IT Asset Management Best Practices
Businesses wanting to implement IT asset management (ITAM) into their processes will want to know some best practices to help manage all the steps effectively. In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about IT asset management best practices and how to set this system up for success.
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What Is Asset Management in ITIL V4?
The ITIL is an IT asset management policies and procedures manual that provides guidelines to manage your company’s computer equipment effectively. Asset management ITIL V4 defines ITAM as a business practice to plan and manage computer equipment throughout its lifecycle. The ultimate goals of ITAM are to maximize value, manage risks, and control costs.
ITIL Asset Definition
In addition to knowing what asset management is, you’ll also want to understand how the ITIL defines an IT asset. The ITIL states that IT assets are any piece of computer equipment that brings value to a company’s operations. IT assets include personal computers, hard drives, switches, servers, and more.
What Are the Types of Asset Management in ITIL?
The main types of asset management in ITIL are:
- Hardware asset management: Your company’s IT hardware is one of the primary concerns in asset management since it’s usually the backbone of many business operations. Hardware can consist of personal computers, hubs, switches, hard drives, and any other physical computer equipment.
- Software asset management: Most businesses use several software programs in their processes. This can include time-tracking software, CRM software, and accounting software, to name a few. Licenses and documentation for software also fall under this category since that information should be continuously monitored.
- Fixed asset management: A company’s fixed assets, like server rooms, storage cabinets, and cooling units, may also fall under ITAM in ITIL. Fixed assets often contribute to floor planning, budgeting, and storage systems used in the ITAM process.
- Peripheral asset management: Peripherals can fall under hardware or take up their own category. The ITIL defines peripherals as their own category, with some of the main types of equipment being projectors, monitors, computer mice, and keyboards.
- Cloud-based asset management: Many businesses use several cloud-based computer programs. Cloud-based storage is commonly used to speed up processes and free up valuable physical hard drive space. You may also see SaaS programs and PaaS programs fall under this category.
Out of all the types of asset management under ITIL, hardware asset management is consistently cited as one of the most essential. It runs tons of crucial functions within a business, like the essential information on your physical hard drives.
The importance of managing hardware is why our team at Multiply chooses to specialize in hardware asset management. We have years of experience helping companies with physical asset discovery, running audits, and setting up inventories to help you efficiently track all the needed information about each piece of equipment.
What Are the 5 Stages of Asset Management Lifecycle?
IT asset lifecycle management best practices under the ITIL and ITIL management process flow charts will consistently talk about the asset management lifecycle. Let’s break down the five key stages of the lifecycle to give you a better understanding of it. Those stages are:
- Planning/inventory: The ITIL stresses planning and inventorying as a critical stage in the process. Every ITAM system should have a core plan to ensure everything functions smoothly. One of the aspects that will help is a streamlined inventory system with detailed information on all your IT assets.
- Procurement: Every business will find times when new computer equipment needs to be purchased. There needs to be a predefined process to ensure you stay within budget, get the best possible equipment, and set yourself up for success to negotiate the best prices with vendors.
- Deployment: Deploying assets can be a tricky process. After all, working with equipment you aren’t familiar with isn’t easy. That’s why a structured system for deployment is crucial to avoid disrupting business operations. It lets your IT team get everything up and running effectively before placing equipment in regular operations.
- Maintenance/audits: All computer equipment should be regularly maintained, audited for compliance, and updated. This stage of the lifecycle comprises many daily IT functions that go into helping your equipment function at its full potential.
- Disposition: The disposition stage occurs as IT assets age and stop functioning as well as they used to. When this happens, they can be resold to vendors for the best possible value or disposed of using proper protocols and erasing all vital information from hard drives.
All of these stages in the asset lifecycle are meant to help businesses get the most value out of their IT equipment. If you’re confused about where to start, our team at Multiply can help you with each one by creating a streamlined system that is much easier to manage and working with all teams involved to ensure everyone communicates effectively.
What Are IT Asset Management Processes?
When you hear the phrase IT asset management processes, it ultimately refers to asset lifecycle management. ITAM is a cyclical system that needs to be continuously monitored and maintained to keep your business operating smoothly. Your IT team should continually check equipment, perform updates, and ensure it is still working at full functionality.
