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What exactly is asset management (ITAM)?

When talking about IT asset management, we are speaking about the process that is created to ensure that an organization’s assets are managed, maintained, deployed, upgraded and disposed of when needed. In short-hand, all items of an organization are being used.

When speaking about asset management, the first thing that must be considered is determining what exactly is an IT asset. When looking up the definition, this says it includes hardware, information and organization values and software. When you break down most technology departments, computers, laptops and chromebooks are considered the most important assets that need to be managed. Company wide, this also includes the CRMs that are used by the sales departments in their daily operations.

The assets that any company uses have a defined period of time that they are used. As will all technology devices, these become outdated and slow to use. To help out with this, companies and organizations. Most companies and organizations have similar stages for all their devices, which include purchasing, deployment and retirement. Depending on the company or organization, there could be additional stages such as maintenance. It is important to have a set method to handle the lifetime of the devices that you own to make sure that you get the most out of your assets.

Today’s IT world is different from the ways of IT from as little as ten years ago. In today’s IT departments, you have to not only manage the assets that you have in your system, but also the subscription-based software that the organization used to help optimize the work day of their employees. This requires a lot of flexibility on the IT side, as they not only have to manage all these assets and subscriptions, but might also have to create a few custom add-ons to help with the optimization of subscriptions the organization uses.

As more people start to operate in the service management area, asset management is becoming even more important to the strategies that companies employ. This helps them to optimize their budget, make decisions and maintain lifetime management. This is not just limited to technology based assets, as many organizations are starting to use similar styles of systems to manage vehicle fleets, warehouse holdings and even equipment used to stage a concert.

What is so important about IT Asset Management?

The biggest issue is the fact that most assets are tracked by a bunch of different people in a bunch of different places in companies today. No one owns things, while also not having a centralized location where the information is stored. This causes many items to be misplaced, lost or even stolen due to the inability to accurately track these assets. Many companies out there are employing people to just keep track of all this information because of how difficult it is to make these informed decisions. This allows the bulk of the IT staff to solely focus on the big picture of the department.

Improve usage and get rid of the waste

The goal of asset management is to keep all the information associated with these items up to date, which in turn eliminates wasted time searching for your information. One of the biggest long-term benefits is it allows the organization to save time and money related to the effort their employees spend on these tasks.

Increase your productivity without decreasing you reliability

Due to the advancement in technology , organizations are needing asset management not only for the tracking of their assets but also to efficiently manage the process that associates with the Development operations and SRE principles they are employing. This inturn allows these departments to provide functionality and services in an effective manner without compromising the reliability of the products or services they provide. Per the report Prepare Your IT Asset Management for 2020, Gartner states that given the increased reliance on platform and infrastructure services, effective asset management can enable organizations to manage their consumption of “on-demand services.”

Why do you need to use asset management software?

The first step in deciding what asset management system and vendor you will go with, you first need to decide what type of flow you want your process to have. One of the main keys to cutting the cost on your software, infrastructure and service platforms is to optimize your spending on the services. Most organizations can end up cutting their spending by as much as thirty percent if they do this correctly.

Even in today’s IT world, the most common way that people track their assets and inventory is through the use of spreadsheets. The only issue with this is that it is extremely difficult to keep these sheets accurate for any length of time. The biggest issue that occurs during this cycle is the presence of Ghost Assets. The presence of these devices account for between 15-30% of all fixed assets according to a study by Sage. This can rack up considerable amounts of cost for your organization.

Why is it difficult to keep track of all these devices? Let's think of it this way. In a span of a month, you received thirty new keyboards, two copiers and six printers have to be replaced and to top it off, one person had a laptop stolen and seven others quit working. If you have a person that is in charge of managing this, it is going to take up the majority of their time just doing this, whereas if they have even a basic system designed for this, their time would be greatly reduced on these tasks.

In addition to the issues previously mentioned, there is also the fact that there is a lot of software, applications and licenses that are being used without the knowledge of the IT staff. With the basic type of Asset Management software mentioned above, this becomes even more manageable, while helping remove some unnecessary costs. Once you and your organization have decided it is time to look into an asset management system, the first step you need to take is to take an overall asset inventory to know what is where and how much your current investment is.

There is a higher level of management that can be used in these systems. Using features such as Active Directory and Single Sign-on(SSO) login can make this process even smoother. Having these two items in tandem is extremely beneficial to your IT staff, as it allows them to more easily manage the users in your system, which will make it easier to keep track of who has what inventory. SSO also helps secure the login of these employees and allows you to be more confident in the process.

To help with the problem of employees using different applications software that was not purchased by your organization, the implementation of a service desk in unison with your Asset Management System allows your employees to reach out and get help with the issues they are having, and solving them in a way that aligns with the organization’s path. In addition to this, it helps keep your IT staff organized and allows them to more efficiently respond to issues that occur inside the organization’s inventory.

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