Guidance-for-IT-Asset-Management-ITAM

In this article is going to highlight the importance of ITAM, describing who needs ITAM and what are the processes involved in ITAM.

What is ITAM?

IT Asset Management (ITAM) is a business practice with the collection of processes, people, tools and activities that aids on effective, efficient management of IT assets.
It can also be defined as the provision and management of IT tangible and physical assets in an effective and efficient way which yields to effective utilization, optimization, and cost reduction for organizations.
ITAM defines a standardized lifecycle for the management of IT assets; its lifecycle stages can be depicted as request, procure, receive, stock, deploy (install/ move/ add/ change), refurbish, retire, and disposal.

IT-asset-management-lifecycle

IT and Business needs of ITAM

Asset management helps organizations in various activities:

  • To plan, control, manage, monitor, evaluate and provide accountability for IT Assets.
  • To provide accurate asset information for various business processes.
  • To provide real time visibility and status reporting on all IT assets.
  • To make appropriate decisions on financial and compliance related areas like procuring and disposal activities.
  • To develop single point of contact with accuracy and consolidated view on all IT assets.
  • To track and monitor the costs of assets and pay the invoices on time.
  • To register, track and monitor every IT Asset uniquely.
  • To have better understanding on asset availability and reliability.
  • To manage IT assets from requisition to retirement/disposal stage.
  • To improve relationships with vendors and suppliers.
  • To improve TCO (Total cost of ownership) while measuring all aspects of an asset.
  • To gain maximum ROI & VOI from the assets.
  • To prevent the non-compliance issues on regulatory and contractual issues.

Not only that, ITAM also reduces the waste involved in the management of IT assets for an organization like:

  1. Waiting time for assets
  2. Unnecessary stocking of assets
  3. Unnecessary movement of assets
  4. Overproduction or over-ordering of assets
  5. Unnecessary spending on asset

Scope of IT Asset Management

Many IT professionals and users often have a misunderstanding with the scope and activities involved in ITAM, as they presume that ITAM and ITSM (IT Service management) are the same. Scope of ITAM can be described as:

  1. Asset requisition
  2. Asset procurement
  3. Asset costs tracking
  4. Asset receiving
  5. Asset inventory
  6. Assets contract and license maintenance
  7. Asset movement and maintenance
  8. Asset retirement and disposal

Out of scope for IT Asset Management

  1. Design or development of the assets.
  2. Support and training activities on assets.
  3. Associating relationship with assets and its associated configuration items.
  4. Management of IT services in consideration with assets.

Stay tuned for my next article where I am going to discuss: Who needs ITAM, Processes involved in ITAM, and few more interesting topics.

Who needs ITAM?

If you have IT (Information Technology) being used or managed in your organization, then yes you would need ITAM processes for effective management of IT assets. Many organizations assume that we would be good enough with Inventory and Procurement teams just focusing on stocking and buying assets at economic price. May be this acceptable for small scale companies, but definitely not a good idea for medium scaled or large scaled companies.

Let me explain it practically, if you are managing IT in an organization then it implies that you have to manage your IT assets; and for managing your IT assets:

  • You need to have a vision, mission and goals for IT assets; and for this obviously your organization would need to have a STRATEGY which is defined in the process STRATEGY GENERATION FOR IT ASSETS.
  • You need to do budgeting, accounting, charging and auditing; and for this your organization would need a FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT team which follows directions based on the process FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT FOR IT ASSETS.
  • You would have to buy assets which are good in quality and economic in price; and for this you would need PROCUREMENT team which follows directions and guidelines defined by IT ASSET PROCUREMENT process.
  • You would have to do appropriate stocking in such a way that the IT assets are categorized, registered in a unique way, arranged in an accessible way, and also stored in a safe place; and for this you would need INVENTORY team which should follow the guidelines defined by IT ASSET INVENTORY process.
  • You would have to manage the licenses, ensuring there is optimum utilization of licenses without buying any excess of licenses and for this LICENSE COMPLIANCE TEAM would need to have SOFTWARE LICENSE MANAGEMENT process.
  • Likewise you would also need ASSET CATALOG, ASSET OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE, ASSET REPORTING and ASSET DISPOSAL processes for performing different vital tasks.

