Understanding IT Asset Management
IT asset management, also known as ITAM, is tracking, deploying, maintaining, upgrading and disposing an organization's assets as needed.
ITAM is tracking and making strategic decisions regarding IT assets by employing contractual, financial inventory data. The primary goal is to guarantee that any organization can use information technology resources efficiently and productively. ITAM also aids in cost optimization by lowering total assets used and increasing their life while avoiding costly upgrades. Understanding the cost of developing solutions and ownership leads to maximizing asset use.
Understanding the Meaning of IT Asset
Information technology assets include software, hardware and all information that an organization uses. Computers, servers, mobile devices, desktop computers, laptops, printers, and keyboards, are examples of physical hardware assets. In contrast, software assets include licensed apps for users or machines, software systems and open-source databases constructed. Cloud-based assets are also software assets.
Information Technology Business Process Management
Typically included steps in the ITAM process are:
● Creating a complete inventory of all IT assets. This facilitates identification and ensures optimizing redundant assets for maximum efficiency.
● Tracking and regularly monitoring IT assets with an ITAM tool or system. Financial asset costs, licenses, contractual warranties and service-level agreements and inventory data are all collected for tracking the condition and location of physical assets.
● Maintaining IT assets in accordance with their lifespan stage. Asset repair, upgrading and replacement are all part of maintenance and include logging all maintenance operations performed on an IT asset to utilize the data to evaluate the asset's performance.
These are the Phases of IT Assets
Every IT asset has a limited lifespan and managing its lifecycle maximizes efficiency. While each business may have its own set of lifecycle stages, IT asset management life cycle stages are:
● Planning is making judgments regarding the assets required by an organization, their intended use and how to obtain them. While planning for asset acquisition, organizations also analyze competitive alternatives and conduct cost-benefit and total cost of ownership studies of all workable solutions.
● Asset acquisition includes purchasing, building, licensing and leasing.
● Deployment may include installation, integration with other tools, granting user access and providing technical support.
● When deploying assets, create plans for routine maintenance, upgrades and repairs in order to maximize their use and value. This will help them live longer, save money and reduce risk.
● When depreciation sets in and upkeep is no longer viable, retire the asset. It comes to the end of its lifecycle when maintenance becomes more regular, and the business devotes more resources to it than it did previously. A business may also opt to retire an asset if better alternatives are available in the market. Asset retirement entails the disposal of obsolete assets, the updating of asset information, the termination of support and license agreements and the planning of a transition to new assets.
The Advantages of ITAM to Companies
Effective IT asset management can assist a company in making better business decisions. The following are some benefits of IT asset management:
● A database and inventory in one place: It's difficult to manage assets when tracking them in multiple locations. Inefficiency and poor business judgment may result from inaccuracy and disorganization. Having a single source of truth simplifies and improves asset tracking. The organization can see in one location which assets need to be discarded, upgraded or optimized for maximum efficiency.
● Efficiently using risk mitigation and reducing costs and waste. A business can make educated decisions about asset utilization with an ITAM procedure, which provides data on all assets in real time.
● Software providers who seek to ensure that you meet the license terms and conditions frequently subject organizations with licensed third-party software to software audits. An agreement default can cause significant fines. Enterprises employ ITAM software to monitor all software installed on all machines on their networks and verify compliance with the applicable license agreements.
● ITAM data aids in the evaluation of earlier purchases and distributions to guide subsequent actions. The data can help to optimize IT asset acquisition and business operations.
Software for Working IT Assets
As an organization's IT assets expand in size, managing them using manual, paper-based or spreadsheet solutions becomes inefficient. IT asset software management is a centralized program that manages and tracks assets throughout their existence.
ITAM Software Elements
IT asset management software solutions often include the following characteristics which provide organizations with greater control over their IT environment. It enables them to track assets on-premises and in the cloud:
● Most IT asset management solutions recognize all hardware and software installed on a company's computer network automatically.
● ITAM software stores the licensing for IT assets. These are then cross-referenced with the relevant inventory data to inform the organization if it is under licensed and at risk of violating a license agreement, or if it is over licensed with software it never or rarely uses. This functionality can also track licensing agreement expiration dates and notify the company accordingly.
● Asset management software tracks the deployment of new software patches and versions to ensure an organization's computer suite is secure, up-to-date and working efficiently.
● Some ITAM software tracks all IT asset requests and allows organizations to design asset request routines. They determine the license needs and oversee the procurement and deployment processes.
● Inventory management: ITAM tools maintain a record of all assets used by a company. The inventory keeps track of asset information, such as name, license agreement type and version.
● Configuration management database (CMDB): A CMDB is a centralized database that holds information about an organization's IT assets and their relationships.
● Most ITAM products provide a repository for handling fixed asset data. Hardware is the most common type of fixed asset.
● ITAM software's digital asset management function comprises the administration of digital rights and rich media, such as multimedia content like videos, music and photos. <
ompany Considerations When Selecting ITAM Program or Fixed Asset Management Systems
● An organization should understand why it requires ITAM software and what it intends to achieve by going digital with asset management. If at all practical, management should convene meetings with all key IT departments to get their feedback.
● After identifying software packages that suit an organization's aims and expectations, the next step is to compare pricing to its budget. Understanding what each bundle includes and excludes in the pricing can be beneficial. Consider taking advantage of a free trial period before making a purchase decision.
● Businesses should select a software vendor who provides technical support at any time. This assistance can take the shape of a self-service platform, an online community of users, in-app or web chat with a bot and phone help or a social media chat with a customer care assistant.
● Reading reviews of current and previous users of a software package on third-party sites, such as app stores and software rating agencies, can assist an organization in making an informed decision.
Comparing IT Asset Management to IT Service Management
While IT asset management is concerned with the management of IT assets throughout their lifecycles, IT service management is concerned with the management and delivery of IT services. It consists of many components, ranging from planning and executing IT services to monitoring and auditing them to ensure they run smoothly and efficiently. IT services include help and service desk support, such as coaching a user through changing their password, and change management procedures which entail the efficient processing of changes to IT infrastructure.
IT service management is for delivering dependable, high-quality IT services which suit the demands of the business and its end users, including customers, workers and business partners. The goal of ITSM is to improve user experience and service quality.
Companies often regard the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) as the most effective method of delivering ITSM. It contains best practices and a framework for effective ITSM. The most recent ITIL edition, ITIL 4, consists of five volumes that explain 34 ITSM practices: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement. ITSM, in certain ways, incorporates ITAM. Among the various ITSM procedures are asset and configuration management and a CMDB tool dedicated to the process. It is a centralized repository of an organization's IT assets and the relationships between them.
Hybrid IT Infrastructures and ITAM.
Hybrid IT infrastructures with several manufacturers' software, hardware and cloud solutions are getting more difficult to manage. The organizational and platform silos between IT operations and procurement teams are a hindrance to the successful administration of these complex systems. Any changes made by one team will almost certainly have an influence on the other, but both teams lack visibility of the impact of change. For example, how can companies manage their IT system confidently if they don't understand how changes they make can influence license compliance and possibly result in over provisioning? Will moving an application workload to a new cloud or server knock them out of compliance or result in unexpected billings or true ups? Also, if they don’t move workloads, what’s the impact on performing applications and services?
Most firms will add buffers by over provisioning IT resources and restricting license allocations. Understandably, licensing is complicated and IT resource utilization can vary by the second.
IT asset management solutions may give an accurate picture of IT asset inventory while also keeping you audit-ready. By providing visibility into asset allocation across your hybrid cloud, multi-vendor landscape, you can automate and optimize licensing compliance and IT expense.
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