IT Asset Management PDF
As businesses grow, many realize that disorderly IT systems create a lot of frustration. It’s difficult to manage operations when you don’t know which computers are at specific locations, when updates should be done, and when the proper time is to upgrade and replace old components. That’s where IT asset management (ITAM) comes into play.
This article will cover everything there is to know about asset management. We’ll dig into successful IT asset management frameworks and examples of asset management and even provide you with a full IT asset management PDF that you can download and reference back to at any time. Keep reading to get all the details about ITAM.
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What Is IT Asset Management?
Before getting into the strategic components of IT Asset Management, you’ll want to know what it is and how it affects businesses.
ITAM creates a framework for how businesses can track and optimize their computer equipment throughout its lifecycle. That involves:
- Getting the best value for assets when they’re purchased.
- Deploying them effectively.
- Maintaining equipment to extend its life.
- Selling old equipment to get the most value back from it.
Every business should have an organized asset management system in place. That way, you’re prepared to show your financial data if you’re ever audited, always know how your IT investments are being used and can plan to handle times when malfunctions occur effectively. It eliminates a lot of the stress that is common with technical issues.
While this is an excellent system, getting everything set up can be confusing. If you’re unsure where to start, Multiply can help. We’re a team of consultants and senior service technicians specializing in IT asset and data management. We can help you set up inventories, conduct audits, and bridge communications to get these processes running smoothly.
IT Asset Examples
To better understand what an ITAM system covers, let’s look at some examples of IT assets. Typically, you’ll see assets broken down into the following categories:
- Hardware assets: Your physical computer equipment is the backbone of daily processes. Common hardware assets are switches, hubs, SIM cards, desktops, and laptops. All these assets take up physical space, so part of the management process involves floor plans and managing their distribution throughout a company.
- Software assets: Most businesses use plenty of software that needs to be tracked and managed. Software assets include programs like bookkeeping, project management, and time-tracking software. You’ll also see associated licenses and documentation from software fall under this category.
- Cloud-based assets: You probably store a decent portion of company projects and data in cloud-based programs. Any systems like Dropbox or Google Cloud Storage would fall under this category. In addition, SaaS programs or PaaS programs may also fall under cloud-based assets.
- Peripheral assets: Your hardware assets often depend on peripherals to use them effectively. These would be things like monitors, keyboards, and computer mice. You may also see other items used externally from computer hardware like projectors, scanners, and printers fall under this category.
- Fixed assets: Most companies have several long-term fixed assets that impact ITAM processes. These could include server rooms, cooling units, and storage cabinets. You want to optimize your floor plans and storage systems appropriately to house your IT equipment and keep daily processes running smoothly.
As you can see, there are several types of IT assets that companies invest in. Hardware assets are one of the most important since they are responsible for running many company operations. It’s hard to access digital assets like your time-tracking software if your hardware isn’t functioning correctly.
The importance of hardware assets is why we focus on that area at Multiply. If you need a partner in planning your physical asset management systems, we can be your go-to for all your needs.
How Do You Implement an Asset Management Plan?
Implementing an asset management plan involves creating a structure for organizing team members, defining roles and responsibilities, and facilitating proper communication. Using some asset management best practices can help implement this system effectively.
IT Asset Management Best Practices
Common IT asset management best practices to create a successful system are:
- Define roles and responsibilities: Everyone should know their roles and responsibilities to keep processes organized. Employees or teams should be designated to specific areas, such as managing inventories, conducting audits, negotiating with vendors, and performing maintenance/updates.
- Facilitate communication: Systems should be in place, so different teams can share information and communicate effectively. For instance, if desktops are upgraded to new laptops, all affected team members should be informed of the schedule to prepare for that change.
- Track metrics: You should define essential metrics to determine where processes can be optimized over time. Common metrics that may be tracked are the average cost of a workstation, the average cost of maintaining an asset, or the ratio of used to purchased licenses.
By keying in on these best practices, you can manage a well-rounded ITAM system that gets everyone on board with the process.
Partnering with Multiply can also be a great resource. We can help if you don’t have a good idea of which roles to implement on teams, how to facilitate communication or specific metrics that are important. With Multiply on your side, you can focus on other essential areas of your business while we handle the details of the ITAM system.
What Are the 5 Steps in IT Asset Lifecycle Management?
