IT Asset Management

Need better control of your inventory? Follow these tips to save time and reduce the risk of your program. 

Why Do You Need IT Asset Management?

IT Asset Management (ITAM) is the process of keeping track of all your IT assets – whether physical or virtual – across their lifecycle, from purchase to disposal – so you can optimize performance, plan better, reduce risks by complying with regulatory and security requirements, and lower costs. We all know how important it is, but often teams scramble to maintain a comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date view of their inventory.

However, ITAM is growing in complexity. Many companies support a mix of proprietary and employee-owned devices as well as a growing number of assets distributed across data centers and locations. And since COVID, even more equipment has moved out of the office and into users’ homes.

Traditional approaches to ITAM include the use of multiple tools and systems. These approaches are manually driven, take considerable time and effort to manage, and are prone to errors. There is a better way. Teams can automate more than 50% of asset management programs while improving inventory accuracy and reducing costs and security risks. On this page, we’ve pulled together a comprehensive list of links, tips, tools and approaches you can adopt.

With data stored in multiple systems and IT asset management activities performed manually, getting an accurate inventory of all your assets is a constant battle:

  • Where is all the data stored? ITSM platforms don’t usually track spare parts or rack equipment, and you need to find out what has been purchased outside the IT domain.
  • Cross-checking data and collating it into a single static spreadsheet can take multiple team members many hours of work.
  • The pace of business change – such as department moves, reorganization, new starters and leavers – means that by the time you’ve completed the inventory, it’s already out of date.
  • Human error creates additional opportunities for bad data to impact your projects.

"By overlooking asset management capabilities, IT costs will increase and by evaluating ITAM practices, companies can achieve cost savings of 10-20%."


Gartner's
10 IT Cost Optimization Techniques for Private and Public Sector Organizations

 

Benefits of Automating Most of the ITAM Process

Band-aid fixes can work in the short-term, but will leave you with ongoing structural, performance and cost issues.  By automating most of the ITAM process, you’ll be able to achieve significant CapEx and OpEx cost savings, while eliminating the risks that result from poor IT asset management:

Save costs and maximize total cost of ownership
  • Easily identify, replace, or dispose of outdated assets such as zombie servers that are consuming resources, or old equipment that isn’t performing well.
  • Reduce purchasing errors by having accurate information about users’ unique requirements.
  • Ensure equipment is shipped to the correct location and reduce the risk of theft.
  • Rationalize your application portfolio.
Reduce Risks
  • Having a robust IT asset management lifecycle program will ensure you know where all your assets are and how to handle them so you can protect proprietary data. For example ensuring you properly handle data-bearing equipment, including disposal, and have the audit trails to prove it.
  • By fully understanding your technology currency – or how current your hardware and software is, compared to the latest available versions – you can help to prevent attacks on your network.
  • Dispose of assets correctly to comply with E-waste procedures and other requirements.
Optimize performance
  • Understand what applications are being used and over which devices and OS to ensure the best performance for users.
  • Identify the hardware that needs to be updated ahead of a Windows servicing program to ensure users remain productive with access to all their applications following program execution.

See how ReadyWorks can remove the struggles associated with IT Asset Management.

Types of IT Asset Management

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Hardware asset management (HAM)
It’s vital to understand what physical equipment is being used in your organization, who is using it and where. That includes all end user devices such as computers and smartphones, as well as data center hardware, routers, switches, printers, monitors, and more.
 
 
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Software asset management (SAM)
Software asset management is just as crucial – if you don’t understand what software you have, you can’t right-size purchasing of licenses and if you don’t have enough for the software you use, you could be facing compliance issues and fines.
 
 
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Cloud asset management (CAM)
As enterprises strive to support increasingly mobile end users, many are moving to cloud computing to leverage greater availability and flexibility to meet fluctuating demands. As they do so, so it becomes easier for applications and software purchase to be made without IT approval. That throws up new challenges when trying to keep track of all applications in the cloud (SaaS), third party platform providers (PaaS) and Infrastructure (IaaS) leveraged by your enterprise end users.
 

Best Practices for the IT Asset Management Process

To maintain full control of your IT assets throughout their lifecycles and optimize costs, you’ll need to know:

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What assets you have and how you are using them Traditionally this requires running network scans and cross-checking information against CMDBs and ITAM databases to understand owned vs leased assets and compiling the resulting data in static spreadsheets.
If you can group assets into categories

By doing this, you can apply priority groups and assign processes to a group of assets to standardize the way you treat that ‘type’ of asset across its lifecycle, including how you comply with legal, environmental, and disposal programs.

What to purchase and how to coordinate with vendor

Whether it’s planning for growth, working out which equipment is end-of-life and needs to be replaced, what software you need or any other purchasing decisions, you’ll need to investigate using your source data then add in user-specific information, taking data from HR databases and communicating with users to understand unique requirements. Once that’s complete, you’ll need to co-ordinate with Procurement and vendors.

How to schedule users and ship equipment

Whether you need to schedule a software update or the delivery of equipment during a hardware refresh program, you’ll need to communicate with users and managers and find a time that works for both the end user and the IT delivery team.

Asset utilization and maintenance

ITAM doesn’t stop once assets are deployed. You need to understand how they are being used and if they up to date to continue optimizing costs and performance.

It’s clear that to leverage all the advantages offered by ITAM, you need to constantly monitor all your IT assets across their lifecycle. But with so much of the work done manually, how are you going to conduct ITAM as a continuous process without allocating budget and making it a full-time job for a team – or outsourcing it to a service provider – year on year? The answer can be found in adopting a greater level of automation.

How to Leverage Automation for ITAM

ReadyWorks believes in applying automation to repetitive tasks to reduce the time and effort associated with ITAM. Using ReadyWorks you can reduce labor costs by 40% or more and leverage features that simplify asset management:

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Connect to all your existing tools and automate data collation and analysis for a real-time view of all your IT assets.

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Automate vendor orchestration to eliminate 90% of all procurement errors.

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Leverage a self-service portal that puts users in control to self-schedule at a time convenient for them in line with your team’s capacity, communicate unique requirements, acknowledge receipt of hardware, and more.

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Use QR codes to scan and track assets and automatically update your database across the asset’s lifecycle.

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Access dashboards that offer a real-time granular view of all your assets for infrastructure programs and audit trails. You can create customized reports in minutes and easily see the impact of any changes you make to your environment.

Using ReadyWorks you can cut the cost, time and effort you devote across ITAM activities including:
  • Workstation deployment
  • Mobile device deployment
  • Asset reclamation
  • Disposal / E-Waste
  • License management
  • Hardware refresh
  • Office moves
  • User moves
  • Monitor & peripheral deployment
  • Loaner pools
  • Parts tracking
  • Lab check-in/check-out