Enriching IT Asset Management Process With Application Integrations
This article is a tutorial to help developers learn about how application integrations using the REST API can help improve the IT asset management process.
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IT asset management is the process of maintaining the life cycle of IT assets in an organization. IT assets include hardware, software, cloud, and information resources that are valuable to the organization. It supports IT service management and ITIL best practices by providing a single source of truth for IT assets.
An effective IT Asset Management system with inventory management and cost optimization is required in a business to have a better employee experience. This will enhance employee onboarding and offboarding processes in an organization. Researchers found that employees stay longer in companies that provide a better onboarding experience. On the other hand, if the offboarding process is not efficient, there can be a significant impact on your IT Assets cost.
Data-bearing IT assets are very critical for industries like Banking as the data can be copied and misused. Hence, collecting the IT Assets on time from employees when they leave has a lot of significance. Financial industries have this as a regulatory requirement cited by regulatory agencies like the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the FDIC, etc. Having a robust process would help to avoid audit failures.
An Integration Can Enrich the IT Asset Allocation and Retrieval
Nowadays, integrating IT Service Management (ITSM) or IT Asset Management (ITAM) tools with other internal or external applications is seamless. Also, shippers (FedEx, UPS, etc.) technology offers very good web services capability to seamlessly connect with other applications. You may be wondering what is a shipper’s role in an organization's IT Asset Management process. Integration with a shipper will automate processes like Return Material Authorization (RMA), Label Creation, and Shipment Tracking, as the script in the background will take care of the data update.
Here are the important features that can be achieved through integration with the shipper.
Shipping Label Creation
A shipping label is required to send your IT Assets to your employees through any shipper. An integration can easily do this in the background, and once the label is ready, simply print and paste it on the box to send the shipments. This will also help you attach the label details to the request and user, enabling the monitoring and tracking of the assets.
Return Material Authorization (RMA) Creation
An easier way to retrieve assets from a user leaving the organization is RMAs. Particularly when the organization is heavy on remote and hybrid users, this would be the best option. This can be achieved by an API call, and the shipper will automatically email the QR code. This Email can be parsed and sent to the employee. The employee can walk into the nearby shipper store, scan the QR code present in the RMA, and initiate the IT Asset shipment back to the IT Asset Management Team.
Once the shipment tracking number is active, the tracking details can be collected automatically from the shipper through an API call. You may schedule to collect the tracking information as frequently as needed to keep an eye on the progress.
Getting the Shipment Details Using RMA
Once the shipment is active using the RMA, shippers will update the RMA with tracking numbers active under the RMA. The REST API call can bring back all the required information to track the shipment.
Listed above are some, but not all the different options to manage your IT Asset shipment through a carrier. To achieve this, multiple API calls are required from the ITSM/ITAM tool to the shipper application.
ServiceNow as ITSM Tool and FedEx as Shipper
With an ITSM Tool like ServiceNow, it is very easy to implement and maintain an IT Asset Management system efficiently with minimal manual intervention. ServiceNow offers cutting-edge features to run the IT Asset Management system seamlessly. Also, when it comes to integration capabilities, ServiceNow is top-notch.
FedEx integration in ServiceNow provides a glance at how applications, when combined, can create powerful services. It is a solution that will give users a seamless experience.
FedEx developer website provides all technical information on how to set up an integration with other applications. To set up process automation with FedEx, you need an engagement setup and have the Products defined.
ServiceNow has a very efficient catalog and workflow functionality, and with proper scripting, this process can be automated end-to-end. Adding tasks as required and auto-closing the tasks when the required operation is completed is a best practice to provide accountability. As required by your organization, you can set up the frequency of the calls to update the shipment details.
The above steps can be incorporated into your organization's employee onboarding and offboarding processes. The onboarding process will ensure the first-day readiness of the newly hired employee and help in better productivity.
If your organization’s ServiceNow subscription allows you to create custom tables, the FedEx RMA and shipment tracking details can be stored in a custom table and monitored on a regular basis. This will provide better data management and ensure efficient reporting and dashboard capabilities for the FedEx side of activities.
The above methodology can be incorporated into your organization’s IT Asset Management process if there are a lot of remote or hybrid employees. This will ensure better IT Asset inventory management and cost optimization. Financial industries can ensure complete control of data-bearing assets, and this will ensure risk and regulatory compliance.
ServiceNow is the trademark of ServiceNow® and FedEx is the trademark of FedEx®.
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