TechDogs-"A Beginner’s Guide To IT Asset Management Software"

IT Infrastructure

A Beginner’s Guide To IT Asset Management Software

By TechDogs

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The only thing scarier than IT (the horror novel by Stephen King, duh!) Is IT inefficient – what do we mean by that? Inefficient IT management not only affects IT teams, business managers and employees, it is indirectly tied to the organization's bottom line too. Most IT managers struggle with managing the numerous Excel sheets, software and hardware data, device information, etc. in a quick and efficient way. To address this, we have a genie in a bottle - IT Asset Management (ITAM) Software. In this article, we explore what ITAM Software is, where it came from, why is it useful for businesses and how it can help you be in total control of your IT assets.

Read on!
Techdogs-O.M.G! IT Seriously Needs Some Asset Management. -"A Beginner’s Guide To IT Asset Management Software"
What delights a restaurant owner or manager? Customers are going gaga over the food and service! On the other hand, there is nothing worse than going out of stock right in the middle of a busy service. Imagine having diners waiting for your famous woodfire roasted chicken when you realize you have run out of onions, rosemary and thyme. Not an ideal situation for the restaurant manager, right? So, what do restaurants do to avoid this? Food inventory management – that's right. This helps inventory managers (or restaurant managers in our case) track what stock came into your restaurant, what was utilized and what's leftover.

The role of the IT asset manager is similar. They need to maintain an accurate record of all digital IT  assets within the organization, track their usage, avoid overspending or underspending and ensure timely disposal of assets. Failing to do so will create utter disorder and confusion. Wouldn’t want your team of developers scrambling to complete a client project when the license to Microsoft Visual Studio expires, right? That would be super chaotic! So, who is responsible? It's the IT asset manager and to ensure this doesn't happen they need to rely on technology - Information Technology Asset Management (or ITAM) Software.

Let's read how ITAM Software is the magic potion that every IT asset manager needs to be at the top of their game.

What Is IT Asset Management Software?  

In simple terms, IT Asset Management Software is the perfect tool to track and manage the lifecycle of your precious IT assets - be it hardware or software. At this point, you might say - "I can do that with my good old pal, the Excel spreadsheet, why do I need a software?'' Well, maybe if you are a team of 4 people an Excel might suffice. However, it is not enough as the number of IT assets used by most organizations cannot be counted on your fingers.

Think about it, your IT assets range from laptops and desktops to your Bluetooth devices, printers, scanners, phones, cameras - the list is endless! Add to it the long list of licensed software that are regularly used by businesses. PHEW! That is way too much for Excel to handle. Enter ITAM Software! 

ITAM Software is a dedicated application that can track all your IT assets (millions of pieces of hard and soft technology assets), right from procurement to disposal and everything in between. It is designed to reduce costs and efficiently manage assets throughout their lifecycle. Throw in seamless integrations with your service desk, enterprise networks and servers, to help you troubleshoot issues quickly. Yes, you have a winner on your hands!

Seems like a must-have tool, right? Before we dive into the working, let's quickly rewind and learn about the evolution of ITAM Software.

ITAM Software: Where It All Began!

In the 1970s and 80s, asset management existed in bits and pieces. Spreadsheets and manual registers were used to list down the assets. With just a handful of assets, maintaining a supply chain tracking sheet seemed easy. The 1990s, however, made it clear that computers were here to stay. As the use of information technology increased, the need for asset management became apparent. Businesses realized that the lifecycle of IT resources was finite and proper planning could greatly extend the life of their IT assets. This led to the emergence of basic guidelines for software and asset management. However, that was not enough as businesses quickly realized that manual tracking is tedious and didn't significantly decrease any errors. (Those pesky error-prone humans!)

As time passed, IT asset management became a critical function for every business and as the saying goes, necessity is the root of evolution - ITAM Software was developed. It provided an automated and centralized system for managing IT digital assets. Today, ITAM Software has gained prominence with the emergence of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards for information technology security management as well as stringent data protection laws.

Someday we will write more about the rich history of ITAMS. For now, let's explore what's under the hood.

