New Year is just around the corner, but this ‘asset management’ carol is a tune you should sing all year long…
Technology is rapidly evolving, and we’re adopting more of it every day. As a result, each day there is an addition to devices (IT Assets) and users in an organization. Tracking and managing these devices is critical for business security and success, but unfortunately most enterprise asset tracking solutions are not up to the challenge. With user-friendly and cloud-based IT Asset Management or asset tracking systems, most of the potential issues are resolved efficiently and rapidly. Such solutions enable businesses to track devices across data centers, networks and locations.
What is ITAM? IT asset management (ITAM) entails collection of inventory, financial and contractual data in order to manage an IT asset throughout its life cycle. IT Asset Management is a vital part of any organization’s strategy. It involves collection of asset/inventory information that is later used to make business decisions about future purchases and redistribution of software and hardware. This way of making business decisions based on data enables IT asset managers to eliminate waste and improve productivity by avoiding unnecessary asset purchases. At a glance:
– Asset Life Cycle is the set of phases that an asset or device goes through from procurement to disposal.
– Asset tracking is about what you’ve done with the asset. Asset Tracking is keeping tab on this life cycle.
– At the heart of it all, is the set of processes employed for asset tracking. It is the essence of IT Asset Management.
ITAM Methodology and Best Practices
IT Asset Management is definitely not a one time effort. It is an ongoing and persistent activity that pays off in the long run. An effective ITAM solution must entail an IT asset management repository, usage information on both hardware and software components, integration with adjacent IT and business systems and ability to import data. To achieve the major goal of ITAM, an organization must go through these steps:
1. Asset discovery, details and storage – Identify all hardware and software components and record details including type of asset, make year, specs, etc. These details then need to be stored in an asset repository system.
2. Equipment Tracking – Identify and track any change in asset details from change in location to increase/decrease in stock quantity along with asset assignments and user information.
3. Asset Lifecycle Management – Manage the asset lifecycle i.e. keeping track of an asset from requisitioning, purchase and assignment to expiration and retirement.
4. Reporting and Alerts – Generate reports and set alerts for timely action on the assets’ warranty and lease expiration.
The biggest challenge of IT Asset Management is centralizing each asset’s lifecycle. It is also the biggest opportunity for businesses to improve their asset utilization. Based on our experience of working with a large number of businesses, we recommend the following ITAM best practices. These practices will help you achieve significant cost-saving opportunities, service improvements, productivity boost and high return on investment (ROI) on your IT assets.
– Assessment of new assets – When adding new assets to the inventory, all components should be recorded and reviewed. For example, when adding a new Macbook, you should note down it’s model, serial and accessories among other things. You may also want to record the installed programs and their license keys.
– Review of Asset Utilization – Once asset utilization has been determined, regularly reviewing and taking actions enables improvement in return on investment. It also highlights issues related to assets being in stock yet not being available when needed by staff.
– Identify missing assets in the field – It’s important to always record asset assignments. This way you will be able to locate any missing asset that was not reported or checked back in by the user. You can then gather details on which assets were lost, damaged or are a business liability.
– License and Contracts – Software licenses should be reviewed on regular basis. A common practice is to set alerts on your system against the software details and get notified every time a license is about to expire. Attach all important documents like invoices to be fully prepared for an IT audit.
– Establish milestones for ITAM projects – Implementing effective ITAM requires thorough coordination between process owners and IT. And best practices call for setting milestones for ITAM projects for software implementation, hardware upgrades, process definition, major integrations, training & testing and finally the roll-out.
“Growing is about finding the next big trick up your sleeve every six to 18 months. Do this by trying a bunch of stuff at once to see what works” – Epstein.
In a nutshell, all businesses have some ITAM processes in one way or the other. But you need to optimize these processes to help your business/organization achieve efficiency, transparency, simpler auditing, better compliance and long term asset manageability.
Why EZOfficeInventory for IT Asset Management?
Evolve your IT operational practices with EZOfficeInventory
IT Asset Management depends on robust processes, with the right tools to automate manual processes. EZOfficeInventory provides powerful and smart IT management software to businesses worldwide. We strive to eliminate complexity that most businesses face in traditional enterprise ITAM software. EZOfficeInventory delivers an easy to use asset tracking software which addresses IT management. It spans across simplifying IT operations and does much more, such as supporting compliance, boosting resource productivity, and asset procurement planning. No matter if your business is small, midsize, large or enterprise level, ITAM is something you should implement to achieve operational efficiency.