IT asset management is one of those terms that most business owners have heard, but that very few understand. However, if you want to position your organization well for the future, it’s something you definitely need to care about.
What is IT Asset Management?
In any modern organization, you’ll find a long list of technological infrastructure underpinning and supporting the company’s processes, systems, and goals. This includes a combination of desktop computers, laptops, monitors, smartphones, tablets, and phones. You may even find printers, scanners, copiers, fax machines, and servers (though these are on the brink of becoming obsolete in a paperless workplace). On top of all of the hardware, you have software licenses, applications, and digital subscription services.
“Simply put, IT asset management is a set of business practices that incorporates IT assets across the business units within the organization,” IAITAM.org explains. “It joins the financial, inventory, contractual and risk management responsibilities to manage the overall life cycle of these assets including tactical and strategic decision making.”
Ultimately, IT asset management’s responsibility is to close the gaps that exist between various technologies. It consists of software asset management, hardware asset management, mobile asset management, and cloud asset management – each of which works together to create a cohesive experience.
4 Benefits of Having an IT Asset Management Strategy
IT asset management is designed to bridge the gap between tech requirements and business needs. Here are some of the specific benefits it yields:
- Real-Time Asset Tracking
One of the biggest perks of having an IT asset management strategy in place is the clarity it provides. More specifically, you get real-time asset tracking that shows you precisely what assets you own, where they are, and even what stage of the lifecycle they’re in.
Most IT assets go through the following stages: Purchase and procurement, onboarding, management, updating/patching, disposal. When you only have a few assets and they’re all located under one roof, tracking isn’t very difficult. But when you have multiple offices and a remote workforce spread across different states, regions, or countries, tracking them accurately becomes much more challenging. IT asset management software can make this a breeze. Suddenly, everything is tracked and monitored in a single dashboard. The result is greater productivity, lower costs, and – perhaps most importantly – less stress.
- Improved Accuracy
Trying to accurately project IT costs over any given quarter or fiscal year is tough. However, IT asset management makes this much easier and more predictable. It gives you a complete history of the asset all the way from the time it was procured to the “end of life.” This helps you develop more accurate projections of future costs, while also strategically structuring future budgets and spending so that you’re as profitable as you can be.
- Identification of “Ghost” Assets
In larger organizations – or even small businesses with complex technology stacks – it’s easy for certain assets to become lost or forgotten about. Over time, this leads to the emergence of ghost assets, which continue to cost the business time and money (even when they’re no longer being used). An IT asset management strategy ensures ghost assets are quickly identified and weeded out, potentially saving the company thousands of dollars per year (and shoring up security vulnerabilities that might otherwise threaten the integrity of the organization.
- Better Customer Service
While we primarily focus on the internal benefits of IT asset management, it also directly impacts your customer service. Effective IT asset management makes your entire operation run smoother. Customers feel this and report greater levels of satisfaction, which in turn leads to greater customer loyalty.
A slight uptick in customer loyalty might not seem like a big deal. However, consider that a 5 percent increase in this area can lead to 25 to 29 percent more revenue. In other words, it’s totally worth the effort and investment.
Adding it All Up
Recognizing the need for an IT asset management strategy is the first step. Implementing a proactive and cohesive strategy that pulls everything together is the second step. Hopefully, this article has given you the motivation to begin exploring new ways to build out a strategy (or enhance an existing one).