The best practices in IT asset management helps businesses with strategic decision-making in the IT environment. Moreover, it integrates financial, inventory, and contractual functions for cost optimization and lifecycle management.
Further, IT assets include all the software and hardware in an organization’s IT environment. There may also be multiple new devices and applications that businesses run. Therefore, it is necessary for businesses to apply the best practices for IT asset management to detect and protect assets.
According to Gartner, “IT asset management (ITAM) provides an accurate account of technology asset lifecycle costs and risks to maximize the business value of technology strategy, architecture, funding, contractual and sourcing decisions.”
The best practices in IT asset management provide two pivotal perspectives, which are IT asset tracking and IT asset management. Hence, IT asset management is an ongoing process and must be a part of regular business operations.
As a result, in this article, we will learn about the best practices in IT asset management and their benefits to various business practices.
Businesses must know about these Best Practices in IT Asset Management
IT Asset Management is a continuous and systematic process. Therefore, it often helps businesses structure operations and helps support the decision-making process.
Moreover, a successful IT asset management process provides noteworthy benefits. As a result, businesses must execute IT cost management to optimize agility, and mitigate the risks.
Above all, the primary objective of an ITAM process is to establish an integrated asset repository. Most importantly it archives the presence of all the software and hardware assets in the IT infrastructure.
Therefore here are the following steps in an IT Asset Management Process:
- Identifying assets, capturing and storing data: It is necessary for businesses to identify and discover all the hardware and software components. It is also pivotal to capture their details like the type of asset, its specifications, its features, etc., and to store it in an asset repository.
- Tracking Assets: Most importantly, it is necessary for businesses to identify and track any changes in the location of assets. It also includes information like the increase or decrease in the number of assets, tracks asset status, and user information.
- Lifecycle Management of an Asset: It is also pivotal for businesses to comprehend the lifecycle of an asset. Hence, managing the lifecycle of an asset helps know more about its roles and functions in the environment.
- Reports and Alerts for the Assets: Moreover, it is important to generate an asset inventory report. Hence, it helps receive alerts on an asset’s warranty and lease expirations.
An IT Asset Lifecycle management (ITALM) is an important process in ITAM. Therefore, an IT asset manager is responsible for all the stages in the lifecycle of an asset. ITALM improves the productivity of an organization by making educated decisions considering the objectives and goals.
Hence, an IT asset lifecycle management offers an overview of the process framework for the best practices. Therefore, here are the stages in ITALM:
Firstly, it is important to plan and procure assets according to the objectives and requirements of an organization. In this phase, organizations certainly build, purchase, lease, or license various assets. As a result, the assets purchased are then integrated into the system.
Deployment and Discovery:
After purchasing an asset, it is necessary to deploy the assets and update the status to “in-use”. It is also important to discover and identify the assets in a network to assess them in the software and hardware inventories.
It is also pivotal to regularly schedule scans and obtain the audit history of the assets. As a result, it helps manage the compliance and license of the software to help understand the Asset Depreciation calculations. Hence, it helps optimize the value of an asset and in some cases even extend its life.
Support and Assurance:
It is also important to manage the contracts of an asset and to alert the team of its expiry date. Therefore, it helps comprehends the impact of the asset in the IT process and the necessary steps to maintain it.
Retirement and Disposal:
Lastly, at the end of its life, the final stage of an asset is retirement and disposal. Moreover, it includes the transitioning of users to other resources and initiating the planning for replacing the assets. Hence, there is a change in the status of an asset to expired or disposed.
According to Patricia Adams, Research Director at Gartner states, “ITAM depends on robust processes, with tools to automate manual processes. This data then enables organizations to effectively manage IT assets, vendors, and a software and hardware asset portfolio from requisition through retirement, thus monitoring the asset’s performance throughout its life cycle.”
A business certainly owns numerous assets that are expensive. Moreover, the assets constantly need to be acquired, configured, and maintained. Hence, the purpose of IT asset management is to maintain and control the utilization of assets.
