In recent months, there has been a lot of talk about the importance of coordinating digital processes with IT assets to optimize business resources.
This practice is called IT Asset Management (or ITAM) and consists of a set of business rules that support the life cycle of assets, to facilitate decision making.
No matter the needs of your business, ITAM will help you monitor your entire portfolio of assets.
Technology experts also claim that these practices are the center between money, innovation, and the continuous improvement of a company.
In this article, we will discuss ITAM, how to implement it successfully, and its benefits. Let’s start!
What is an IT asset?
Before talking about ITAM, we must first understand what an IT asset is. IT technicians define it as the software, hardware, and technological elements that a company has.
Usually, hardware assets include computers, networks, servers, printers, copiers, phones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
While, software assets include licenses, versions of a system, installed endpoints, and APIs.
What is IT asset management?
IT asset management is the set of rules and processes that allow you to manage IT resources efficiently. These principles are also used to supervise the lifecycle of IT assets.
Always taking into account their physical, financial, and contractual characteristics.
Generally, these assets are difficult to acquire, configure, secure, and maintain. For this reason, ITAM allows businesses to achieve different objectives, including:
- Reduce hardware costs, software licensing, and maintenance work.
- Improve productivity.
- Manage resources more effectively.
- Document assets for audit purposes.
- Comply with security standards and service level agreements (SLAs).
Asset management is also very important for accounting processes and makes budget planning a lot easier. This is because a company must know what it has in its inventory to satisfy future needs.
However, to understand better all this process, we need to study first each phase of the IT asset life cycle.
What is the IT asset life cycle?
The life cycle of an asset includes everything that happens from the moment a product or service is requested to the time of its retirement or disincorporation.
This process can be summarized in the following phases:
Stage 1: Application and Acquisition
This step marks the beginning of an asset’s lifecycle and is when IT departments apply for approval to purchase a product or service.
Once the application is approved, the asset is acquired, and the IT department begins to plan its installation.
Stage 2: Registration of the IT asset in the inventory
This phase is one of the most important of the ITAM process. Since all the hardware and software used to support a company’s processes must be recorded in the inventory.
This phase is completed meticulously manually or in an automated way with the help of a system. The latter method is the most beneficial, as it allows all assets to be automatically identified and reported.
Stage 3 and 4: Installation and maintenance
In stage 3, IT technicians must install and configure the new hardware or software, following the specifications set by the company.
After completing the installation stage, they must create a maintenance plan, to ensure the proper functioning of the asset and minimize repair costs.
Stage 5: Retirement
This corresponds to the last step of the ITAM process. It aims to ensure the retiring employees can store their assets in a safe place, so other teams can reuse the hardware or digital devices.
In addition, companies must ensure that the IT Department can disincorporate obsolete equipment efficiently and follow security policies.
Follow these tips and improve the management of your IT assets
Focus on the lifecycle: Keep in mind that IT asset management starts from the moment someone requests the purchase, and ends when the asset is deprecated. This way, you can have a complete inventory.
Build an ITAM implementation team: Having a dedicated IT asset management team will help you have a more complete inventory, and teach users about the benefits ITAM offers to the business.
Classify and prioritize your inventory: Sometimes, it is not enough to classify assets as “hardware” or “software”. In this case you must create subcategories to have a broader view of the type of product you have.
Create a database: This practice is very useful if you want to normalize the information obtained by multiple sources.
By creating a database, you can also manage your assets more efficiently, and understand how they interconnect with each other.
Automate as much as possible: Creating an inventory manually can be a difficult task, if you have a lot of assets to analyze.
To avoid this problem, we recommend you analyze each stage of the life cycle and implement solutions that help you simplify this process.
This allows you to save time and keep your inventory updated.
Keep reading! We have an important recommendation:
Many companies fall into the trap of indecision by thinking that investing in asset management will cost them a lot of money.
However, if we analyze the work involved in conducting an internal audit to identify each asset, it becomes clear that implementing a service desk is the most low-cost option.
You can monitor your assets in real-time with this tool. Most importantly get detailed information about each of them, including active hardware, contracts, configuration information, SLAs, and much more.
In addition, service desks will also help you automatically identify all your company’s assets and schedule periodic scans to search for new hardware and software.
If you want to implement this system in your company, we are sure that the Freshservice solution will cover all your needs.
With this platform, you can manage your digital devices throughout their life cycle. And use predefined workflows to save time by performing repetitive processes.
Freshservice also features a modern interface. That allows you to control all configuration elements and helps you identify interrelationships between IT assets.
Are you ready to take advantage of the benefits of ITAM?
At GB Advisors we help you install this and other technological solutions to automate your business processes. We offer you personalized attention with the installation and configuration of any software.
You will also receive free advice from our group of experts, who will guide you through the process that you can get the most of every tool. Contact us now!