IT asset management (ITAM) solution ensures effective management of IT assets — a common challenge for organizations at all stages of development across a diverse set of industries.
Companies typically own and lease multiple devices including laptops, mobile devices, and virtual machines, etc. along with the management of BYOD (bring your own devices). This is why it is imperative to put an efficient ITAM solution in place. A cloud-based solution will enable you to streamline and optimize the use of your IT assets, cut costs, and stay compliant.
What is an ITAM solution and why do you need one?
IT asset management is the practice of collecting detailed information on the hardware, software, and networking assets being used in your organization and leveraging this data to get the most out of the technology investments.
When IT assets are managed and administered properly, the information can be used to minimize risks, save time, and help make informed decisions.
Streamlined asset management requires the seamless integration of people, processes, and technology which makes an IT asset management solution an indispensable part of this strategy.
A comprehensive ITAM solution will provide insight into what assets you have, how they are being utilized, and how this information can be leveraged to make better decisions. Here are a few core functions your solution can provide:
- Agreement/contract management
- Hardware asset management
- Inventory management
- Software asset management
1. Hardware Asset Management
From procurement to retirement, the ITAM software maps the entire life cycle of every hardware asset. The maintenance charts and other important phases of an asset are recorded and represented on the system.
This boosts efficiency and reduces IT support and maintenance costs on the whole.
2. Inventory Management
Assets like mice, USB devices, cables, or other such accessories fall under this category. Due to their low real value, they are usually managed in bulk and are not recorded individually.
3. Software Asset Management
Capturing and tracking license purchases, software versions, and administering their usage is the core capability of a good IT asset management solution.
It ensures that the organization is meeting its legal, contractual, and regulatory requirements for software licensing.
4. Agreement/ Contract Management
From warranty periods to leasing information and service agreements, everything can be recorded in an ITAM solution and linked to the relevant assets.
This benefits the organization by minimizing litigations and by ensuring that all terms and conditions are being recorded. Not only that, but it also maintains the contractual consistency for all agreements.
4 things to consider while investing in an ITAM solution
Companies invest in IT asset management software to get a clear picture of their software licensing, assets life, preventive maintenance, and compliance. The lack of these tools can lead to under licensing, overspending, and invisible assets.
Therefore, in order to avoid a sizable bad investment, companies must ensure that they are choosing the right ITAM software for their business needs.
Let’s explore the considerations that should be taken into account when evaluating the right solution:
1. Understanding the challenges
The key while choosing the tool is to know what challenges your company is facing and what exactly will the tool be used for. Based on the capabilities, these tools can be categorized as follows:
- Visibility: Identify assets, asset stocks, and inventory
- Identification: Capture the relevant information and specifications of the assets
- Risk Analysis: Prioritizing the assets that need attention
- Efficiency: Prolong the life of the assets
- Continual Service Improvement: Work on maturing your existing ITAM strategy
- Agility: Provide actionable insights into organizational assets
Acquiring ITAM software for an organization is a sizable investment and understanding the capabilities is the right place to start from.
However, the choice of acquiring a specific ITAM tool should be backed by a strategic evaluation of the current state of IT assets and future-proofing those investments.
2. “All-in-one” ITAM solution
If you want a 360-degree view of what licenses and software are being used in the company, then perhaps the visibility solution will work best for you. If you are looking to cut costs and identify unnecessary spending, then the efficiency tool will be helpful, and so on.
While weighing on the options for purchasing an ITAM tool, organizations also come across vendors who can help solve most of the IT asset management challenges with a single multi-capability tool.
Such tools are an ideal mix for specialized IT asset management as they manage and oversee your IT assets life cycle, provide full visibility to improve operational efficiency, and reduce risks such as software license compliance.
It is always a good practice to ensure that such specialized software has all the features to tackle your IT asset management challenges.
3. The right people
Although a good IT asset management solution will automate the management processes, provide greater visibility, and reduce complexities, all of this cannot be achieved if you don’t have a good IT team in place.
ITAM solutions are platforms that need to be administered and a truly successful asset management strategy exhibits positive results through a combination of the right tools and the right people in place.
Although the ITAM tool will record the information regarding software licenses, inventory, and other assets, you will still need professionals to interpret the information to the organization’s advantage.
Therefore, while choosing an IT asset management tool, make sure that you have the right team in place to manage the tool.
4. Types of ITAM solutions to choose from
Before you make an investment, it is crucial to understand the specific needs of your business. Every IT asset management solution has different capabilities and tackles different challenges.
Below is a list of common software types:
- Software License Management: Software asset management tools work in conjunction with general inventory management solutions to give your business an idea of its current entitlement position. Such a tool will allow you to view and track your software licenses, software contract terms, terms and conditions, and the users. It will automate license tracking and will cut the relevant administrative tasks by at least 50%.
- Inventory Management: Managing hardware and software components in your IT ecosystem are one of the most common forms of ITAM solutions. A tool with this capability is the most essential to your asset management because it gives you details about which assets you own, the state of these assets, and their life span.
- IT Service Management: A tool with service management capabilities will help you manage customer requests, IT assets, and workflows. ITSM solutions help your IT teams handle tickets, share knowledge, and solve problems faster with features like asset discovery & management, incident reporting management, and configuration & knowledge management.
- Procurement Management: A key indicator of an efficient IT asset management solution is that it tracks the life of your assets from procurement to retirement. Such management tools keep a catalog of pre-approved assets so employees can request new hardware and software assets. Having such an ITAM solution ensures that the right asset brands and versions are being acquired.
It is imperative to pick an IT asset management solution that solves your IT management problems and scales as your company grows.
AssetSonar is a leading IT asset management software that leverages best practices to support your IT asset management requirements and seamlessly integrates with other critical businesses and IT systems.
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