Handling Software Request
Software requests are often dealt with by several departments such as Procurement, Licence Management, Asset Management and IT and unfortunately too often there is a lack of communication between departments.
Communication is the key to success but how do we communicate if our databases are separate without causing a lot of unnecessary work?
If data is stored in a database it can be linked if access is granted otherwise I am afraid we are stuck with the option of making sure that processes are in place that keep the communication channels open.
There are many pitfalls to handling software or even hardware requests if attention to detail is not a high priority but from an ideal situation I have listed the steps that I feel should be added to the process of handling a software request.
User wishes to have software installed below are some questions that should be asked first.
- Does the software meet with the company’s release policy?
- Has it had management approval?
- Is a purchase necessary, is there an under used copy available?
- If purchase is necessary has management approved the cost?
- Is the software compatible with the operating system?
- Are there any known issues that would affect the stability of his computer?
- Are there any prerequisites that would incur any additional cost, if so has this additional cost been approved? “This is information could be provided by an online request form which could pull this information from the database.
- Is there a Capital Expenditure form being used in this request? (IT should be provided this information)
- Will any additional training be required?
If the purchasing of this software is being organized via IT, then it important that the request for the software is not only listed on a helpdesk request but that IT creates a new entry in an asset management database.
The entries on this database for this request would need to be able to provide the following information:
- Date of request
- Current cost (this is useful for budgeting reasons)
- Name of the person it is for
- Name of the computer that it is to be installed on
- Name of the person who authorized the order
- Department and location (useful for TCU or cross charging and deployment)
- Cap ex number
- Date order placed with purchasing
- Any timeframe such as licensing or warranty dates should be recorded.
- Purchasing Order number
- Supplier order number
- Supplier Name
- Estimated Delivery Date
Once the software has been delivered IT should be able to identify who this software is for as it should contain the information provided by Purchasing.
IT should enter into the database the serial number and deployment date, if this database is linked to a knowledgebase we move into the realms of a Configuration Management System, or even better a Service Knowledge Management System with the effect that we are able to include information such as installation process, known issues, installation times, Account Manager’s name etc. to help with the deployment phase, support and license management. I would suggest that this database be accessible via the intranet and accessible by authorized users. Managers would then be able to manage their resources if their assets were clearly visible. A database could also highlight any upcoming license renewals that may be required which could be very useful if one of the prerequisites license is due to expire.