Senior Writer: Urmi Shah
Modern organizations increasingly rely on IT systems to support critical business processes. Such reliance, new regulatory compliance requirements, and the rapid pace of technology change lead to a constantly growing list of supported systems and a rapidly increasing number of IT assets.
At the same time, IT asset management (ITAM) has become a crucial part of IT operations that cannot be ignored.
What is IT asset management (ITAM)?
IT asset management (ITAM) is a process that ensures you have an accurate and up-to-date record of all the technology assets in your organization. This includes computers, mobile devices, software licenses, and other items. It also includes information on how employees are using these assets.
ITAM aims to improve efficiency and productivity by ensuring that you have accurate data about your technology assets to decide how best to deploy them.
IT Asset Management, simply put, is the control of your computer hardware in the form of programs, databases, and any other IT resource that is extremely important.
What is an ITAM database?
An ITAM database, or inventory and tracking management database, is a database that helps organizations keep track of their inventory and make sure it’s safe. It can be used by any business with a lot of inventory, but it’s beneficial for companies with enormous amounts of physical inventory.
The purpose of an ITAM database is to manage the entire life cycle of an asset from procurement through disposal, including all phases of ownership and use.
Why is IT Asset Management important?
Organizations often underestimate the importance of IT Asset Management (ITAM). While it may not seem a pressing issue at first glance, the reality is that proper ITAM will save your company money and increase efficiency.
7 Benefits of IT Asset Management
The following reasons why IT Asset Management is so important:
1. Reduce Customer Complaints
Knowing what your customers use and how they use it can avoid overloading the system. You can also reduce the likelihood of outages and disruptions to their business by identifying any issues before they happen.
Did you know organizations save around 30% per asset in the first year of implementing an ITAM program?
2. Increase Customer Value
ITAM helps you understand the value of your IT assets and how your organization uses them. This allows you to make better decisions about the Future of your technology investments and ensure that you’re investing in the right areas.
3. Improve Efficiency by Understanding Equipment Utilization
Knowing what equipment is used for what purpose can help optimize resource usage in your organization. In addition, knowing which devices are underutilized allows you to move them into other areas where they might be put to better use (for example, carrying laptops from one department to another).
4. Budget for the Future
Knowing how much money is spent on IT assets across different departments helps with budget planning and decision-making around new purchases or upgrades. For example, if one department is spending a lot more on laptops than another with similar needs, it may be time for a reassessment of those needs.
5. Ensure Compliance with Regulations and Accreditations
As a regulated industry, most organizations must comply with industry regulations and accreditation standards. IT Asset Management can help ensure that the organization’s information security policies are adhered to by monitoring which devices are being used, where they are being used, who is using them and how they are being used. This can be achieved through inventory tracking, software usage monitoring, and device deactivation/wipe procedures.
6. Equipment Maintenance
IT Asset Management software ensures that all equipment is maintained to a high standard through regular software patches and updates checks. Identifying when a piece of equipment needs replacing or upgrading (for example, for security reasons) can be proactively replaced before there is an issue with downtime or performance degradation.
In addition, any equipment found to be faulty can be identified before it causes any problems for the organization. This will also help reduce costs associated with maintaining outdated equipment that may no longer meet regulatory requirements or perform adequately due to its age or condition.
7. Theft Prevention
IT asset management is an integral part of any organization’s security strategy because it provides accountability and visibility into the location and status of all IT assets. This helps reduce the risk of theft and loss by ensuring each device has its unique hardware serial number (HSN) that can be tracked to ensure it hasn’t been stolen or compromised.
3 Types of IT asset management
IT asset management is a way to organize and manage your organization’s software’s, hardware and data. There are three main types of IT asset management:
A. IT asset management
This refers to tracking assets throughout their lifecycle. You’ll want to monitor when assets are purchased when they need repair or maintenance, whether they’re being used efficiently, and so on.
B. Digital asset management
This refers to how your company manages its digital files. It’s essential to ensure that you’re storing all the files you’ll need for the long term and that employees can access them quickly and easily whenever they need them.
C. License management
This refers to managing software licenses for each employee who uses proprietary software in the workplace. It’s essential because licensing violations can lead to hefty fines from companies like Microsoft or Oracle if they find out that an employee has been using company-owned software on their devices or computers outside work hours.
Best Practices for Successful ITAM
IT Asset Management (ITAM) is a critical component of IT governance and a fundamental requirement for any organization that wants to comply with regulations. ITAM is also an essential futureproof practice that can help organizations reduce costs, improve productivity and reduce risk.
ITAM’s best practices include:
1. Implement ITAM on an ongoing basis
The goal of ITAM is to manage your assets throughout their lifecycle, not just at the point where they are acquired or deployed. Consider implementing an asset management solution that provides you with analytics about your assets so that you can proactively manage them.
2. Make ITAM a proactive process
An effective asset management solution will provide insights into your current inventory and how it relates to other processes in your organization. This will enable you to determine what areas need attention and take action before an issue arises.
