From an IT perspective, asset management is not the most exciting element of running your business. However, it’s one of the most important. Learning how to master this aspect of your business could lead to a long list of impressive benefits in the coming years. It’s up to you to lead the way!
The ‘Why’ of IT Asset Management
Most business owners and IT professionals have a very simplistic view of IT asset management. To them, it’s all about inventorying assets and staying organized with colorful spreadsheets. But it’s much more than that. IT asset management is more than just tracking assets. Done well, it’s a comprehensive approach to organizational accountability. It plays a key role in managing resources, reducing risk, improving compliance, maintaining detailed records, and giving your business a technological advantage and competitive edge.
“Asset management is proactive and strategic; it can streamline processes and offer protection against redundant spending, long incident and resolution times, and wasted resources,” TBConsulting explains. “Deploying assets within a single system-of-record, with integrated workflow for procurement, contracts, and lifecycle makes good business sense. Knowing when support contracts and licensing agreements expire will protect against service disruptions, customer frustration, and downtime.”
IT asset management doesn’t feel like a major organizational priority – until it is one. Now is the time. Account for how you’re using your resources, where you’re spending your money, what you have on hand, who is responsible for it, what you need to improve productivity/efficiency/functionality, and how you can maximize your operational efficiencies.
At the end of the day, a strategic approach to IT asset management makes it easy to cast vision and carry out the specific operational steps required to accomplish specific goals. It makes IT spend more predictable, helps prevent audit penalties, promotes greater visibility into inventory, increases negotiating power with vendors, and helps identify correlating factors between assets and overall business performance.
To put it very succinctly: IT asset management is kind of a big deal for your organization.
Simple Ways to Enhance Your IT Asset Management
The trickiest part is figuring out where to start. And while you’ll ultimately have to develop a comprehensive strategy that’s tailored to your organization’s nuances, here are several useful tips:
1. Establish a Point Person
If IT asset management is everyone’s responsibility, it’s no one’s responsibility. That’s just the cold, hard truth. There has to be one person who is responsible for leading the charge. It doesn’t have to be their primary responsibility within the organization, but it should be a cause that they’re tasked with championing.
Your IT asset management champion is someone who tracks what’s happening, communicates progress, and evangelizes throughout the organization so that the appropriate goals are understood, respected, and carried out.
2. Involve Everyone
While a single person should be given the role of “point person,” it requires a total team effort to be successful with IT asset management. There should be people in charge of hardware, software license compliance, security, etc. By building a team of people, you spread out the workload and ensure you have different staff in place who have unique skills and specializations.
The key, as with any team, is to invest in their ongoing training and education. Technology moves fast (and so do best practices). It’s imperative that you keep your team up to date so that they act with clarity.
3. Use the Right Technology
If your team is trying to approach IT asset management with a manual strategy that requires them to be down in the “weeds,” you’re wasting a lot of time, energy, and money. Thanks to advanced technology, it’s possible to automate and streamline so many of the different tasks that are involved in this area. It’s time to modernize by using the right tech.
If you’re looking for the easiest and most cost-effective option, IT asset management software is the way to go. It allows you to strategically onboard all of your assets in a simple and streamlined manner so that you can enjoy better visibility and greater control over all software and hardware in your organization.
IT asset management software saves time and money, while also preventing costly mistakes that could set you back. You’ll always have a clear record of all IT assets (no matter how spread out they are), as well as actionable insights on warranties, updates, performance, and even bugs. It’s basically a real-time dashboard for your IT asset needs.
4. Don’t Ignore the Cloud
Typical software has been the bane of an IT asset manager’s existence. Trying to track software licenses and stay abreast of updates and new version releases is a nightmare – particularly if you have multiple offices spread out across multiple states and/or a remote workforce. Thankfully, the cloud has eliminated many of these friction points. However, just because it’s in the cloud, doesn’t mean you can ignore it. You still have to manage it!
While virtualized and cloud-based resources are much easier to manage, they still count as licensed software. Make the appropriate provisions for these SaaS (News - Alert) licensing structures; otherwise, you could end up overpaying and/or paying for licenses that you no longer need. For larger organizations, this could result in thousands of dollars of wasted spend each month.
5. Improve Your Processes
Be on the lookout for ways to implement automation anywhere you can. Always ask yourself this one simple question: “Can this process be automated?” If the answer is yes, dig in and outline the specific steps that will allow you to achieve this goal. If the answer is no, ask yourself which individual steps in the process can be made more efficient.
Adapt Your Approach
At the end of the day, successful IT asset management starts with an intentional strategy. This isn’t something that just happens to fall into place. It requires a high degree of intentional strategizing and careful execution. But if you take the time to plan ahead, you’ll be able to participate in all of the many benefits that stem from having a well-oiled IT asset management strategy. This includes reduced customer complaints, increased customer value, improved efficiency, better budgeting, and airtight compliance.