How to Improve Software Usage Analysis with ServiceNow and BigFix

Any paid software product successfully adopted by your teams to improve efficiency and generate positive business outcomes essentially pays for itself. In the IT industry, we refer to this kind of successful software integration as “the gift that keeps on giving.” There is no major downside to cost as long as ROI prevails in the long term. But how do you determine which software tools or features are value fountains for your organization, and which are budgetary burdens?

Software usage analysis (also known as software usage analytics, runtime intelligence, software business intelligence, or software intelligence) refers to exactly what it sounds like: the ability to collect, analyze, and visualize data on the use of software applications. It can be used by software creators to analyze usage of the products they release to consumers, or it can be used by organizations to analyze employee usage—or lack thereof—of software tools at their disposal. In this article, we’ll cover how to integrate SUA in the case of the latter scenario, highlighting the two best products currently on the market: ServiceNow’s IT Asset Management and IBM BigFix.

Think of the most productive software solution currently in your company’s inventory. Would you lose one minute of sleep if the same solution were twice the price? What if it were ten times the price? We imagine the answer is no. Indeed, an effective IT solution is worth its weight in gold.

On the flip side, now think about all of your potentially wasted inventory: unused, poorly implemented, or ambiguously performing software tools. The cost of an unfulfilled value proposition is dear, and enough to keep any business leader awake at night.

But it’s not only about costs. It’s about clutter and efficiency, security, and missed revenue opportunity. It’s also about morale. If any of the following dilemmas ring true for you, we suspect you have much to gain from carefully considering an SUA approach.

Dilemma 1: Like an old kitchen pantry, your company’s software inventory may have its fair share of cobwebs, cluttered shelves, expired products, and random ingredients no one really knows how to make use of. The task of creating structure out of this chaos is an overwhelming one. It may be tricky to even know where to begin. Moreover, it is not easy to cut one’s losses, reevaluate previous ambitions and choices, and start fresh. But imagine the boost in productivity and morale it would give your teams to do exactly that.

Dilemma 2: Your security team has the nearly impossible task of keeping tabs on hundreds, if not thousands, of employees, all of whom are running different software applications, different versions of the same software, sometimes outdated or expired versions, and often not installed or used correctly according to security protocol. What resources have you equipped your security experts with to ensure your company’s confidential assets have not been exposed or compromised?

Dilemma 3:  Software audits, if the outcomes are negative, can create a big mess out of a ticking timebomb you may have not even realized was there. It is never a pleasure dealing with the elephant in the room, but when you are protected and prepared, the challenge does not need to be a costly burden.

Dilemma 4: You know your company’s problems aren’t unique. As a savvy business leader, you also know that if enough people have the same problem, someone has to be providing a solution. However, the idea of investing in yet another tool to manage usage of all the existing tools—many of which you’re not even sure were good investments to begin with—is discouraging, to say the least. Perhaps you would prefer to have someone else who knows what they’re doing to step in to lead the way.

The light at the end of the tunnel is this: powerful solutions around software usage analysis do indeed exist. We at Trianz not only know which solutions are better than others, we have also mastered the process of molding these solutions to any company’s unique profile and integrating them without a hitch. By working closely with your team, and helping you to understand actual utilization from a global perspective, we can guarantee the quickest path to cost savings on software use possible.

The ServiceNow IT Asset Management Application rolls the physical, technological, contractual, and financial aspects of IT assets into one master key solution. Using this tool, and based on your unique objectives, Trianz experts identify the most crucial features needed to manage your assets and analyze their usage with costs, security, and timeline all taken into consideration.

ServiceNow has been our partner for more than a decade, and we recommend their solutions to our clients as we consider them to be industry-leading in terms of efficiency, user-friendliness, and security. Although their IT Asset Management Application is not overly complex, it does take an expert managed service partner to ensure you get maximum value from it as well as integrate it in the fastest, most cost-effective and tailored way possible.

IBM BigFix is a systems-management tool used for managing large groups of computers running Windows, Mac OS X, VMware ESX, Linux, or UNIX, in addition to mobile operating systems like Windows Phone, Symbian, iOS, and Android. The platform’s IBM BigFix Inventory component is particularly useful to us in our SUA approach, as it serves to gather information on installed software and hardware within an infrastructure.

Having worked extensively with this tool, in addition to competing platforms, we’ve concluded that IBM BigFix is comprehensive and adaptable enough to recommend to most of our clients, whether as a standalone solution or in tandem with the ServiceNow IT Asset Management Application

What you can expect from our SUA approach, thanks to these tools and our experience integrating them, is nothing short of a totally transformed way of using and managing software. Not only will this cut costs for your organization immediately, it will continue to generate increased business value for many years to come.

Once we have the right solutions in place, you can expect your organization to benefit quickly from the following:

  • Better control of inventory (purchased and used)
  • Reduced costs of purchasing and managing assets
  • Easier asset lifecycle management
  • Improved compliance with standards, regulations, and security protocol

In the long-term, you can look forward to all the advantages a fully yet leanly equipped workforce will bring about:

  • Higher team morale
  • Improved IT service to end users
  • Better standards and processes for managing assets
  • Greater ROI in all software-dependent undertakings

In short, SUA implemented correctly ends up being the very thing we value most in the IT industry: a gift that keeps on giving—what every software tool should strive to be.

If you represent a large enterprise and are ready to continue this how-to discussion with a Trianz expert, reserve an appointment to speak to us today. Our goal is to make our approach to SUA crystal clear, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our website at trianz.com.

For additional reading, be sure to check out our How To article on Delivering ServiceNow as a Service to understand the broader ITSM picture into which SUA fits.

Trianz is a global leader in managed services for IT improvement. If you’re looking for solutions that are cutting-edge and cost-effective, as well as predictable business outcomes with priority on security and scalability—we know the right solutions for you.

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