority of people have at least one device that connects to the Internet, you have more than a few devices coming and going from your network daily. Your organization most likely hasn’t catalogued these devices or their software, which may not be trusted
- Network Access – Organizations typically have a secure network for staff and students, but for guests, you may want to consider a separate network with its own set of security rules. In addition, you may choose to prevent students and guests from using up the bandwidth on data-heavy entertainment like social media, games, etc.
- Security – Speaking of network access, data breaches are all too common nowadays. The importance of keeping that data secure can’t be understated
To address the growing number of devices, you need to have a fully integrated suite that supports your entire ecosystem and the goals of your organization. You need to be able to use the data you collect to create insight and make smarter decisions. This is why help desk integration with asset administration tools is so important.
The Solution: Asset Monitoring & Tracking
Asset administration tools, like Dude Solution’s Insight, enable end-to-end tracking and monitoring of your assets. Without having to manually record each piece of hardware you have or software installed on devices, asset administration tools allow IT departments to keep track of all the devices and licenses on your network. You can also track how users are utilizing licenses, bandwidth and more.
There are typically two types of tools on the market for managing assets: Agent-based and agentless. Agent-based tools are installed directly on each individual device and run in the background of other programs, sending data back to your software solution. Agentless solutions don’t require you to install them on each device in order to track IT inventory, making them more scalable and easier to implement.
An agentless system, like Dude Solutions’ Insight, remotely gathers all the data on your devices from a central tool that your technicians run on the server. As long as a device is IP-addressable, agentless programs will be able to document its existence as soon as it’s present on the network. To read more about agent-based and agentless IT solutions, check out our whitepaper, “Agent vs. Agentless: Choosing the Right Solution for Your IT Assets.”
Integration for a Stronger Platform
A fully integrated suite enables your team to gain bigger insights into your operations. For example: By pairing the data from your asset administration tool and your help desk work order history, you’ll be able to more accurately project for the future. You’ll get a better sense of what devices have the most trouble tickets, the Total Cost of Ownership for your devices, what assets need to be repaired versus replaced and more. A good solution will also work hand in hand with your ITSSM, making it a strong platform for success.