BY: CAROLE O’BRIEN – IT Specialist
Asset management is often seen as the poor relative compared to other areas of IT.
It can be regarded as a general administrator task that has little value compared to the time and effort required to complete, but is this true? Our working world has changed dramatically over the last 18 months, but good IT asset management (ITAM) has played its part especially since Y2K and the potential vulnerabilities that were highlighted. Yet still too few companies see its value and invest in solutions that will assist in operational decisions, meeting compliance and regulatory requirements and root-cause analysis. We are no longer looking at asset management tools as just an inventory repository. The strength of full asset management comes from applications that enable data management and analysis from a single solution.
What are the business cases for having a good ITAM system?
- Financial management – it is too easy to overspend, especially with a hybrid on-prem/cloud base and office/home working environment.
- Decision making and process improvements will be better informed with strong asset management.
- Financial optimisation through HW and SW redeployment and streamlining.
- Improved lifecycle management by tracking and managing hardware and software throughout its lifecycle, from procurement through to retirement or redeployment.
- Improved capacity planning.
- Improved equipment and software standardisation.
- Improved security
- Improved disaster recovery planning.
- Incident and problem management.
- Compliance audit increased in accuracy and reduced effort.
- Improved negotiations with vendors.
- Prepare for effective contract renewals.
Without a dedicated and experienced asset manager, implementation of ITAM can easily take a back seat to urgent technical issues. In addition, the landscape for ITAM tools has changed dramatically, alongside the working environment. With the introduction of AI in many of the applications the choice is varied and choosing the correct one can be daunting. Knowing your requirements of how you want to use the data, and strategies for the future is critical in not having buyer’s remorse. Without a good plan, even the best intentions can cause unnecessary expense. Treat ITAM like a process, not a project. ITAM is a dynamic process that must react and adapt to the needs of the business.
To most effectively implement IT asset management, you need to focus on each asset type separately;
- Hardware asset management is focused primarily on those items you can physically see and touch. Building up the process is often accompanied by a physical audit, and if processes are running effectively, you might never have to do a full physical audit again.
- Software asset management is based on a virtual inventory, collected through hardware scanning and matched with contract and procurement records.
- Cloud asset management is a virtual inventory collected from many hosted solutions outside of your organisation, through web filtering and usage scanning. These tools are often integrated with software asset management tools to provide a single source of truth from a variety of disparate sources.
- Configuration management is often grouped with asset management, but rather than providing a financial view of-the environment, you will see a services view. Configuration management should align to asset but may be managed by different groups.
Knowledge of your assets will pay dividends in your business, what ever the size. Having the information will increase your strength, finances, time and strategic plans. At Auditel, we have the people that can assist you from conception to realisation of an ITAM. Partnered with Info-tech research, we bring expertise, research and processes to ensure a smooth, requirement led, cost efficient solution that will work for you today and into the future.
To find out more about how Auditel can help you unlock hidden cash and put it back into your control contact us……. Click here