Efficient IT Asset Management (ITAM) is more important than ever. Over the decades, we've seen significant leaps in the management of assets, starting with physical storage in the 1980s before the rise of networked environments, which demanded more robust solutions in the 1990s.

In the 21st century digital transformation and cloud computing revolutionized ITAM, and today, the focus is on overseeing virtual assets and services, necessitating Agile and adaptive strategies caused by the never-ending story of updating the asset registry or CMDB.

In this blog post, we explore the role of software in asset management and asset managers, best practices, challenges, and emerging trends.

The role of software in IT Asset Management

As in most areas of our lives, software plays a major role in modern ITAM. Tools like Jira Service Management (JSM) have comprehensive features for streamlining asset tracking and management, improving collaboration and communication between teams, and automating workflows to reduce manual effort.

Ivanti ITAM has comprehensive asset tracking and management as well as license management and compliance features. Another popular application is Freshservice, which offers asset management capabilities along with service desk features.

The choice of software depends on your needs. Consider the type of assets you work with, how difficult the software is to use, whether it integrates with your existing systems, and whether it can grow with your business.

We can't pretend that cost isn't a factor either; consider the initial price and ongoing maintenance, plus the quality of customer support and training from the vendor. Getting feedback from your users and testing the software through a trial can help make sure it’s a good fit for your business.

The role of IT asset managers

IT asset managers are important in the strategic planning and governance of your asset registry. They develop and enforce policies, manage budgets, and control costs to maximize the value derived from IT assets.

Risk management is critical to asset managers and includes data security; by protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access and breaches, identifying and mitigating operational risks, and preparing for and responding to disasters, you can minimize disruption and data loss.

Keeping the CMDB updated and organized is not only the IT asset manager's role but everyone in the business.

Key components of modern IT Asset Management

Modern IT Asset Management covers the entire lifecycle of an asset, from acquisition to disposal. This holistic approach means that assets are not only procured cost-effectively but deployed, maintained, and retired in a secure and sustainable way.

Acquisition and procurement: Strategic purchasing based on your organizational needs will keep things cost-effective and ensure that the software complies with your procurement policy.

Deployment and configuration: After acquisition, assets must be correctly deployed and configured to meet your needs.

Maintenance and support: Ongoing maintenance and support are crucial for making sure that your assets remain operational and efficient throughout their lifecycle.

Retirement and disposal: Proper retirement and disposal processes ensure that obsolete assets are removed securely and sustainably.

Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date inventory of all IT assets is another cornerstone of effective ITAM. This involves using tools like asset tags, barcodes, and RFID to track hardware and software assets to simplify the tracking of processes and reduce the likelihood of lost or misplaced assets.

Regular audits and automated discovery tools are also key in maintaining data integrity and ensuring that asset data is reliable and consistent across systems, as is compliance and licensing.

The proper management of software licenses and regulatory compliance not only makes for smooth operations, but helps in avoiding legal issues. This includes ensuring all software assets are correctly licensed and compliant with vendor agreements, adhering to relevant regulations and standards, and being prepared for audits.

Top tip: Keep track of your licenses so that your users have access to them, and have them give back the licenses when they are not being used anymore, especially when someone leaves the company.

ITAM best practices

Maintaining an accurate inventory is crucial for effective ITAM. Regular audits and updates help make sure that inventory data is accurate and up-to-date. Using advanced tracking technologies such as RFID and barcodes can improve inventory accuracy and simplify the tracking process.

Utilizing comprehensive asset management platforms like Jira Service Management can streamline your ITAM processes. Integrating tools to provide a unified view of assets and processes is also essential. Don't forget to:

  • Continuously improve and train to stay updated with industry trends and best practices.
  • Regularly review and update ITAM practices to keep pace with industry developments.
  • Engage with expert consultants to get valuable insights and guidance on optimizing ITAM practices.

The journey of IT Asset Management has been one of constant evolution and adaptation. From simple physical asset tracking to sophisticated AI-driven management, ITAM continues to grow in importance and complexity.

ITAM challenges

ITAM can present challenges, but where there are problems, there are solutions. For example, integrating ITAM with other systems can be challenging as it means bridging silos between IT and other departments and implementing integration strategies to ensure smooth data flow across platforms. While this may be difficult, it's achievable and necessary for seamless operations.

Maintaining accurate and consistent asset records calls for regular updates and audits, but again, this is achievable and gets easier over time with repetition.

ITAM systems must adapt to organizational changes and growth so that asset management processes can scale with the organization and efficiently manage a growing and diverse asset base. Again, this isn't easy, but if it's not done, then the data will simply not be trusted.

ITAM trends

Automation and AI are transforming ITAM by offering predictive analytics and automated discovery and updates of assets. Predictive analytics can forecast when assets will need maintenance, reducing downtime and extending asset life.

Automation tools can continuously monitor and update records for data accuracy and improved efficiency. Follow these trends carefully and implement them after setting a strategy on how to address all the capabilities that AI will bring to your business.

An organization will never really be "ready" with its CMDB; it needs to be updated continuously to remain relevant and trustworthy.

Start with a simple setup and gradually add more data and complexity as you mature in your asset management practice. Integrate where possible, but always be aware of which data is “master data” and whether it is in your CMDB or elsewhere.

Focus on maintaining accurate records, integrate modern software tools, and regularly review and improve your processes. By doing so, you can optimize your ITAM strategy to achieve a modern, updated, and well-managed asset registry within your CMDB that is also cost-effective.

Published: Jun 12, 2024

AtlassianITSMAsset ManagementCMDB