Exploring the link between IT Asset Management and Procurement
In order to implement a successful IT tracking system, all departments in an organization must work together to effectively monitor asset utilization. Doing so helps to streamline the lifecycle of all IT assets and maximize the rate of returns. Generally, the main components for the asset lifecycle include:
While companies designate separate teams for each of these tasks, a better idea would be to integrate departments at some level. This lets you gain proficient insights into how the nature of IT assets evolves over time. Taking this into consideration, the procurement and management teams can collaborate and make decisions accordingly. If the two teams do not have a strong working relationship, this can cause numerous risk situations for the organization.
Let’s take a look at some of the roadblocks that may arise due to poor team collaboration:
A. Unnecessary or non-optimized purchases
This basically refers to assets and software items being purchased when they are not even required by the office staff. Some situations like this may occur when the usage of an item has decreased, e.g. desktop computers that are not commonly used anymore. If the procurement team doesn’t keep themselves updated with the latest trends, they might end up wasting limited resources. Similarly, for software assets, there are instances when switching licenses leads to cost savings. Then again, this is only possible if organizations practice procurement and management alliances.
B. Undesirable contract conditions or reporting requirements
Official contracts contain requirements and stipulations that may seem relevant to the procurement team during software renewal or product replenishment. However, once this is done, the IT asset management team will be expected to maintain compliance according to the contract. If both teams don’t coordinate then there is a risk of miscommunication during procurement.
For instance, the business may not possess the tools or ability required to support a new software purchase. In an alternate scenario, the company might not have the required metrics to report license/asset consumption. To avoid such information gaps, it is best to coordinate asset management and procurement.
Read more: Top 3 Benefits of an ITAM Software Solution
How can IT asset management facilitate procurement?
Once you identify the gap between IT asset procurement and management, the next step is to devise strategies to overcome this issue. In order to do this, many organizations opt for a cloud-based IT tracking system which lets you combine the two aspects to run streamlined business functions. Doing so lets you organize tasks and gather accurate information for detailed insights. This paves the way for improved procurement decisions and better allocation of resources.
Here are some ways you can utilize IT asset management to refine procurement:
1. Choosing the right type of assets to purchase
Whenever the procurement department receives a request for a new purchase, it should be verified through updated asset records. Whether it’s hardware or software, IT managers must ensure that duplicate parts or licenses are not lying around. A thorough analysis of the IT asset lifecycle can provide such information. Only when the existing licenses have expired, the procurement department should go ahead with the purchase. This not only saves extra costs but helps develop a seamless procurement channel for future references.
In addition to this, procurement managers may struggle with getting the right type of asset for the right person. For instance, in an organization, an executive-level associate requires advanced tools as compared to an entry-level employee. Along with this, the selection of assets may vary across departments as well. To cater to this issue, IT asset managers can simply extract information from user roles. Here procurement officers can get data through logins and make relevant purchase decisions according to the job requirements.
2. Tracking warranties and licenses for renewal
A warranty is a contract where a manufacturer promises to repair any equipment within a specified period of time. These contracts are very important, especially where IT hardware is concerned. Oftentimes, companies pay extra for extended warranties to get authorized service and repair for their assets. All such documents are recorded in the system and tracked for improved asset performance. This information comes in handy in dealing with IT equipment downtimes. If such a case is reported, the procurement team may progress with a spare parts purchase or a complete replacement. However, by coordinating with the IT asset management team, procurement officers can utilize warranties for quick repairs and maintenance.
Similarly, for software assets, IT managers record license contract details. Just like warranties, procurement officers should consult license tracking records before making a new software purchase. It is quite possible that a specific license is a single-time contract only or allocated for a certain project. In such situations, it is a good idea for the procurement team to collaborate with the IT management team to understand license terms and conditions.
3. Recording usage history of assets for tracking trends
An organization comprises both hardware and software assets. Due to constant technology upgrades, it is quite possible to discard the whole inventory stock you started off with. But how does the procurement team catch up with all these trends? One way to do so is to work alongside the IT asset management team. This is because the management department overlooks how certain hardware and software evolve over time by recording usage history. By accessing this data, the procurement officers can observe how a particular laptop or software changed over the previous business year.
In-depth details of how company assets progress helps the procurement department make informed decisions. When both teams have full visibility of asset entitlements and usage patterns, it eventually enables the organization to save money and optimize resource value.
For establishing a working relationship between the asset management and procurement department, the key is to invest in a central tracking program. In order to do so, the majority of firms opt for a cloud-based system that lets you monitor all types of assets through barcode tags. For optimal results, it is best to define the key metrics you want to record for all tools and equipment. This allows the system to focus on dominant aspects of the workflow and derive insightful analytics. Such a database is useful for both the procurement and asset management teams.
By using real-time data collected through tracking assets over time, procurement teams can keep themselves updated with the current hardware and software specifications. This helps to seek out relevant vendors for asset and software upgrades. Along with this, warranty and license tracking provide backup support when it comes to maintenance and repair for IT assets.
AssetSonar is an IT Asset Management solution that features a device data agent. It comes in handy for tracking software licenses and warranties. It enables companies to track both their hardware and software by putting in place a complete IT asset management system.