IT asset management is the management of all information technology resources for a business or organization. IT resources refer to both hardware equipment and software programs that organizations use to conduct business. These company assets can include computer equipment, mobile equipment, digital equipment and software applications. Properly accounting for business assets is an essential task for businesses and organizations, but asset tracking can be a difficult. When developing an IT asset management process, businesses should take the following steps: conduct a thorough inventory, conduct a capital planning review, utilize asset management software and review the IT asset management process itself.
One of the first steps in IT asset management is to determine what assets the business or organization has. The best way to complete this step is to conduct a thorough inventory of all relevant IT assets. Businesses typically track the following hardware equipment: servers, computers, laptops, monitors, printers, fax machines and scanners. When it comes to inventorying software, business should record the software applications they own and the number of licenses associated with each program. The easiest way to inventory these items is to assign each asset a number and record where it is located.
The primary goal of IT asset management is to monitor the organization’s IT resources and to ensure that the organization’s IT budget is wisely spent. A good way to meet this goal is to conduct a capital planning review. This review helps an organization plan for large equipment purchases to replace their existing equipment as it becomes obsolete or broken. In this way, organizations can slowly phase in new equipment and spread the costs over several years instead of absorbing them all at once.
Conducting the inventory and the capital planning review can be made easier with asset management software. Rather than maintaining the inventory on paper or in a spreadsheet, organizations can enter their inventory information into the system. The system can track IT assets from acquisition to disposal, and some systems can be configured to discover new hardware or software added to the network. In addition, the system can track whether the organization is under-utilizing or over-utilizing its software licenses. Organizations can cut costs by not purchasing unused licenses, and they can also avoid penalties that come with violating license agreements.
After each IT asset management cycle, it can be valuable to review the cycle management process itself. Organizations can ensure that their process is efficient and tracks the necessary business assets. After a few cycles, organizations may notice that they do not need to track certain assets but do need to track others. This review may also uncover that an organization needs to better educate their employees on handling equipment.