Businesses spend thousands of dollars to meet their technology requirements every year. A lot of these investments go into procuring IT assets and deploying them the right way to perform various business functions. From setting up computers, routers, modems, etc., to installing software applications, you need the right practices and tools to get more value out of your assets. This is where IT asset management comes in.
In this article, we’ll explore the significance of IT asset management, the type of asset management involved, the benefits you can obtain and more.
What Is IT Asset Management?
In simple terms, IT asset management focuses on creating a plan and a streamlined workflow to track, manage and maintain all IT assets in your organization. By implementing this framework, you can bring down maintenance costs, reduce security risks, optimize the use of assets, boost efficiency and more.
IT asset management also plays a vital role in assessing the lifecycle of various IT assets. With a manual process, the history of a particular asset would be difficult to record and performing a root-cause analysis when an incident occurs would be quite overwhelming.
Despite sharing some similarities with IT service management (ITSM), IT asset management (ITAM) is quite different when it comes to purpose and objectives. ITSM is an umbrella service that deals with a range of processes that include planning, delivering, supporting and maintaining various IT services. IT service management focuses on overall IT services rather than just assets. In that sense, ITAM can be considered a component of ITSM.
ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), on the other hand, refers to the framework of best practices concerning the delivery of IT services management. This framework also focuses on managing your IT assets and resolving any incidents that may pop up in real time. By combining the best practices of ITIL with ITAM, you can get instant alerts on various IT issues and reduce the possibility of various security risks.
Why Is IT Asset Management Important?
IT asset management is not just limited to cataloging and listing down assets. It deals with the entire IT asset lifecycle management by knowing when to optimize an asset and when to retire it. By gathering valuable data about your assets, you can maximize their returns and avoid unnecessary spending on new assets. This also helps you boost efficiency and lower your software licensing costs.
In large organizations, people are sometimes employed just to keep track of IT assets. With a comprehensive tool that collects information about your assets, you can centralize this information and maintain it in a single source. The information you gather here plays a critical role in increasing asset utilization, eliminating waste, boosting productivity and maximizing service delivery.
Who Is Responsible for IT Asset Management?
In most cases, IT managers perform asset management in their organizations in addition to service delivery. Their everyday tasks can be broken down into four categories – procurement of assets, project planning and management, technical support and IT asset management.
To perform this role successfully, IT asset managers need to communicate regularly with the stakeholders and understand the intricacies of everyone’s asset requirements. They also need to have the expertise in understanding the complexity of software licensing since it is critical in performing various business functions and ensuring security.
There are various standards set by the International Standards Organization (ISO) for IT asset management to ensure the needs of organizations are adequately met. Let’s check out some of these established standards.
- ISO/IEC 19770-1: This concerns the best practices of ITAM and provides organizations with a way of proving that they are performing IT asset management according to established standards.
- ISO/IEC 19770-2: This standard helps organizations identify the software deployed in a device.
- ISO/IEC 19770-3: This standard identifies the licenses, rights and entitlements associated with a piece of software.
- ISO/IEC 19770-4: This standard helps measure resource utilization in an organization.
- ISO/IEC 19770-5: This gives an overview of ITAM standards and associated vocabulary as defined under ISO.
Types of Asset Management
Based on the types of assets managed, IT asset management can be classified into the following four categories:
- Hardware asset management: This focuses on IT asset discovery and the inventory of various hardware devices including computers, printers, routers, modems, etc.
- Software asset management: This process tracks and monitors software assets that are installed in various devices on the network. This is a complex process due to various factors like licensing requirements, compliance issues, ShadowIT, IoT and more. This needs to be constantly tracked and periodically reviewed to ensure it meets business requirements.
- Mobile asset management: With the rise in mobile device usage, all industries need to track the usage of mobile assets. If a new app is downloaded on a company device, it must be reviewed and approved before use.
- Cloud asset management: Cloud technology offers various benefits to businesses by eliminating the need for complex hardware and software infrastructure. IT asset management of cloud components ensures that business data is always secure and accessible.
Benefits of IT Asset Management
IT asset management provides more benefits than just finding the right hardware and software for your organization. With the right process, you can benefit in the following ways:
- Increased control of your IT environment: You can gain an in-depth view of your IT environment and get better visibility into various assets. This helps you manage your assets and control your IT infrastructure in a better way.
- Reduced IT costs: IT assets provide diminishing value after prolonged usage. With periodic review, you can gain more value from your assets and know when to retire them. This helps you reduce IT costs in the long run.
- Better governance: The streamlined data availability provides you with a better understanding of all the assets in your IT infrastructure. This helps you manage your IT infrastructure better.
- Combat shadow IT concerns: Shadow IT, or IT assets being installed and used without IT management knowledge, is a great threat to network security. With an inventory of hardware and software assets, you can eliminate this concern.
- Operational efficiency: Businesses today need the right hardware and software tools to run their organizations efficiently. By regularly tracking, monitoring and managing IT assets, you can boost operational efficiency and maximize your ROI.
Improved IT Asset Management With IT Glue
As a leading cloud-based documentation platform, IT Glue can help you build a basis for hardware asset management and automate the entire process with our integrations and open API. You can then easily relate the hardware asset information to software applications, Active Directory, Backup, Email and many more with the IT Glue flexible asset templates. This allows you to consolidate your IT asset information into a single pane of glass, putting everything at your fingertips.
IT Glue’s SOC 2-compliant documentation platform features an immutable audit trail, multifactor authentication and next-generation password management engine, all of which are fully integrated and linked with all your documentation.
To know more about how IT Glue can help with IT asset management, request a demo.
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