IT asset management (ITAM) is the umbrella term for tracking technology deployments across their lifecycle in an organization and ensuring that the assets are identifiable, accessible, and usable for staff. ITAM covers both tangible and intangible assets. This means that both devices and data fall under the category of IT assets, and both effective management to deliver desired outcomes.
To make the most of ITAM, organizations need best practices: A set of standard policies and processes that govern how assets are deployed, implemented, maintained, upgraded, and finally taken offline.
What are IT asset management best practices, and how do they work? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Common Challenges in IT Asset Management
Without effective ITAM, companies face multiple challenges, including:
To manage IT environments, businesses need to know what they have, where it’s located, and how it works with other systems and solutions. If companies don’t have consistent ITAM practices, creating an accurate inventory becomes impossible.
Missing inventory data makes it easy for teams to accidentally purchase tools or technology they already have. In addition, fragmented management processes can lead to redundant operations that waste both time and money.
ITAM helps track both tangible and intangible assets in your organization. Without ITAM, it’s easy for companies to over- or under-purchase IT assets — such as hardware — or encounter challenges in managing software licenses and subscriptions. The result: increased costs to run additional tools that aren’t being used or pay a premium to meet sudden service needs.
ITAM provides a single source of truth — teams can see what’s happening across their environment at any given time. If this single source is absent, departments and business units are on their own, leading to IT solutions that are cut off from the company.
Six ITAM Best Practices
To ensure that ITAM delivers on the potential of improved IT management, best practices are critical. Here are six to help companies make the most of asset management.
1) Understand What You Have
What are IT asset management best practices? To answer that question, teams must implement a process that goes beyond ITAM to encompass all aspects of an organization: inventory.
In practice, this means detecting, identifying, and cataloging every IT asset in your organization and assigning them unique identifiers. This sets the stage for effective ITAM.
2) Make ITAM Part of the Process
Next is ensuring that ITAM isn’t separate from day-to-day business practices but instead part of the larger IT ecosystem. This could include the integration of ITAM tools with security solutions or IT service management (ITSM) deployments to help provide greater visibility.
3) Automate Where Possible
The more automation the better when it comes to ITAM. From automated reporting to automated alerts and even tools capable of taking automated action if issues are detected, implementing hands-off processes can streamline IT management.
4) Regularly Audit Environments
IT environments are dynamic. As a result, companies should regularly audit IT environments to pinpoint new areas for ITAM implementation. One example is remote work — with many employees now working part or full time from home, it’s critical for companies to regularly evaluate all endpoints and ensure network security compliance.
5) Incorporate Asset Lifecycles
Assets have a lifecycle. For on-premises servers, the typical lifecycle is three to five years. For mobile devices, it might be just a year or two. Understanding how devices are implemented, managed, updated, and eventually retired from service is critical for successful ITAM.
6) Track Value and Costs
Values and costs change over time. For example, a new software solution might improve team productivity, in turn increasing value. Six months down the road, however, and declining use of the tool might lead to greater costs. ITAM solutions can help companies find a balance between value and cost to maximize the impact of IT spending.
Improving ITAM With CIO Tech
To help companies address ITAM challenges and implement best practices, we offer both information and action. We are here to help you understand what are IT asset management best practices.
With CIO Tech’s IT management consulting, companies can discover where processes are working, where improvements are needed, and how to get from point A to point B. With our IT managed solutions, meanwhile, teams can deploy the services they need where they need them to help meet management best practices.
Discover what makes CIO Tech different. Let’s talk.