How Does ITAM Software Work? 

TechDogs-"How Does ITAM Software Work?"-A Mr.T Meme About The Importance Of IT Asset Management Software
A Workflow report states that 43% of the enterprises still track their IT assets in spreadsheets while 56% don't manage their IT assets lifecycle at all. For instance, if you search your laptop or desktop right now, there will be a couple of pieces of software that you haven't used in ages. Been there done that, right? For individuals, this oversight is fine but for businesses it might mean renewing licenses at the last moment or paying for unused services. This is an issue, not just because IT investments are expensive (they are very expensive!) but it is also necessary to maintain a healthy IT environment. Here's a list of what all ITAMS can help you with:
  • Asset Requirement Planning and Acquisition

    Businesses don't simply add assets for the sake of it, assets are acquired after thorough research. This includes the purpose, costs, number of users and their potential ROI. ITAM Software enables companies to create a centralized repository to track their IT assets and maintain the lifecycle process to the T.

  • Asset Management

    The acquired assets need to be configured as per the company's standards. These software and hardware assets would also reduce the cumbersome task of tracking asset issues and can also track unauthorized assets, enabling IT managers to take corrective measures instantly.

  • Asset Tracking

    Once the asset is deployed, the ITAM Software ensures that it is properly tracked, managed and controlled. This does not simply mean the details of asset allocation and usage. It involves management documentation of the financial value of each asset, how much value the fixed assets are providing to the company, whether assets need to be upgraded, etc. Also, this software involves real-time diagnostics and monitoring of assets, producing metrics and reports to identify if something is off the radar.

  • Servicing and Replacement

    The ITAM Software can help you determine when to upgrade/retire/expire assets due to depreciation or becoming obsolete. If your woodfire chicken roast is not delighting customers anymore you’re bound to shake thing up, right!

Although ITAM isn't seen as the most glamourous of IT practices (keeping a tab on assets can be monotonous) if done well, it can reduce effort, save time and money. Before you dash off to your CFO with the perfect solution for your IT asset management strategy, check out the reasons you should invest in an ITAM Software (it will surely help your pitch!).

Reasons Why ITAM Software Is The Need Of The Hour

We know that it isn't easy being an IT asset manager. Those folks face asset data overload, poor asset visibility and are often expected to shoulder the entire responsibility of the IT asset ecosystem.
Seems like an uphill task but no worries - ITAM Software is here to the rescue. It helps you with IT asset management around the clock, although that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are the top reasons to invest in an ITAM Software:
  • Centralized Asset Visibility

    As per research firm Gartner, 30% of organizations do not know what assets they own, their location and who is using them. Scarier than Pennywise the clown, right? An ITAM solution gives organizations a crystal-clear picture of the volume and the kind of assets they own. The icing on the cake? It offers a centralized view for all assets along with tags for easy searching.

  • Lower Procurement Costs

    What happens when we prepare a grocery list without checking the refrigerator? We end up overbuying or underbuying. Either way, it's a waste of money - and you need to make another trip to the grocery store! The same can happen with assets. ITAM Software allows organizations to execute their IT asset management plans in an organized manner, eliminating unnecessary spending or buying.

  • Complete Asset Lifecycle Management

    Manually managing the asset's lifecycle is tedious. ITAM Software automates this process and allows efficient monitoring, predictive maintenance and management of assets right from deployment to retirement.

  • License Compliance

    For IT assets, license management is a crucial element. Expired contracts or overuse of licenses can result in heavy penalties or even termination of services. ITAM Software provides automated audits that are super-efficient and lower the risk of human error. #ToErrIsHuman

  • Automated Asset Discovery And Tracking

    ITAM Software empowers quick discovery of any IT asset through an automated system. Considering the sheer number of IT assets in an organization, ITAM Software is a boon for both IT asset managers and the enterprise, especially if they use a lot of assets.

ITAM is a comprehensive and vast field, so before finalizing any tool you should know about what a good ITAM solution looks like. That's what we have covered next!

