IT Asset Management(ITAM): What Is It? 

IT asset management involves tracking and making strategic decisions regarding IT assets using financial, contractual, and inventory data. The key goal is to make sure IT resources are utilized properly and efficiently. IT asset management supports in cost optimization by reducing total resources in use and improving the life of such assets. Determining the total cost of ownership and figuring out how to make the most use of the assets are crucial components of ITAM.


What is IT Asset Management


Any piece of data, hardware, or software that an organization utilizes in the course of its business operations is referred to as an information technology (IT) asset. Physical PCs including laptops, desktop computers, mobile devices, desktop servers in data centers, keyboards, and printers are examples of hardware assets. On the other perspective, software assets comprise software systems and databases created utilizing open-source resources, as well as apps for whose licenses are normally provided per user or computer. Cloud-based resources like Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps are also considered being software assets.


What is the Procedure for Managing IT Assets?


The following steps are often involved in the IT asset management (ITAM) process:


Asset identification


Making a thorough inventory of all IT assets is the very first step in IT asset management. This makes it simple to identify duplicate assets and ensure that they are optimized to increase productivity.


Tracking


This entails regularly monitoring IT assets using an ITAM tool or platform. Monetary (asset costs), legal (warranties, licenses, and service-level agreements (SLAs), and inventory data are some of the metrics used to measure each resource (condition and location of physical assets).


Maintenance


Depending on the stage of their lifecycle, IT assets at one time will need to be maintained. Repair, improvement, and replacement of assets are all part of maintenance. As part of the ITAM process, all upkeep operations conducted on an IT asset are recorded so that the data may be utilized to evaluate the asset’s performance.


Phases of an IT Asset Lifecycle 


Each IT asset has an allotted lifetime. The goal of IT asset management (ITAM) is to optimize productivity by controlling an asset’s lifecycle. The stages of a lifespan for an IT asset may vary depending on the company, but they often contain the following phases:



•Planning: Includes deciding on the assets an organization needs, their desired use, and how to get them. While making plans for the acquisition of assets, organizations also need to consider alternative products and perform TCO (total cost of ownership) and cost-benefit studies of all potential solutions.
•Procurement/Acquisition: Assets can be obtained by building, licensing, leasing, or purchasing (including Software-as-a-Service).
•Deployment: Depending on the asset, the implementation may require tool integration, user access, installation, and technical assistance.
•Maintenance: To maximize their use and value, once the assets have been installed, provisions should be established for routine maintenance, upgrades, and repairs. The assets will live longer and you will end up spending less money as a result of controlled hazards.
•Retirement: When maintenance becomes more regular and the business invests more resources in it than it did in the past, an IT asset has reached the end of its useful life. If there are better alternatives on the market, a company may also choose to retire an asset. As part of asset retirement, outdated asset information need to be updated, support and license agreements canceled, and arrangements made to switch to new assets.

Benefits of IT Asset Management


Solid business decisions can be made by an enterprise with effective IT asset management (ITAM). A few of the main advantages are:


Centralized Asset Database/Inventory


Managing assets that are tracked in multiple locations is challenging. It’s possible for disarray and inaccuracy to take hold, resulting in inefficiency and bad business choices. Having a single point of reference simplifies and improves asset tracking. In one area, the firm can see all the assets that need to be replaced, improved, or optimized for optimal efficiency.


Optimized Asset Use


IT asset management promotes optimal resource usage, reduces risk, eliminates waste, and lowers costs. By implementing an ITAM process, an organization can acquire real-time information on the condition of all of its assets and utilize that information to make informed decisions regarding asset use.


Software license compliance


Software provider software audits are frequently required of businesses that license third-party software to ensure that all these companies adhere to the license’s conditions and terms. The contracts carry stiff penalties for breach. Thus, businesses utilize ITAM software to continuously check whether all software are installed on all computers connected to their networks and they are complying with all applicable licensing terms.


Informed decision-making


Making well-informed decisions requires the use of ITAM data, which aids in the evaluation of earlier investments and deployments. ITAM can enhance company and asset acquisition procedures.

Software for IT asset management


Growing IT assets make it difficult to manage them with manual, paper-based, or spreadsheet-based methods. IT asset management (ITAM) software comes in handy to provide a centralized tool for tracking and managing the lifespan of a large group of devices.


ITAM software features


Features that allow enterprises more control over their IT environment and make it possible for them to track assets both on-premises and in the cloud are typically included in IT asset management software products. They include:


Automated detection


The majority of IT asset management programs identify every piece of hardware and program that is installed on a company’s network system.


License management 


IT Asset Management (ITAM) software manages licenses for IT assets. These are then cross-referenced to the pertinent inventory data to notify the organization if it is over-licensed or under-licensed and in danger of violating a license agreement. The organization can be informed of the license agreements’ expiration dates using this functionality.


Version and patch management


To keep a company’s network of computers safe, current, and functional, the asset management software keeps track of the distribution of new software patches and versions.


Request management


Some IT management software enables businesses to design asset request workflows and track all requests for IT assets. They handle the process of deployment and acquisition while assessing license needs for these assets.


Inventory management


IT asset management tools maintain track of all the resources a company uses. Asset information including name, license agreement type, and version is kept in the inventory.


Configuration management database


The Configuration management database is a centralized database that houses data on the IT assets and connections between them.


Fixed asset management


Data management for fixed assets is handled by a separate repository in the majority of ITAM solutions. Hardware is the principal category of fixed assets.


Digital asset management


ITAM software’s digital asset management function includes the administration of copyrights and rich media (e.g., multimedia content like music, photos, music).


Considerations while selecting an asset management solution or ITAM software


Purpose


The reason an organization requires ITAM software and the goals it wants to achieve by switching to digital asset management should be obvious to them. Management should schedule meetings with all pertinent IT departments to solicit their input.


Cost


The next stage for an organization is to compare pricing against its budget once it has found software packages that suit its goals and expectations. It's useful to know what each bundle includes and excludes from the pricing. Before making a purchase, think about utilizing the free trial offer.


Support for technical issues


Businesses should pick a software vendor that provides technical help when required. You can get this assistance through a self-service platform, a user community online, in-app or web chat with a chatbot, phone help, or social media chat with a customer service representative.


Reviews and evaluations 


Reading reviews of a software program from both current and former customers on independent websites (such as app stores and software rating organizations) can assist a business in making the right decision.

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