IT Asset Management, or ITAM, is an important, yet often overlooked, tool that can impact spending and cost optimization across your entire enterprise. ITAM helps keep you aware of your IT and physical assets, from budget to current use. Without a comprehensive ITAM strategy, you risk having assets across your enterprise expire, fail, or become forgotten. All these outcomes can drive up costs.
What Exactly is IT Asset Management?
Asset management is a systematic approach to the governance and realization of value from things over their whole life cycles. A comprehensive asset management tool will help keep track of and alert you of any issues. This tool should track everything from software and hardware to licensing compliance and license expiration, integrating these insights into IT service management activities.
Further, ITAM will mark the location of every asset and facilitate changes in location – be they physical or digital. An example of this is when a laptop is checked out to an employee who moves to another work location. Effective ITAM tools also will allow you to track delivery, repairs, and replacements of hardware.
Even more importantly, an ITAM tool with configuration management database (CMDB) tools define the relationship between assets to represent any IT service. The CMDB contains intangible assets, like services, and links them to physical assets, such as hardware and software.
Industry Impacts of ITAM
ITAM solutions can impact a variety of industries in a number of ways, from reducing waste to renewing expiring licenses. ITAM can slash administrative costs by 30 percent, according to Gartner. Here are some industries for whom ITAM may have the greatest impact:
Financial asset management solutions often refer to the management of monetary assets, including investment portfolios, savings accounts, and other vested interests. However, in the context of IT asset management and service asset and configuration management software, it’s a little bit different. Those in the financial industry rely on important software that must remain in compliance with local, federal, and international laws and regulations. Software asset management solutions can ensure that all economic assets, equipment, and software in use meet the needs of the staff and remain compliant with all regulations.
Education and Higher Education
Licenses for platforms to host online classes, digital gradebooks, expensive projectors, computers, 3D printers, and sound systems can be tracked in an IT asset management tool. Tracking shared hardware and software licensing for digital tools is pivotal in providing a positive classroom experience. With so many assets spread across various schools and geographically large school districts, a lapse in a software license for something as simple as Microsoft Word could cause major issues.
In healthcare, keeping hardware and other major pieces of technology up to date can be a matter of life or death. ITAM can help ensure that software licenses and contracts are renewed in a timely fashion for programs such as digital charting, and that major pieces of equipment such as MRI machines, are serviced and maintained.
ITAM also can ensure that contract renewals and budget preparation demands are met in relation to these assets. ITAM is a simple way to track hundreds of digital assets and thousands of pieces of vital equipment that may move between office locations or hospitals.
Make the Most of Your Assets
Your company’s assets are only as good as their management system. However, it’s important to note that ITAM is only one piece of the greater puzzle. ITAM coupled with ITSM can extend beyond the IT department to streamline processes among business units. It just takes attention to strategy to make it happen.
Nancy Louisnord is the Chief Marketing Officer of EasyVista, responsible for the company’s global and regional marketing programs and product marketing strategy. With more than 15 years of global leadership experience in the ITSM software industry, she is a sought-after presenter at conferences and contributor to several leading industry publications. EasyVista is a global software provider of intelligent service automation solutions for enterprise service management and self-help.