A Guide to Creating an IT Asset Management Process

January 16, 2020

Information Technology Asset Management (ITAM) is a powerful process, so it’s worth the work to get it right. One study found that ITAM cut costs by anywhere from 25 to 50 percent! You see, IT asset management isn’t just managing hardware and software inventory; it’s strategic planning for the entire IT environment, and that’s where the cost savings and other significant benefits come in. Let’s talk about the process and five asset management best practices to keep you on track for success.

 

What is an IT Asset Management (ITAM) Process?

Take a quick look at the heading above, and notice a crucial word: process. The process isn’t a once-and-done task. Too many organizations “do” ITAM only so they can create a report or prepare for an audit. But the process involves managing IT assets over their full lifecycle and avoiding unnecessary asset purchases not just once, but over and over again.

When you treat asset management as the true process that it should be, you can consistently manage all assets from start to finish. Doing so minimizes security and compliance risks and sets up a permanent system for removing redundancy and inefficient processes. Here’s the best way to do it.

  1.  

    1. Track the ITAM Process Cycle

    That which is measured improves, and that goes double for the IT asset management process. IT hardware and software should be effectively meeting objectives, but those objectives may be going unmet if the process isn’t working. Make sure your process really is minimizing risks and aligning with your strategic goals and priorities by setting some intentional process goals. Then put a system in place to assess and reassess how well the process is meeting these goals.

    At Crossfuze, we help ensure that IT asset management process cycles are working. We watch to make sure they’re not over-customized. And we also help work out any bugs that show up in the process as you’re getting started and prevent bugs that might show up in the future. Tracking your process is the only way to make sure it’s accomplishing what it’s supposed to.

  2.  

    2. Understand Each Assets Condition

    Be aware of asset condition by tracking the metrics that matter most. These metrics won’t just track basic information; they’ll track key data tied to business objectives.

    According to Dynamic Computer Corporation, “In addition to general information such as vendors, network configuration data, locations, user info, licensing, purchase & disposal info, and financial information, key metrics tied to your objectives should be identified for reporting. For instance, if the goal is to improve purchase decisions, track metrics such as asset depreciation rate, average maintenance cost and average lease violation fines paid.”

    Keeping track of the most important metrics not only keeps IT strong but also prepares you for any audits that might come up. When done right, ITAM should help keep track of “the financial, contractual, and inventory details of your hardware, devices, and non‑IT assets. Once an asset is deployed, Asset Management records all maintenance activity and enables you to perform regular audits.”

    If you have a good understanding of asset condition, you’re more prepared for audits and any other unexpected challenges that might come up over the asset lifecycle. This leads to improvement in service to end-users, compliance, and spending on purchasing and managing assets.

  3.  

    3. Enable Asset Location Tracking

    IT teams shouldn’t have to spend time tracking down physical assets, especially when assets are found across multiple locations. A best practice for ITAM processes is to track the geographic location of assets. Manual tracking is difficult, but the right tool can track the location of most assets in any location.

    The benefits of location tracking include the following:

    • An accurate, updated inventory
    • Easy asset recovery
    • Real-time asset management
    • Ease of ensuring compliance and accountability
    • Convenience for audits

    If you’re not convinced your IT asset management process would benefit from asset location tracking, you may be right—it might not be the right choice depending on the size and nature of the business. Ask yourself, “Does my staff spend too long tracking IT assets? Will location tracking enhance our business practices? What is the value of the items we would be tracking?” Taking a closer look may reveal that IT asset location tracking may be the way to go.

    If you have a good understanding of asset condition, you’re more prepared for audits and any other unexpected challenges that might come up over the asset lifecycle. This leads to improvement in service to end-users, compliance, and spending on purchasing and managing assets.

  4.  

    4. Implement an ITAM Team

    One surefire way to support your process in the long term is to organize a dedicate team. As a dedicated group, the team can collaborate with other business teams, giving and receiving feedback and making ITAM an integral part of the organization.

    Why is this important? Because—and we can’t stress this enough—ITAM is a process, not an isolated task. Creating a team allows  processes to develop over time, growing and evolving along with other elements of the business. As the ITAM team and other business teams exchange feedback, the process develops and improves the way the business needs it to. And the team makes these improvements sustainable as time passes.

  5.  

    5. Use Automated Systems to Track Assets

    If you’ve ever kept track of assets manually by using legacy solutions or even spreadsheets, you know what a black hole that is. These methods are time-consuming and disconnected, and they don’t provide the needed visibility and insights. So when you’re implementing a new process, it’s important to make sure the automation piece is just right.

    Solutions like ServiceNow replace outdated solutions with a single, comprehensive cloud-based solution. The capabilities in ServiceNow “enable you to connect all your ServiceNow Asset Management pieces together as they should and to keep your processes continuously moving automatically forward and without interruption.”

    With the significant benefits possible through an IT asset management process, it’s important to follow best practices. By tracking the ITAM process cycle, understanding each asset’s condition, enabling asset location tracking, implementing a team, and using automated systems to track assets, your process will be a longterm positive piece in your organization.

    Crossfuze can help make your ServiceNow integration the best it can be. Read more or schedule a demo today.

No Previous Articles

Next Article
How IT Automation Improves Banks’ Customer Service and Bottom Line
How IT Automation Improves Banks’ Customer Service and Bottom Line

IT automation has a ripple effect that benefits the entire bank and its customers. As banks are facing comp...