IT assets can be costly, and they also have a finite period of use – once they have reached the end of their useful life, they must be retired and replaced. To maximise the value that an IT asset can provide before it reaches retirement, it is important to manage it effectively and proactively. This is known as IT Asset Management.
In this article, we’ll look at what IT Asset Management is, why it’s important, the benefits, asset management tools, and more.
IT Asset Management, also known as ITAM, is the process of managing IT assets throughout their lifecycle – from planning and acquisition through to maintenance and retirement. Effective IT asset management enables businesses to get the maximum value from their IT assets, ensuring they have the right inventory and optimising purchase decisions.
IT Asset Management is more important than ever. Today, businesses depend increasingly on their IT assets. Not only this, but many are looking for ways to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and optimise profit. Asset management helps businesses make the best use of their IT resources, avoid unnecessary purchases, reduce licensing and support costs, and improve efficiency.
There are five main types of ITAM:
This is the management of IT hardware, tech products and any other physical inventory. Physical IT assets include monitors, cables, hard drivers, routers and modems.
The process involves making key decisions about the devices that the business needs to power its IT systems, focussing on the technical specifications and selecting assets that meet those requirements.
Physical asset management typically involves sourcing physical storage locations for devices, identifying whether or not devices are compatible with the organisation’s software, and placing orders for new equipment when required.
This is the management of a business’ software needs and the administration of policies throughout the organisation. Software assets include third-party software programmes, internal software applications, and software products for clients.
Software asset management typically involves ensuring the business has the appropriate licensing and user permissions for all software, checking for updates, installing drivers and transferring data from legacy software to new systems.
Cloud asset management is essential for businesses that use the cloud to store company data. Cloud-based assets include web storage, online servers and cloud security & compliance.
This type of asset management typically involves ensuring that the relevant users have constant access to data and services stored online, reviewing essential features, and controlling security and functionality.
This is the way data and information are used within a business. Digital IT assets include customer details, financial details, photos, videos, text files, and spreadsheets.
IT teams rely heavily upon databases to store business information, analyse data, make forecasts, and facilitate software applications. Digital asset management allows businesses to organise data in a way that IT teams and other users can easily access and utilise it.
Mobile asset management is the management of how internal employees utilise mobile company devices, such as phones and tablets. It involves implementing usage policies, ensuring data is secure and managing access.
Automating key parts of the ITAM process will help ensure that it runs smoothly. Automated scans and alerts, for example, will give you visibility of the status of all assets in real time, meaning any issues can be resolved quickly.
IT assets should be continuously tracked to ensure you have full control over the environment.
Remember that ITAM is an ongoing process, rather than a one-off review. Your assets should be continuously monitored and updated to ensure that your asset management process is up to date and ready to use.
Taking a lifecycle approach to ITAM will allow you to maximise the use of your assets throughout their useful lifespan.
The first stage of the lifecycle is to identify which assets are required to fulfil the business’ needs and then plan how to acquire and distribute those assets.
Next, the assets are procured. This usually means buying or building them.
Once the assets have been acquired, they are integrated into the business. This stage typically involves installing software, setting up user accounts, and creating relevant systems.
When the assets are in use, maintenance tasks such as troubleshooting, upgrades, and improvements are ongoing.
Once IT assets have reached the end of their useful life, they are retired. Any contracts are cancelled and software is uninstalled.
The benefits of IT Asset Management include:
Asset management software is a tool that enables businesses to know what assets they have within the business, as well as monitor incoming and outgoing assets. In other words, it is used to track assets through their lifecycle.
The asset management software provides crucial information, including where the assets are located, who they are being used by, and how much they really cost the business.
Our in-house asset management software system allows users to know what devices the business has, where they are, and how much they really cost. Having our own asset management software means we can manage all the data going in and we regularly update the software to ensure that our customers have access to the most innovative asset management solution possible.
Find out more about our asset management software here and get in touch to discuss your requirements.