Further, allocation, depreciation, update, and replacements are constant processes in the IT asset management framework. That is to say, the objective of ITAM ensures continuous churning of costly assets to maintain the organization’s success. Hence, it efficiently manages the entire lifecycle to attain the highest possible ROI.
ITAM centrally manages financial, contractual, and physical data of the IT assets in the business. Moreover, ITAM completely differs from IT operational management as ITOM only focuses on the performance and delivery of IT services.
- Firstly, ITAM helps businesses obtain control over their IT assets and inventory.
- Moreover, it assists IT asset managers identify the goals and objectives in the business to determine its outcome. Therefore, bridging the gap between technical requirements and business objectives.
- Further, ITAM offers the ability to encourage deeper insights into a business’s IT assets to visualize the ROI.
- Above all, it helps save costs by tracking and maintenance of assets in the IT environment. It also decreases waste by managing and controlling the disposal of IT assets.
- It also enhances inter-departmental communications within the business, mitigates governance risks, increases support for security and disaster recovery as well as improves the allocations and strategies of a business.
Here is a checklist of all the best practices a business must follow for a successful implementation of IT Asset Management:
Build an Inventory to use various discovery sources
One of the best practices is to identify and detect all the assets in the business. Moreover, it is important for businesses to determine which internal assets require allocation. Hence, once the assets are allocated, the business must procure assets for the remaining processes.
Here are the two primary steps to approach an asset inventory:
- It is certainly necessary to discover the assets within the network.
- It is also important to discover assets outside the network.
Monitoring the entire Lifecycle of Assets
Businesses have their own policies to procure, maintain, and dispose of policies. Further, it is necessary to develop a framework for the IT Asset Management Lifecycle. Hence, it covers all the phases of the lifecycle and each phase may include one or more asset information.
It is also important to track and monitor the asset and their statuses as they are dynamic in nature. Hence, technological advancements benefit businesses with asset tagging.
Here are the benefits of monitoring IT assets:
- Firstly, the data of the asset becomes more reliable. Hence, businesses can depend on its accuracy for decision-making.
- Moreover, monitoring IT assets offer scalability and help businesses expand by supporting operations.
- Above all, it offers an estimate of the asset’s lifecycle to help businesses forecast any surge in the requirements of IT asset management software.
Centrally Managing and Maintaining Software and Licenses
ITAM tools help monitor and track software and hardware licenses, expirations, etc. Hence, one of the best practices is to centrally manage an asset’s data to help the business stay in compliance.
Hence here are a few steps to ensure businesses remain software compliance:
- Firstly, it is important to scan, identify and study existing licenses, including their details and deployments.
- It is also essential to select the license type that best suits the business and its objective.
- Above all, it is important to ensure software compliance by purchasing new licenses or eliminating existing applications.
Collaborate ITAM with other IT Infrastructure Library Processes
It is one of the best practices to include IT asset management in ITIL processes. It is also cost-effective, mitigates risks, and offers more value to the business and its employees.
Although, here are a few prerequisites for an effective collaboration that businesses must adhere to:
- Ensure that the workstations, processes, and tasks are allocated to the IT Team.
- It is also important to develop an inclusive configuration management database. Hence, it is easier to get an overview of the complete IT environment.
- Moreover, it is also important to associate assets to incidents, issues, and changes for easy analysis and resolution.
Therefore, once the above prerequisites are followed ITAM can now influence ITIL processes like Incident Management, Problem Management, and Change Management.
Businesses must be compliant and audit-ready to ensure control over their IT environment. External audits may occur unknowingly and therefore, businesses must prepare themselves for such scenarios.
Hence, here are the following steps to direct a hassle-free audit:
- It is important to prioritize the vendors.
- Moreover, it is necessary to regulate audit policies in the organization.
- It is also pivotal to simplify the process and create an audit-friendly environment.
- Above all, it is important to generate a remediation plan for any errors or discrepancies.
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