IT Asset Management Risks and Controls
Within the processes of ITAM, you’ll likely become familiar with various risks and controls. Some of the common risks with computer equipment include:
- Malfunctions that occur during setup or after assets have been used in operations for some time.
- Cyber attacks could cause critical information to leak.
- Compliance errors with key business regulations or not having information on hand if the company is ever audited.
There should be controls in place within the company that help with these areas of concern. Performing routine maintenance can help with the risk of malfunctions, setting up an IT asset inventory and performing equipment upgrades helps prevent cyber attacks and information leaking, and performing regular self-audits helps with compliance concerns.
What Are the Steps in IT Asset Management?
Along with managing the key stages of the asset lifecycle, there are still other steps in deploying an effective asset management program. Some of the main steps include:
- Defining roles and responsibilities throughout the IT team.
- Calculating lifecycle costs.
- Performing long-term financial planning.
- Setting goals you want to achieve with the asset management system and for company performance.
Taking care of each of these steps will ensure that all your asset management efforts are operating with intention. Your teams should know what goals they’re working towards and what financial metrics they need to achieve to perform effectively. It helps everyone stay on the same page and understand their role.
IT Asset Management Audit Checklist
Another set of steps in ITAM is getting the correct processes down and knowing what to check for during audits. Regular self-audits are ideal to ensure compliance throughout the company. Here’s a brief checklist of information to gather about each piece of computer equipment you own during a self-audit:
- Purchase price – the beginning value of each asset.
- Date of purchase – to better understand where the asset is in its lifecycle.
- Current condition of the asset – to determine how it’s performing, whether it requires maintenance, etc.
- Location and users – to know which area of the company and which individuals are using the asset, and how they’re using it.
- Expected lifecycle – an estimate of how long assets will stay at top performance and when they may need to be replaced.
- Remaining lifespan – the remaining amount of time where the asset will be an optimal functionality to prepare budgetary needs for when each must be replaced.
- Replacement cost – an estimate for the expense of replacing each asset.
- Salvage value – estimate for how much you can get back for each asset if resold to vendors.
Pulling all this information during an audit will help immensely in the success of your ITAM plan. You’ll have a more consistent idea of how each asset is performing, what areas could be improved, and be able to plan for the future financially.
What Are the Key Activities Involved in IT Asset Management?
The key activities in asset management involve significant steps, like creating and updating inventories, performing audits, and purchasing or disposing of equipment. It’s important to use ITIL asset management best practices during all these various activities to ensure your team communicates effectively and everyone knows their role.
IT Asset Management Best Practices
Some of the core asset management best practices under ITIL are:
- Have someone in charge of running the ITAM system. This can be an IT asset specialist or a team of specialists like Multiply, with whom you can partner to ensure everything runs smoothly.
- Define critical assets to understand what’s most important. Every business has crucial components like servers and storage devices that must be optimized.
- Collect metrics and feedback to improve consistently. You want to ensure you are always striving for improvement in ITAM. New updates, technology, and regulations will always come into play and can shake up equipment performance. Your metrics will be a great tool to know where you can improve.
Deploying these best practices within the key activities of ITAM will allow you to have a more functional and streamlined system in place.
What Are the 3 Main Deliverables of IT Asset Management?
By now, you can see that ITAM has several core processes that must be managed. So why is it all important? Here are three of the main deliverables of ITAM, which make it an essential business process. The three main deliverables of ITAM are:
- Get the most value from each piece of computer equipment a business invests in. Like anything else you spend money on, your IT equipment is an investment, and its potential should be optimized.
- Create a more organized system that facilitates a better work environment, mitigates risks, and helps make educated decisions when malfunctions occur.
- Facilitate communication between all teams involved so everyone’s on the same page and stress is reduced within the whole company.
If you’d like help achieving all the core processes and deliverables of ITAM, Multiply will be a great asset in the process.
How Multiply Helps with IT Asset Management
Multiply is a team of IT consultants and senior service technicians. We partner with businesses to create easier, streamlined systems for IT asset management. We can assist in completing audits, facilitating communications between teams, and creating inventories. With Multiply on your side, you’ll have a trusted team that can take a lot of the work off your shoulders.
Contact us today to learn more about how Multiply can help!