Top Features Your ITAM Software Must Have

TechDogs-"Top Features Your ITAM Software Must Have"-A Mario Meme About Digital Asset Management
We have learnt that IT asset management is crucial and isn't an easy task. ITAM Software not only helps manage the humongous IT asset inventory but also minimizes various issues regarding assets such as the risk of loss, damage, theft, cyber thefts and so on. Additionally, it ensures that IT asset managers can comply with audit requirements and adhere to the company’s set rules. Most ITAM Software has similar features, however, some may have advanced features that are needed for complex IT infrastructures.

Here are some of the top features that are a must-have in any ITAM Software to enable quick decision-making.
  • Asset Discovery

  • Software Management

  • Configuration Management Database (CMDB)

  • Purchase Orders & Contract Management

  • IT Asset Monitoring

  • Help Desk Integration

  • Analytics and Reports


ITAM Software Will Continue To Skyrocket!

Since the advent of the Internet, digitization and adoption of software tools has grown exponentially. This means more businesses are relying on digital assets now than ever before – this is a dire call for tools that can help monitor and manage every digital asset the company owns. The  ITAM industry was pegged at over USD 750 million in 2017. However, by 2026, it is estimated to climb up to USD 2.19 billion thanks to the higher reliance on digital assets. That's a huge jump! As organizations wrap their head around the importance of ITAM Software, they will move towards Asset Intelligence which will be a smarter way of aligning your strategic visions with IT asset management strategies. With Industry 5.0 just around the corner and a growing focus on the Internet of Things (IOT), IT Asset Management will no longer be optional. Industry experts predict that in the near future, ITAM Software will be indispensable to ensure compliance as businesses increase digital investments .  

Finally, Here’s Your Order!

ITAM Software is here to stay for IT asset managers and will be a vital cog in the operational wheel. Businesses will require their IT tools to be in top form for operational efficiency and improving the bottom line. Hence, good ITAM Software is essential to make it easier to determine when it's time to retire an aging piece of software or hardware and upgrade the ones which have a larger shelf life. Invest in good ITAM Software right away, you can thank us later!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is IT Asset Management Software?

IT Asset Management Software (ITAM Software) is a specialized tool designed to help organizations track and manage their digital IT assets effectively. These assets include both hardware and software components, such as laptops, desktops, printers, servers, licensed software, and more. While manual methods like Excel spreadsheets may suffice for smaller organizations with minimal assets, ITAM Software becomes indispensable for larger enterprises with extensive IT infrastructures. ITAM Software provides a centralized repository to monitor assets from procurement to disposal, streamlining processes, reducing costs, and ensuring efficient asset lifecycle management. It also integrates seamlessly with other IT systems like service desks and enterprise networks to facilitate quick issue resolution and maintain a healthy IT environment.

How does ITAM Software work?

ITAM Software automates and streamlines various aspects of IT asset management to ensure optimal utilization and control of digital assets. It helps organizations plan and acquire assets based on thorough research and analysis of factors like purpose, costs, and potential ROI. Once acquired, ITAM Software assists in configuring assets according to organizational standards and tracking their deployment and usage. It provides real-time diagnostics and monitoring capabilities to identify issues promptly and generate metrics and reports for informed decision-making. Additionally, ITAM Software facilitates the servicing and replacement of assets by determining optimal upgrade or retirement timings based on factors like depreciation and obsolescence.

Why is IT Asset Management Software essential for businesses?

IT Asset Management Software plays a crucial role in helping organizations maintain visibility and control over their digital assets, ensuring operational efficiency and compliance with regulations. By providing centralized asset visibility, ITAM Software addresses challenges related to asset data overload and poor asset visibility, enabling organizations to make informed decisions. It helps lower procurement costs by eliminating unnecessary spending and facilitating efficient asset lifecycle management. Moreover, ITAM Software ensures license compliance by automating audits and tracking licenses to mitigate the risk of penalties or service termination. With features like automated asset discovery and tracking, ITAM Software streamlines asset management processes, enhancing productivity and reducing operational complexities for IT asset managers and enterprises alike.

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