3. Pick a Starting Point and Have a Clear Plan
The goals of your company should drive your ITAM strategy. For example, you will want to focus more on automating billable versus non-billable time capture and management to reduce costs. If you improve customer experience and increase revenue, you will focus more on automating invoice generation and payment processing.
4. Assemble an ITAM Team
The success of your ITAM initiative will depend on how well you manage its execution. You should assemble a team that includes business operations and technology representatives. These two groups likely have different perspectives on approaching ITAM initiatives.
5. Adopt the Life Cycle-Based Approach
The life cycle approach is a fundamental concept of ITAM. It’s based on the idea that an organization should know where its software is and have a policy for how to deal with it. The ideal state for software is to be in use but not owned or used by anyone else.
6. Automate as Much as Possible
Many tools are available to help automate ITAM processes. Use them! These tools can automate and streamline processes that would otherwise be time-consuming and error-prone.
For example, you can use automation tools to monitor license usage and alert users when they are close to exceeding their license limits. You could also use automation tools to identify unauthorized usage patterns (e.g., if someone installs the same software on multiple computers).
7. Track Your License and Financial Commitments Continuously
Make sure your organization tracks license usage continuously. This way, you will know immediately if there is a problem before it becomes severe enough that it requires intervention from legal counsel or your CFO’s office.
How To Choose the Right IT Asset Management Tool?
Choosing the right IT asset management tools can be a tough decision. Not only do you have to consider your company’s specific needs, but you also need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different solutions.
Here are some things to check for to find the right IT asset management software:
1. Holistic asset tracking capabilities
You need a tool to track all assets, including hardware and software. It would help if you also looked for a system that can provide real-time monitoring of your IT infrastructure and a reporting feature that lets you quickly see where your organization is spending its money on IT tools.
The best asset management tools will offer more than just basic tracking capabilities. Some solutions even include advanced features such as analytics and reporting, which can be used to identify problems in your network or equipment before they become an issue for the business itself.
While this may seem obvious, it’s important to note that some IT asset management tools may not be as secure as others — especially if they’re cloud-based services like Google Cloud Platform or Microsoft Azure. So make sure you research to know what security measures are built into the system before signing up!
The first thing to look at is how much information you can get from your software. If you want to see all of the information coming into and leaving out of your system, then you’ll probably want a reporting tool. Some software packages provide this functionality out of the box, and others require you to purchase an additional device. You may also have to tweak the settings on your existing application to get it working with a reporting tool.
5. Mobile App
If you’re looking for a way to keep track of assets in real time, use a mobile app instead of a desktop application. This will allow employees to access their data while on the go instead of just logging into their computers at work. These apps must be secure and encrypted so that no unauthorized party can access them (i.e., hackers). If you have multiple employees that need access to these applications, make sure everyone has one account set up with their password for easy access when required (i.e., if an employee forgets their password or needs help accessing their performance).
Cloud-based IT solutions can help organizations reduce costs, increase security and improve efficiency. However, the cloud also enables organizations to go back in time and retrieve data, so it’s essential to ensure you’re looking at solutions that allow this kind of flexibility.
Customizations are essential in IT asset management because they allow organizations to ensure their software meets their specific needs. For example, if an organization wants to track its equipment easier, it’ll need a solution that allows them to do so.
IT asset management tools should be easy to use and allow easy customization options so that users don’t have to spend too much time learning how the product works. In addition, these tools should also offer 24/7 support for customer service issues and bugs in the software itself (rather than waiting for someone from customer service).
Frequently Asked Questions
The three main deliverables of IT asset management are:
- Inventory: An inventory of all the hardware, software, and other assets in an organization
- Configuration: A record of the configuration settings for each asset
- Maintenance: A plan for maintaining the inventory and configuration records
The IT asset management practice aims to ensure that the company has a clear idea of which assets it owns, how much they cost, and how they are used. This helps the company make better decisions about where to spend its money—and also helps it avoid wasting money on unnecessary equipment.
ITSM and ITAM refer to how companies manage their information technology. ITSM stands for Information Technology Service Management, while ITAM stands for Information Technology Asset Management. ITSM is a set of practices companies use to manage the services they deliver to customers. It includes incident, problem, change, and service-level management. ITAM is a set of practices companies use to manage their assets—the hardware and software they use to deliver customer service. It includes software asset management, hardware asset management, and virtual asset management.
The components of IT asset management ITAM include
- Asset Management - A process that ensures that all assets are managed, protected, and optimized for the business.
- Configuration Management - This ensures all asset changes are documented, authorized, and communicated to stakeholders.
- Software License Management - A process that ensures all software licenses are purchased, tracked, and reconciled against user requirements.
- Hardware Inventory Management - This process ensures the hardware inventory is accurate, up-to-date, and complete.
An IT asset inventory lists all the assets in your company's IT department. It includes things like servers, laptops, printers, and phones, but it also includes software licenses, backup tapes, and any other physical or digital assets that make up your IT infrastructure.