The right IT asset management tool (or, ITAM tool) can help you achieve up to 30% cost savings in the first year and 5% cost savings in the years to come…
But how, exactly, does that happen?
In this article, we’re going to cover all the must-have ITAM processes that will help you save costs and optimize your IT assets.
Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- What Is IT Asset Management (ITAM)?
- 8 Common IT Asset Management Processes
- How to Pick The Right ITAM Tool
- Use Blissfully to manage Your IT Assets
Let’s get started!
IT asset management (ITAM) is software or a tool that helps you manage all your IT assets – software, hardware, networks, employee and user workstations, and all other business technology assets.
These assets include:
- Company-owned devices. All devices that the company has purchased and owns. These include monitors, phones, computers, tablets, laptops, and printers.
- Infrastructure hardware. All data centers, servers, and network devices that your company owns and uses.
- Lease agreements for facilities and infrastructure. If your company has a lease agreement to use a third-party building or infrastructure, that’s also considered an IT asset.
- In-house developed software.
- Software licenses. All software you lease that’s developed by a third-party company.
- Digital data. All digital files like videos, photos, and documents stored on company-owned devices.
So, how does ITAM help you manage all of that?
When you use ITAM you get the following benefits :
- Achieve cost efficiency by tracking all your IT assets.
- Have better control over all your IT assets.
- Have a top-down view on all IT assets’ lifecycle.
- Manage IT asset disposal more effectively.
Since the IT assets are so different from each other, ITAM can be split into 3 more specific categories.
Let’s see what they are!
This ITAM category focuses on the centralized management of the following assets:
- Financial data. This includes the purchase price, supplier information, additional costs (e.g. maintenance).
- Contractual data. That includes handling information like Terms and Conditions, warranties, leases, and support agreements.
- Inventory data. Includes details like location, ownership, and condition of the asset.
The Digital Asset Management category manages all the digital assets such as business-related information, documents, and files that are stored on company-owned devices.
This type of ITAM handles the management, control, and security of all the software used by the company.
This includes both in-house and 3rd-party software.
Tracking the software assets will ensure that your company is compliant with all the licenses, payments are made on time, and there are no conflicts or license violations.
Software asset management is also a software category on its own, separate from ITAM software. Learn more with our guide to software asset management (or, SAM).
The most common IT asset management processes are as follows…
Having to manually add all new IT assets to your inventory is time-consuming, expensive, and error-prone.
Some of the best ITAM systems can discover new software assets and add them to your inventory automatically.
The system will automatically discover new software apps on company-owned devices and help you track down any unlicensed software.
To manage your IT assets effectively, you have to track their metrics. Depending on the nature of your business, you might have different hardware and software assets, so you have to decide which KPIs you want to prioritize.
The most common metrics you can track are:
- Number of IT assets
- Underused and overused licenses
- Maintaining costs
- Licensed and unlicensed software
- Expired warranties
When you track such metrics you can improve the performance of these assets, optimize their usage, and cut down on repair and maintenance cost.
One of the main ITAM processes is tracking the complete IT asset lifecycle.
The life cycle includes:
- An employee requesting a new asset
- Managerial approval of the request
- Acquiring the asset
- Maintenance, upgrades, and repairs of the asset
- Retirement of the asset
With an ITAM system, you can plan for and manage each stage efficiently.
When the employees have a system on which they can place their requests, you also minimize ghost IT assets (assets for which the IT department was not notified).
The process also allows you to easily track the depreciation of every asset.
This way, you can easily plan for renewals and maintenance. And when a tangible asset is close to its retirement stage, you can dispose of it on time to get its salvage value.
This ITAM process helps you understand how much each of your IT assets is used.
Using ITAM, you can easily identify usage trends and make decisions whether an asset is underused or overused, whether you need to terminate a software license or extend it, and if it’s worth investing in upgrades.
If you’re loaning equipment such as tablets, phones, and other devices to your workers, you need to know who loaned what and when they will return it.
This way, your IT department has better control over the lent equipment and the security risks are minimized.
The ITAM tool can help you streamline this process. Your employees can request equipment through a single portal, and you can easily track the borrowing, maintenance, and repair time of each IT asset.
This process is beneficial for companies that operate in more than one location. Tracking asset location will enable you to maintain your inventory better, knowing which assets are available, and where they are located.
This way, you can plan the distribution of each asset.
If you have too many unused laptops in one location (excess supply), for example, and new employees who request such devices at another location (higher demand), you will be able to see that and allocate your resources properly.
This ITAM process enables the IT department to understand which employees have access to which IT assets.
This is a great security measure on the instance of employees leaving the company. You’ll be able to tell exactly what software and hardware assets the former employee had access to, and revoke them through the ITAM platform.
An ITAM tool can help you track hardware warranties. This way, you will easily plan for the repair or maintenance dates of your IT equipment.
Another important IT asset management process is proper software license management. Ensuring that you’re compliant and not overusing a license can save you from hefty fines when the time for an audit comes.
The process of managing software licenses and warranties can significantly reduce the risk of non-compliance and maintenance costs.
Sold on IT asset management?
Now, all you have to do is pick the right ITAM tool…
But there are so many of them out there, how can you know which one is best for your business’s needs?
When choosing an ITAM tool, search for these essential features:
You’ll have to adopt ITAM software all across your organization.
So, it’s essential for it to be very easy to use for all your employees, not just the IT department.
After all, employees who use different IT assets should be able to easily access the software to request new hardware and software, while management should be able to access all metrics and generate reports through the system.
If the ITAM tool is too complicated, it will end up being both expensive and time-consuming, creating more work rather than making things easier.
So, we recommend trying the ITAM tool before making the purchase.
A good ITAM tool will support the complete ITAM lifecycle from start to finish. This includes procurement, discovery, tracking, maintenance, upgrading, repairs, and disposal of the IT assets.
Choose an ITAM tool that supports basic features like asset discovery and usage tracking, as well as more advanced features such as generating asset lifecycle reports, license update alerts, and tracking various metrics.
An ITAM tool that supports a mobile app can enable you to get access to asset-related information on the go.
Want to access your software data while riding the metro? No problem.
Having an ITAM tool that works with all your assets on a company-wide scale is a must. This way, you ensure that all hardware, software, and network components are well integrated and no important assets are missed.
What this means is that your developers will have to spend less time trying to write custom code for integrating all your IT assets and instead they’ll be able to focus on what really matters.
Different ITAM tools have different support systems that vary depending on the plan you purchased.
Ask about the conditions and the time needed to respond. Also, understand whether you can reach the ITAM tool support by phone, email, ticketing system, and when they’re available.
Still not sure which ITAM tool to pick?
Blissfully is a powerful and easy to use ITAM and SaaS management software.
With Blissfully you can:
- Manage your onboarding and offboarding processes
- Track your SaaS spend
- Get a top-down view of all your IT assets
- Get reports, insights, and alerts on your hardware and software usage
…And a lot more!
You can schedule a free demo and try for yourself!
To wrap it up, let’s see what we’ve learned so far:
- ITAM is software or a tool that helps you manage all company IT assets
- ITAM can reduce your IT costs, ensure your license compliance, and help you manage your IT assets lifecycle.
- The 8 common ITAM processes include asset discovery, tracking IT asset usage, managing software licenses, and others.