Key processes involved in ITAM

Key important processes involved in IT Asset Management are:

  1. Strategy generation for IT Assets
  2. Financial Management for IT Assets
  3. Asset Procurement
  4. Asset Inventory
  5. Asset Catalog Management
  6. Software License Management
  7. Asset Operations And Maintenance
  8. Asset Disposal
  9. Asset Reporting
  10. Asset Auditing

And one continuous improvement initiative:

  1. Asset Management Improvement Initiative

 

Let me give you an brief overview of the processes:

Strategy generation for IT Assets

Strategy generation for IT assets defines a standardized process and procedure for defining the strategies with respect to acquisition and management of IT assets. It enables developing vision, objectives, critical success factors, roles and responsibilities, policies, plans and standards for the effective management of assets.

Financial Management for IT Assets

Financial management for IT assets defines a standardized process and procedures for tracking and managing the financial aspects of an IT asset, throughout the asset lifecycle. It is responsible for different financial aspects of the asset management organization.

Asset Procurement

Asset procurement management defines a standardized process and procedures for purchasing the assets in an organization. Asset procurement acquires the assets at best possible cost without compromising quality and utility.

Asset Inventory

Asset inventory management defines a standardized process and procedures for stocking and managing the assets. Asset Inventory places the assets in an organized structure which is easily traceable, accessible, controllable, and manageable.

Asset Catalog Management

IT Asset catalog management is a standardized process which defines procedures for managing the asset catalog. IT Asset catalog management ensures that a catalog is created, updated,

maintained, and that the asset’s information is updated in the catalog (asset catalog contains accurate information on all available assets in the organization’s inventory).

Software license management

Software license management defines a standard process for managing the software licenses to enforce and ensure compliances with software licenses as per the defined contracts. Software license management tracks, controls, and manages the license usage as per the defined contracts in an organization ensuring that the organization doesn’t buy an excess of licenses (wasting money), doesn’t pay penalties and breach the contracts by using the products after the license expiration.

 Asset Operations and Maintenance

Asset Operations and Maintenance defines a standardized process for the operations and maintenance of assets in an organization. Asset Maintenance manages the routine operations on assets like movement of assets from one inventory to a workplace, refurbishment of the assets, and reassignment back to the inventory.

Asset Operations and Maintenance performs the daily operations and maintenance activities based on the requests made in the asset catalog portals or databases.

Asset Disposal

Asset Disposal process defines and manages the standard procedures for the disposal of retired and obsolete assets as per the organizational, legal, and environmental requirements. Improper asset disposal methods can cause severe fines, lawsuits, and irreparable brand damage.

Asset Reporting

Asset reporting is a standard process for creating, maintaining, and managing the reports on IT asset management. Asset reporting information will be useful for bringing awareness to the management and improves the management of asset operations.

Asset Audit

Asset audit is a standard process for verifying that asset inventories are correct, and also that asset management proceses are followed correctly.

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Kiran Kumar Pabbathi has 10 plus years of experience, he is a Master in business administration (IT), Bachelor in Computer Applications, and a certified professional in ITIL Expert, PRINCE2 (Foundation and Practitioner), Six Sigma Green Belt, ISO/IEC20K Foundation, Cloud Computing Foundation, TMAP Foundation (Test Management Professional), MCP in SharePoint 2003 Customizations, and MCTS in MS Project 2007. He is the author of 8 books: "PDCA for ITIL" published by TSO, UK (available HERE and also HERE) and "Guidance for ITAM", "Guidance for Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)", "Focus on IAM", "Guidance for Incident Management", "Guidance for Problem Management", "Guidance for Change Management" published by Servicemanagers.Org (all available HERE at Amazon). He worked for various conglomerates in the IT industry focusing on ITSM domain, which gave him detailed insight of ITSM, ITAM (IT Asset Management), IAM (Identity and Access Management), Quality assurance, Project management, Test management, and Technical writing. Currently, Kiran works as an IT Process manager and ITIL Trainer in Shanghai Bizenit Information Technology, China. You can reach him on Linkedin (click here)