IT Asset Management
In today’s world, all companies strongly rely on software applications. Keeping an eye on further digitization, the reliance on software applications will only keep growing. IT environments greatly transform due to constant digital transformation. Consequently, this has a great impact on IT asset management including software licensing terms and models, making it more important than ever to be in control of your entire IT landscape.
What is IT Asset Management?
IT Asset Management (ITAM) a set of business practices integrating IT assets across business units within a company. It combines different responsibilities including financial, contractual, inventory and risk management functions to handle the overall life cycle of these assets and optimise spending. It could very well be compared to IT inventory management since it commonly involves collecting inventory information which is then used to make decisions about the use and acquisition of IT assets. ITAM essentially allows companies to efficiently manage their increasingly complicated software infrastructures.
Why is IT Asset Management so important?
Of course, it is important to create an asset inventory (to create visibility and be in control), but ITAM is larger than that. It’s about using the captured asset data to maximise returns, minimize exposure or threats (conforming to compliance regulations) and drive increased business value on a continuous basis. Key is to really get the most out of current resources and not purchase any assets that are irrelevant. If this is done well, software licensing and support costs can be reduced, there is no waste and performance is optimal. ITAM also enables companies to reduce risks costs of unknowingly initiating new IT activities on infrastructure foundations that are outdated.
Advantages of ITAM
Some essential advantages of effectively managing IT assets include:
• Avoiding fines
ITAM helps you fulfil any legal and contractual commitments to be compliant with regulatory and audit requirements.
• Increased efficiency and reducing costs
ITAM helps you understand how and where your software is being used, including what is not being used.
• Improved security
Did you know that every IT security team patches, controls and audits every asset? Every extra IT asset that is not necessary can be deleted, improving security. ITAM also helps you get an overview who can and can’t access sensitive information.
• Visibility and control
Knowledge is power. Being aware of which assets the company needs allows to make decisions based on operational needs on a strategic level.
The foundation of ITAM (including key process areas)
Companies have searched a long time for a way to create centralized systems to efficiently control IT assets. Executing ITAM effectively can help your company be in control of IT investments by simplifying budget allocation, analytics reports, user data and other information that is related to your company’s IT assets.
Key process areas of ITAM include:
• Integrate ITAM during every phase of the lifecycle thus supporting all important IT activity in the company on a continual basis.
• Make sure that your company’s ITAM program is set up properly and that it conforms to the ITAM Best Practice BluePrint regulations.
• All policies are defined, organized, and imposed in the ITAM initiative and in the IT assets. Every employee as well as all stakeholders should understand all of these policies.
• All relevant IT asset-related documentation such as proof or purchases, software licenses and certificates of authenticity need to be organized and kept up throughout the IT assets entire life cycle.
• Every single IT asset needs to be labelled and stored in an asset management system so that is it easy and quickly to find when necessary.
• Creating an environment that is all about communicating, educating and creating awareness about ITAM policies is crucial.
• Strong vendor management with third-party vendors. Make sure to keep track of interactions.
• Solid project management to guarantee that actions are organized, productive and useful.
• Collect requirements for IT assets before acquisition so that you have a clear understanding of all related policies, standards and life-cycle processes.
• To make sure that your ITAM strategy is a success you have to keep a focus on budgeting, fixed asset reconciliation, invoice reconciliation, forecasting, chargeback and preparing and billing financial audits
• Being prepared for an audit at all times by meeting compliance regulations.
• Having a strategy how to dispose redundant, outdated or broken IT assets.
Software Asset Management (and license management)
Software Asset Management (SAM) is a subset of IT Asset Management (ITAM), and is all about software assets, licenses and related services. Companies face the challenge to be compliant with the terms stated in the licensing agreement to prevent fines during a software audit. If you need assistance with a sound & long-term approach to SAM, you are at the right place. We offer services to leverage the full potential of your SAM tool. Take a look at our SAM Managed Services Solution and make the most out of your software and related investments. Any questions? Feel free to contact us. We are here to help.