Part of implementing a successful IT asset management framework also comes down to managing assets at each key point in their lifecycle. The five key stages of asset life cycle management can be broken down into the following:
- Inventorying assets: Your asset inventory will be the backbone of running this system effectively. You’ll want to run asset discovery processes to ensure everything is accounted for and continuously update your inventory when you buy new assets and dispose of old ones.
- Asset procurement: Any growing business will run into frequent occurrences where they need to purchase new equipment. The procurement process puts core processes into place to facilitate negotiation with vendors and ensure assets are purchased for the best price within your designated budget.
- Deploying assets: While we’d all like newly purchased assets to function correctly from the get-go, that isn’t always the case. It can be an adjustment process that needs to be planned accordingly. Optimizing these processes keeps teams informed when assets are deployed and create preventative measures to ensure they operate effectively.
- Regular maintenance/updates: All computer equipment needs to be maintained regularly to ensure it’s functioning at full capacity and to extend its life and usefulness within the business. This portion of ITAM involves scheduling routine maintenance and updates to avoid disrupting the flow of business operations.
- Asset Disposition: During regular check-ins on assets, there will be times when you find some are no longer functioning how they should be and need to be replaced. Asset disposition sets a process to sell old equipment for the best price, use proper recycling procedures, and erase all memory from hard drives.
This can feel like a very complex system to implement, especially for businesses that aren’t very familiar with ITAM. If you’d like help in this process, our team at Multiply is here to help. We have years of experience implementing all of these steps in a way that is easy to manage. We can be your partner in this process to take the work off of your busy schedule.
What Is an Example of IT Asset Management?
To better understand how ITAM works, let’s go over a quick IT asset management example.
Ben is in charge of tracking IT asset compliance in his company. However, he quickly realizes that tracking data from assets in multiple company locations presents many challenges. It’s hard to get accurate and streamlined reporting when everyone does things a bit differently.
Ben knew he couldn’t keep up if he had to manage this entire process on his own, so he and other decision-makers in the company decided to partner with Multiply to help.
Upon Multiply coming on board, a few key changes were made to help make compliance audits much more manageable. Those changes consisted of the following:
- Streamlining audit scheduling across locations.
- Using streamlined software to capture audit findings in real-time, replacing complex spreadsheets.
- Automating device remediation and reporting.
By implementing this system, Ben could easily ensure his teams were always complying with regulations. Multiply could facilitate the process and communications between teams, so he could focus on making core business decisions that drive company progress forward.
What Are the Types of IT Asset Management?
Along with the asset management process, there are also different types of ITAM that correlate with the various kinds of IT assets you may find in a company. The main types of ITAM are:
- Hardware asset management
- Software asset management
- Fixed asset management
- Cloud-based asset management
These types of ITAM are pretty self-explanatory. For instance, hardware asset management involves tracking and managing all computer hardware, whereas cloud-based asset management would handle all cloud computer programs.
If you’re wondering which one is most important to focus on, hardware asset management (HAM) is where you should start. We focus on HAM at Multiply to ensure you have all your physical assets tracked, optimized, and planned for in a streamlined way, which can be a common struggle for many businesses when these assets are spread out across locations.
What Are the 3 Main Deliverables of IT Asset Management?
As you can tell, ITAM requires implementing some detailed processes, so you’re probably wondering what specific benefits you can expect to see from it. The three primary deliverables of ITAM are:
- Cost savings: ITAM is meant to get you the most value from computer equipment. You’ll see cost savings by negotiating better prices when buying and selling equipment and extending the lifecycle of assets to get the most use out of them.
- Organization: Managing computer equipment comes with its share of frustrations that can cause hectic work environments when things go wrong. ITAM helps organize everything so you know where computer equipment is being used and can smoothly diagnose issues if they arise.
- Better team/work environment: ITAM facilitates communications between teams so everyone can work effectively together. With ITAM processes in place, all teams involved can be notified about changes and plan schedules to avoid disrupting core business operations.
Every business can benefit from saving time and money while taking stress off their employees. It creates a more effective work environment to help you achieve your business goals.
How Multiply Can Help
ITAM is extremely beneficial, but implementing it can be difficult when you’ve never managed these systems before. Multiply can be your partner in this process to make it simple.
We are a team of IT consultants and senior service technicians with years of IT asset and data management experience. We’ve successfully completed audits and helped streamline processes for several Fortune 500 companies, and we’re confident we can do the same for you.
Contact us today to learn more about how Multiply can help with your ITAM needs!