Want to implement IT asset management in your company, but not sure how to do it right?
You could have the most advanced ITAM tool but if you don’t know how to take advantage of it, your results will be less than satisfying.
To get the most out of your IT asset management solution, you have to know the ITAM best practices, and successfully implement them in your organization.
In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know to have a successful and effective ITAM system in place.
We’re going to cover:
- What Is IT Asset Management (ITAM)?
- 7 IT Asset Management Best Practices
- How to Pick The Right ITAM Software
- Use Blissfully to manage Your IT Assets
Let’s get started!
IT asset management (ITAM) is the practice of managing all of your company’s IT assets.
These include software, hardware, digital data, and networks.
The aim of ITAM is to reduce the IT assets’ costs, optimize their usage, and improve the decision-making process within the IT environment of the company.
An IT asset management system can save you time and money as it can be used to keep track of inventory for all your assets including:
- Financial information. That includes purchase prices, costs related to maintenance, repairs, upgrades, and supplier information.
- Contractual information. This includes warranties, leases, licenses, and support agreements.
- Inventory. Includes the location, ownership, and condition of the asset.
With ITAM you have instant access to up-to-date, error-free information that gives you a top-down view of your assets so you can manage them easily.
Other features that make ITAM tools stand out are:
- Asset discovery. All assets that you add to your company’s IT system are automatically discovered and added to the ITAM inventory.
- Hardware and software metrics tracking. Keep track of important IT asset metrics by monitoring costs, license terms and status, utilization rate and more..
- IT asset usage tracking. Easily identify overused and underused assets.
- IT asset lifecycle tracking. Helps you and your team stay on the same page about the specific state of all the tech you use.
Adopting an ITAM tool can help you save up to 30% of your company’s IT costs in the first year and up to 5% in each of the next 5 years.
But to achieve such results you should adopt the best ITAM practices.
Let’s see what they are!
Remember that ITAM is not a project that you do once and forget about it until you need it again. The ITAM system should be fully integrated across your organization and used in your everyday operations.
After all, ITAM is a process that helps you maintain proper IT asset usage on a daily basis.
For example, you should:
- Keep track of all IT assets’ usage on a weekly basis to ensure you’re getting the most out of them. This way, you’ll avoid paying for tools you’re not using.
- Run all your software vendor approvals through the ITAM tool. This way, your employees can log in the platform, place a request, and get approval from management all from one place.
- Manage all hardware assets. You can see each asset’s owner, equipment that is lent, and when it should be returned.
When you have the ITAM system in place at all times and everyone uses it proactively, you’ll be always ready for audits and other events that come your way.
This is a much more effective approach to using your ITAM tool instead of just trying to react to specific events at the last moment (which can lead to more chaos and a chance of missing important information).
This is especially helpful when you have to prepare for an audit. If you’re proactively using the system, you’ll have an up-to-date compliance record with all the information needed to pass the audit successfully and avoid the big fines.
Once you acquire the ITAM tool, start planning on how exactly you’re going to use it.
We recommend setting up processes for:
- Hardware and software acquisition approvals. This requires setting up approval processes, and getting all relevant employees onboard the ITAM software.
- Tracking of your IT assets. Integrate all your IT assets within the tool, and allow your IT team, as well as someone from management, to monitor them.
- Asset usage. Give respective department leads or financial officers access to the ITAM software, and set up a monthly or bimonthly process for analyzing asset usage.
Assemble a team that would be in charge of implementing the ITAM system into your day-to-day operations.
This team would consist of employees of all levels, including:
- IT team
- Senior management
- Process owners
This team would be responsible for both the successful implementation of the ITAM software, as well as onboarding and teaching your employees how to use the tool.
Every IT asset goes through the following lifecycle stages:
- Planning. Determine what assets the company needs. Can be further divided into a “Request” and “Approval” step.
- Procurement. Acquire a license to use the asset, either through buying or leasing.
- Deployment. Introduce the new IT assets into the company’s IT environment and give users access to them.
- Maintenance. To maximize the value and extend the asset’s life, you’ll need to maintain, repair, and upgrade it when needed.
- Retirement. The asset has reached the end of its useful life and needs to be sold, disposed of, or terminated.
Every asset’s life cycle starts with Procurement and ends with Retirement.
Acting on the system’s automated prompts, you can send hardware back to the vendor for a maintenance check before the warranty expires. Or you can be alerted when a certain asset needs to be retired so you can dispose of it on time and get its salvage value.
A good ITAM system will help you automate as many of the IT asset management tasks as possible, and you should really take advantage of this.
You can, for example, get the system to automatically add new IT assets to your inventory, update any changes to the Terms and Conditions, generate compliance reports, and send you email alerts when a license is about to expire.
Track all your license agreements and receipts to ensure that you’re always compliant.
Many companies don’t keep this information organized and might not be aware of non-compliance violations.
You should always be ready with the documentation that proves what you’re entitled to deploy, as a lot of companies are fined severely for not having proof of entitlement (even if they did not violate any license conditions).
Now, as you know all the best practices, it’s time to choose the right ITAM tool.
When picking an ITAM software always search for the following features:
Whatever ITAM software you choose, make sure it has a user-friendly interface and that all employees will navigate through it with ease.
After all, the ITAM solution is not used only by your ITAM team and IT specialists. Regular employees should also be able to work with the system to make requests, while managers will have to access it to monitor IT asset usage and generate reports.
You don’t want to get software that will only slow you down and take a lot of time and effort to solve your problems.
If you’re unsure about the ITAM tool you have in mind, just request a demo, so you can easily understand whether the software will work out for your company or not.
#2. End-to-End Lifecycle Management
Remember how we mentioned that one of the ITAM best practices is to have a lifecycle-based approach?
The only way to do that is to have an ITAM that will support all lifecycle stages from procurement to retirement.
Choose ITAM software that supports as many features as possible. You’ll definitely need the more basic features like asset discovery and usage tracking, but features like generating compliance reports and getting license expiration alerts can also be of great value and save you from hefty fines.
You want an ITAM software that has integration with the rest of your IT assets (so you won’t have to manually make them work together).
Alternatively, you can get an ITAM software that integrates with other systems using open APIs, and get your engineering team to make the ITAM tool work with the rest of your systems.
Depending on the vendor and the plan you purchase, you’ll get different after-sales support.
Before purchasing the ITAM software, make sure that the support service will satisfy your needs.
Ask whether you’ll get access to the support team through a ticketing system, phone, or email, and at what times they’ll be available to answer your questions.
Still not sure which ITAM software to choose?
Why not give Blissfully a try?
Blissfully is all-in-one ITAM and SaaS management software that will help you manage all your IT assets from one place.
Blissfully enables you to:
- Onboard employees
- Offboard employees
- Submit vendor approval requests
- Track your SaaS usage and spending
- Get reports, insights, and alerts on your IT assets usage
You can even schedule a demo and try for yourself!
Using ITAM tool can help you minimize costs, errors and downtime, while ensuring your compliance, and making comprehensive IT asset planning practically feasible!
However, make sure you cover all the best practices to get optimal results from your ITAM software and get the ITAM tool that covers all the must-have features.
Now, all that’s left to do is go ahead and pick the best tool that will improve your IT asset management efforts!