Developing and maintaining an IT Asset Management (ITAM) program is one of the keys to any organization’s long-term successes. ITAM enables management teams to make critical business decisions when designing plans to meet future objectives.
However, a successful initiative requires following a set of ITAM best practices that help business leaders to organize and maintain control over IT infrastructure and manage assets.
What is IT Asset Management?
IT Asset Management (ITAM) refers to the methods and techniques used to oversee and manage business-owned IT systems, processes, hardware, and data. IT teams track and maintain IT assets as part of an ITAM plan to determine whether they require optimization, replacement, or an upgrade.
Top Ten ITAM Best Practices
The following are ten best practices IT leaders should consider when rolling out a new ITAM program:
- Assign a team. When building an ITAM team, management should enlist driven and tech-savvy employees. These team members should have the authority to start the ITAM initiative from the ground up, and IT leaders should encourage ongoing feedback to improve the process as they build. Organizations should also commit to regularly assessing and improving their Asset Management process post-implementation, allowing it to evolve into the foundation of IT management.
- Be proactive, not reactive. Preparation is critical, particularly when avoiding last-minute scrambles before audits or other inventory inspections. Rather than responding frantically to specific circumstances, IT leaders should prepare their teams for potential surprises by devising a well-thought-out plan.
- Finish one stage at a time. IT teams should avoid addressing every challenge at once. Instead, they should choose a reasonable starting point and take the necessary time to locate and examine current licenses and software. After successfully finishing the first stage, IT can move on to the next. Breaking the process down into simple steps makes it easier to operate quickly and efficiently.
- Organize documentation. Management should ensure that all documentation on IT assets is organized and maintained throughout its life cycle. These paper trails include receipts, authenticity certificates, and software licenses.
- Focus on financial management. Financial IT Asset Management uses budgeting, expense monitoring, invoice reconciliation, and fixed asset reconciliation (among others) to generate savings within ITAM programs. Organizations must focus on these techniques to build a cost-effective and successful plan.
- Collaborate with other departments. Involving other departments in developing an ITAM process will help it evolve rather than become a one-off assignment. Management should encourage input between the ITAM team and other business departments. This collaboration will allow for continuous development and improvement of the entire process as it evolves across the organization.
- Use a lifecycle-based approach. Organizations should be mindful of an ITAM program’s shelf life, understanding that it begins at purchase and ends at total depreciation. Management should follow a similar process to promote error-free data tracking – starting with the initial acquisition and ending with historical asset data.
- Automate whenever possible. Rather than manually keeping track of assets using an out-of-date Excel spreadsheet, management should implement a licensing and Asset Management system to automate as many processes as possible. With features like configurable compliance reports, email notifications, and file repositories, management software makes automation more accessible.
- Track assets to avoid over-deployment. Management must always know what the organization is entitled to deploy, not just what they have deployed. Missing entitlement documentation can result in significant fines during the auditing process. IT leaders should consider keeping track of all license agreements and ensure proper compliance monitoring using license management software.
- Dispose of unnecessary assets. Most IT assets will become obsolete, run-down, or redundant at some point, and organizations will need a strategy for disposing of them properly. To facilitate the transition from one asset to another, organizations should consider storing backups, implementing software migration plans, contingencies for maintaining data, and limiting any other dangers related to disposal.
Following Best Practices Requires the Right Solutions
Leveraging the right IT Asset Management platform will help you reduce expenses, avoid costly errors, and prevent downtime, all while helping ensure compliance with internal and external regulations.
However, these platforms are only as valuable as the ITAM best practices you follow and the solutions provider you use. We strongly encourage you to put serious thought and consideration into your choices for both.
Request a quote today and discover how our ServiceNow solutions can help you design and execute a set of ITAM best practices that cut costs, help you manage and maintain assets, and protect data.