What is IT Asset Management?

IT asset management is one of the modules under ITIL framework that provides a set of best practices that would enable an organization to manage all their hardware and software assets. In other words, IT asset management, provides the visibility, ensures compliance and enables control of the assets, thereby helping an organization save time and money.

What is IT Asset Management Software?

IT asset management software (also called asset management tool) is a dedicated software tool that provides the necessary tracking, monitoring and control elements to efficiently maintain the hardware and software assets in an organization, throughout its lifecycle. It provides information such as:

Why it is better to select a service desk tool that includes IT asset management software?

Ideally, the IT asset management software should be included under IT service desk tool but they are also available as a separate software. There are many advantages of selecting a service desk software that includes IT operations along with IT Asset Management (ITAM). Some of the most common advantages include:

Capabilities of asset management software

There are a set of necessary features that every IT asset management software should contain, in order to be useful in an organization. Below are some of the most required feature checklist for IT asset management software.

Inventory Management

Asset tracking is a very complex process. All hardware and software assets purchased in an organization has to be tracked for which a large repository has to be maintained. This is not only expensive but also difficult to link back to the assets. With the inventory management capability of an IT asset management software, assets in stock and in use, such as hardware, software, contracts and any other configuration items, can be easily tracked and evaluated. Also, inventory management capability of IT asset management enables an organization to plan asset purchases by considering up-to-date information on existing assets.

Below are some of detailed information on inventory management capabilities that a good IT asset management software should have:

Asset tracking is a very complex process. All hardware and software assets purchased in an organization has to be tracked for which a large repository has to be maintained. This is not only expensive but also difficult to link back to the assets. With the inventory management capability of an IT asset management software, assets in stock and in use, such as hardware, software, contracts and any other configuration items, can be easily tracked and evaluated. Also, inventory management capability of IT asset management enables an organization to plan asset purchases by considering up-to-date information on existing assets.

Below are some of detailed information on inventory management capabilities that a good IT asset management software should have:

Single repository to track all assets in an organization

A good IT asset management software would have inventory management capabilities that can keep an extensive record of asset information (both in stock and in use). This will provide the user with visibility on all asset data. In addition to this, current ownership of the asset and its previous ownership has to be recorded. By getting information on an asset’s availability or capacity, decisions on an asset’s stock replenishment can be taken easily. Additionally, the threat of asset theft can be avoided with proper records.

Value of the assets can be evaluated easily

IT asset management software’s inventory management capability should also be able to provide insights on the value of all the assets in the organization throughout its lifecycle. Critical decisions regarding the expenses for the assets can be easily made because of these insights. Also, the information gained from these insights can be used for budget planning and to understand the expenditure made for IT and non IT assets.

Capability to monitor purchases

With the help of inventory management capability of IT asset management software, accurate asset data for an organization can be accessed from a single system in the service desk. Spending pattern and wasted resources can be analyzed to improve asset management.

asset management

Asset Auto-discovery

A good IT asset management software should also have auto discovery tools that can automatically identify the assets in an organization, scan for new hardware or software asset and regularly update asset information.

Below are some of detailed information on auto discovery capabilities that a good IT asset management software should have:

Auto-identification of assets

IT asset management software should include tools that can automatically capture and update precise asset related information in real time. The tools would remove the need for manual update.

Ability to schedule periodic updates

A good IT asset management software has to have the capability to schedule automatic scans across the entire network in an organization and regularly update asset related information to ensure the data available for consumption is precise and accurate. With the periodic updates, any update/change made to an asset can be monitored effortlessly.

Scan assets on the go

It is imperative to ensure IT asset management software is support on mobile as well. A mobile app for IT asset management software will enable the use of barcode scanning or QR capabilities to manage assets on the go.

Asset discovery

CMDB/Configuration Management

One of the most critical capability IT asset management software should consist of is CMDB/Configuration Management. This would maintain a repository of the assets in the organization providing detailed visibility on every assets connections to each other. Potential risks can be minimized by identifying important assets and analyzing the impact they have on the day today activities in an organization.

Below are some detailed information on CMDB/Capacity Management capabilities that a good IT asset management software should have:

Maintaining a Record of all items

It is crucial for IT asset management software’s CMDB/Configuration Management capability to ensure all the assets and contracts are visible in a single pane, along with details such as an asset’s type, location and the person or the department using it.
It should also provide the capability to add assets in bulk effortlessly and enable the option to take complete control of assets in the organization seamlessly.

Ability to easily track asset relationships and dependencies

It is imperative to gain visibility to understand how the configuration items (CIs) are connected to the business- this can be done by visualizing all the dependencies and relationships in an interactive map. Additionally it is also imperative to understand the impact of change on multiple assets at one glance while also have the capability to create relationships in bulk from a single window.

Minimizing potential risks

A strong IT asset management software with CMDB/Configuration Management capabilities will also provide a comprehensive view on how incidents, service requests, problems, and changes are linked to the assets in an organization. By doing this, critical assets in the organization that will cause disruption if affected, can be easily identified. Additionally, informed decisions can be made by analyzing the impact of the configuration items (CIs) by leveraging the data that is available.

Asset Lifecycle Management

Asset Lifecycle Management is a critical capability that IT asset management software should support. With this capability, assets can be managed, monitored and tracked through all its lifecycle phases - procurement, maintenance, depreciation or disposal.

Below are some detailed information on Asset Lifecycle Management capabilities that a good IT asset management software should have:

Capability to track asset lifecycle in a single window

Managing, monitoring and tracking all the assets in an organization through all the asset lifecycle phases- be it procurement, maintenance, depreciation or disposal, can be effortlessly done from a single window. Because of this, manual efforts can be drastically reduced, saving a lot of time and reducing errors significantly.

Capability to know the timeline at a glance

IT asset management software will also enable the users to view all events related to the asset activity log along with all information about assets, their connected activities, tracking past and current usage.

Asset renewals and purchases

Asset allocation has to be planned seamlessly in an organization. Also, it is important to stay on top of upcoming renewals or expiries. In order to do that, it is crucial to track assets’ upcoming warranty or license expirations accurately so that asset renewals and purchases can be planned well in advance.

Contract Management

Contract management capability in IT asset management enables you keep track and plan for asset renewal or expiry.

Below are some detailed information on Contract Management capabilities that a good IT asset management software should have:

A single system for contract records

IT asset management software should capabilities to have detailed information of all the contracts an organization has with third party vendors. This will help keep track of contracts for lease, maintenance, software licenses, any custom contract types throughout its lifecycle.

Easily manage contract renewals/expiries

Renewals/expiries for contracts can be easily planned in advance in an organized manner. Periodic checks for any red flags can be done to ensure there are no issues. This feature is very essential in IT asset management.

Automation

Approvals for contracts can be automated to make life easier for everyone. Routine checks to ensure activation of approved contracts and deactivation of contracts at the right time should be automated as well.

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