Mindville has joined the Atlassian family!

Jira Service Desk | 7 MIN READ

How To Power Up Jira Service Desk with Insight Asset Management

Jira Service Desk's (JSD) customizability is no secret. In fact, with over 800 apps and integrations currently available in the Atlassian Marketplace, managing assets with Insight is a practice that’s no longer confined to an IT team, as demonstrated by Johns Hopkins University’s (JHU) Peabody Institute.

Watch the entire presentation above or jump to the main takeaways:

 Think Outside the ITAM Box
 Establish Context With a CMDB
 Cut Down Resolution Time With Custom Fields
 Gain Insights With Data Reporting
 Asset Management Made Easy

This article is part of a series on the key role of context in service management.


Use Insight to Think Outside the IT Asset Management Box

Jira’s customizable digital environment isn’t restricted to software developers or IT professionals–in fact, asset management can extend far beyond the purely technical, if your organization is willing to think outside the box.


The ability to tailor a JSD environment to your organization’s specific needs is one of the platform’s biggest selling points and a main reason why it’s the fastest-growing product in Atlassian’s history. As of 2015, the company had an estimated 43,000 customers on its systems and millions of daily active users across the globe.

However, not all JSD users are creating and maintaining service catalogs or asset databases for strictly IT-related purposes. JHU is an amazing example of this, combining the tradition and illustrious history of their music conservatory with an innovative mindset when it comes to technology adoption.

From the Peabody Institute’s website:

“Peabody’s history, tradition, and pedigree, coupled with its forward looking view and commitment to challenge traditional assumptions, allow it to take on the real work of what it means to prepare artists for a world that is constantly changing.”

At Atlassian Summit 2019, a session conducted by Atlassian Senior Product Manager Amaresh Ray, showcased how JHU’s JSD environment was using the Insight app to support the management and maintenance of millions of dollars' worth of pianos. This involved creating a CMDB and organizing a large number of assets in their digital system.

Let’s dive into this case study and discover how JHU was able to power up their JSD instance with Insight’s powerful asset management capabilities.


Map Your Assets in a CMDB to Establish Context and Streamline Operations

In order to obtain full visibility of their asset infrastructure and establish context through a single source of truth, JHU built a detailed CMDB that displayed and interlinked different aspects of their inventory.


While using Insight for issues related to the usage and maintenance of different pianos, the logic behind building a database for those assets isn’t very far-flung from more typical JSD data models.

What really counts isn’t necessarily what kind of assets you’re populating a CMDB with, but rather the additional insights you’re able to extract from your asset management information within Insight and Jira as a whole. Ray spoke to this point as part of his presentation at Atlassian Summit 2019:

“When requests come into IT teams, they often need more information to resolve issues. For instance, when the laptop needs maintenance, they need to be able to know what OS was running on the laptop or whether it’s out of warranty. [They] also want to be able to know the history and all the incidents that have happened to this asset.”

As Ray pointed out, JHU’s Peabody Institute started using Jira in their IT department but, as time went on, they discovered that their piano maintenance crews could also get a ton of value out of Insight’s tools, especially when it came to cutting down issue resolution time:

“[With] a CMDB, [JHU] can really visualize all of the dependencies between these items [...] we can see the dependency that a particular piano belongs to a particular location and has a particular finish type manufacture and finish as an attribute. [By] connecting Jira Service Desk to your inventory, you can really dramatically decrease the time to resolution.”

Part of what makes this CMDB example so special insofar as how it creates that single source of truth and gives the maintenance team the information they need is through Insight’s impressive level of customizability.


Deploy Custom Fields to Cut Down Your Resolution Time

A big part of streamlining your Jira Service Desk instance boils down to how effectively you automate key data-related tasks, such as custom fields, to cut down on resolution time.


Once an organization has their CMDB up and running in Jira, reaching maximum potential where productivity and operational efficiency is concerned depends on how well customization can save you valuable time with service ticketing processing and data reporting.

As Ray said during his presentation, this includes guiding users through service requests forms by presenting them with appropriate options in Jira:

“[JHU] can really streamline and manage the maintenance and repair process for pianos [...] on the [service] form itself, they have embedded a couple of pictures to really guide people on how to submit their request. You can request what type of maintenance the piano needs, whether it needs tuning or if the strings are broken [...]”

This is all accomplished through Insight’s robust custom fields functionality, which then greatly the legwork that a maintenance staff member or, in a different scenario, a support agent, must do while processing the servicer request. When all pertinent information is at your fingertips, top-down Jira optimization becomes realistic instead of a pipe dream.

Ray again, continuing with JHU’s CMDB and service ticket example:

“Choosing a location [in the form] brings up the pianos that are available at that location, so it really streamlines the request [when it] gets raised. The agent knows what room to go and which piano to work on. And the part of the request form [is] being populated in this piano inventory [...] The other cool thing is that they have mapped out all of the buildings on the campus. And all of the room rooms within those buildings. So you can really associate a piano with the correct location as I showed you earlier.”

What this ultimately leads to is not just a lean, agile set of ITSM practices, but also a system that facilitates accurate data reporting and, over time, instant access to the insights JHU needs to run their music conservatory with ease.


Leverage Data Reporting to Gain Valuable Organizational Insights

If your service desks and the staff that power them are in the dark about information critical to your organization’s long-term vision and goals, Insight’s reporting functionality can help you see the light.


We’ve established how JHU uses the context established through Insight features like CMDB creation and custom field deployment in JSD, but arguably the most important benefit that comes with implementing the app into your organization’s day-to-day operations is the governance and control you can have when managing IT assets.

This can extend to reports showing issues or performance metrics related to specific assets (i.e.–which pianos are breaking down most often versus which ones haven’t had any issues), as well as assessing your organization’s expenditures on assets like software licenses, equipment, and more.

Having full inventory visibility in JSD allowed staff members at JHU to put a decidedly less chaotic asset management process in place, develop a customized IT solution for their conservatory and, from a reporting perspective, standardize how different stakeholders obtained inventory information.

That level of context has unified JHU’s level of IT and piano maintenance support, as well as facilitated high-level decision-making by ensuring that valuable data points or asset details don’t get lost in the shuffle.


Jira Service Desk Asset Management: Easier With Insight

Since introducing Insight as a means to unlock the context they needed to manage their entire piano inventory, JHU has seen their operations transform into a far more efficient set of practices that, in some cases, almost run themselves.


The head of the institution’s IT department has gone so far as to tout Insight as a blessing that, at least initially, was somewhat in disguise:

“I would’ve never thought when I purchased the Insight product that I was going to build a piano inventory [but] because it almost becomes an application development platform. We can build out this database with any set of fields and relationships that we want to [...] Using a tool like Insight has opened up really a world of possibilities, not just within the IT group but also within other groups.”

By thinking outside the box, building a solid asset management foundation with their CMDB and leveraging Insight’s customizability to take their data reporting to the next level, JHU has created a JSD environment that not only streamlines their operations today, but sets up them for even more success down the road as technology continues to change and evolve.

If your organization is looking for a new and improved way to approach ITSM, it’s never been a better time to see what Insight can do for you. We even have a new version of the app available for Jira Cloud! Thousands of customers agree that Insight’s powerful management features are what sets it apart from other apps in the Atlassian Marketplace.

For more information or to get started with a free trial today, click below!

Learn About Insight

Originally published Jul 5, 2019 9:00:00 AM