IT Asset Lifecycle Management: How to Use Automation to Reduce Costs

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Published on May 2, 2021 by

Andrew Sweeney

With an increasingly mobile and more remotely distributed workforce, the challenge of tracking and analyzing the use of all your company’s physical and virtual IT Assets across their lifecycle just got harder. But if you don’t know where they are or how they’re being used, how are you going to identify potential threats or new efficiencies?

For any IT infrastructure manager, the IT asset lifecycle management (ITALM) process can be complex. Yet it’s a crucial component of the operational and financial success of any company. ITALM helps you:

  • Understand total cost of ownership of any asset.
  • Better understand IT needs and make more informed decisions.
  • Be proactive about future acquisitions and improve services for end users.
  • Reduce security risks.

Structuring IT Asset Lifecycle Management

There’s a lot to consider across the five stages of ITALM:

1. Procurement:

To know what hardware needs to be replaced or how many software licenses you need to buy:

  • Collect and analyze user and business requirements:
    • Gain information from CMDBs and cross-check with your IT Asset Management (ITAM) database.
    • Filter data to understand, for example, hardware nearing end of life or how many users need ‘x’ software.
    • Add in data from HR databases and talk to users and managers to confirm locations, business units, unique hardware and software requirements, and more.
  • Schedule:
    • Confirm when equipment is needed and if anyone will be available to receive it - this has become even more relevant with the increase in remote working.
    • Determine if users require additional assistance - they’ll need to create a ticket or speak to the IT service desk.
    • If it is an application or OS update, find out who needs to be scheduled.
  • Orchestrate communication with vendors and end users, including requirements, shipping information, receipt confirmation, and instructions for returning hardware if applicable.

2. Deployment:
  • Use your systems management platforms to deploy software updates once system and user readiness criteria have been met.
  • After deployment, update your CMDB with details about the assets, including model numbers for hardware, software versions for applications and operating systems, user information, and physical location if applicable.

3. Utilization

Once all assets are fully deployed, continue tracking them to understand:

  • Who is using the equipment, where they are located, and what cost/business center that asset is charged to.
  • If it’s owned or leased and when the lease expires.
  • If it’s in use or idle.
  • If hardware is running the latest OS.
  • If all software/applications are being used, or if you can consolidate applications to optimize licensing costs.
  • Equipment and application dependencies, such as which applications and equipment rely on which server.

4. Monitoring and Maintenance:

Keeping track of equipment that is nearing end-of-life or lease expiration will improve budget forecasting, resource planning, and coordination with programs like annual Windows 10 Servicing.

 

5. E-waste disposal:

To comply with legal, environmental, and corporate policies you’ll have to group assets into types and define your IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) process for each group:

  • Define and mark assets as being data-bearing and non-data bearing, understanding that data-bearing equipment must be treated differently to minimize security risks.
  • Work with e-waste vendors to collect and dispose of or recycle and reuse assets, once scrubbed of data.
  • Maintain records for audit trails.

 

The Challenge of Managing ITALM Manually

In an ideal world, all equipment would reach end of life at the same time to make the ITALM process easier. But changes to the business, new-hires, department initiatives, and various lease cycles for equipment make that impossible. Traditionally, most of the work is completed manually including:

  • Collating user and business needs.
  • Communicating with end users, equipment and e-waste vendors.
  • Scheduling.
  • Deployment, including populating deployment waves in your systems management platform.
  • Updating and maintaining records for tracking and audit trails.

Accurately tracking your company’s assets and making informed decisions can be an uphill battle, requiring huge investments in time, and budget, and resulting in major headaches for multiple team members. Manual processes are prone to human error meaning you can never be sure you are basing your decisions on accurate or even up-to-date information. Bad data can delay the process and cause you to go over budget.

By leveraging automation for all your repetitive tasks, you can cut the time, cost, and risks associated with managing your asset lifecycle program as an ongoing process.

 

Reduce Labor Costs by 40% Using Automation

With ReadyWorks you can:

  • Access real-time information about your assets, by connecting to all your tools and databases.
  • Orchestrate tools to trigger automated workflows, cutting the time associated with completing tasks manually.
  • Leverage a self-service portal that gives users control to select scheduling times, communicate unique requirements, acknowledge receipt of hardware, and more.
  • Automate communications leveraging pre-defined templates and event triggers.
  • Generate QR codes for assets to quickly enter them into your inventory.
  • Access dashboards that provide a real-time granular view of assets as well as an audit trail for security compliance.

 

Want to leverage automation to reduce OpEx by 50% or more and eliminate 90% of costly procurement errors? Schedule a demo with ReadyWorks.