IT asset management is the administration of costs, technical issues, replacement schedules and service requirements for your IT software and hardware assets. The main goal of IT asset management is to balance cost versus utilization to drive the highest value from each asset.
However, like any other sound business practice, there are many other benefits of IT asset management (ITAM).
Control of Your IT Infrastructure
ITAM helps you manage your IT from two main perspectives: service and components. When you start developing your ITAM processes, it’s beneficial to begin with your most critical assets. Your current service desk will be able to advise about which hardware and software assets they are. It’s very important that you manage and get them under control first. From there, you can add assets to your ITAM protocols according to their importance to your operations.
More Timely and Effective Deployment
For both software and hardware, ITAM helps you know when you will need to deploy a new asset, or upgrade an existing one. That gives you time to plan for the implementation, training and anything else needed for the rollout. And you can plan to minimize the impact of any downtime.
Visibility Into Your Hardware Assets
In addition to your key hardware components, your ITAM can eventually include every piece of hardware, even including monitors and mice. That visibility opens up a number of benefits. One is to know which assets you should maintain in stock for immediate replacement. Also, your business is likely to have more or less hardware assets in use than your books will show. Increased visibility helps you reconcile what’s on the books with what’s in use. And it helps alert you when assets are lost, stolen or otherwise disappear.
Capital VS Operating Expense
Traditionally most IT assets are acquired through the capital expense process within companies. Operating expenses represent the day to day expenses designed to keep a company running. Purchasing IT assets using capital is like financing an automobile. There is a fixed term, and the assets depreciate over the length of the term. Terms can extend beyond the technologies lifespan restricting the company’s ability to take advantage of new offerings. The asset is owned outright at the end of the term. Companies today are increasingly turning to leasing IT assets paying a monthly fee as you would when leasing a car. Using operational expenses this way can be easier to get approvals for purchases and be able to take advantage of what new technology has to offer. However at the end of the lease there can still be a balance owing that needs to be dealt with. The leasing option of IT assets is relatively new and gives companies more options to consider.
Lowers Your Costs
Of course, you will only practice ITAM if there is a bottom-line benefit. The clear visibility ITAM gives you helps you improve your forecasting and financial planning. That gives you the opportunity to carry out more informed negotiations with your suppliers. You’ll also be more able to identify unused, underused and over-used assets and those that can be liquidated, redirected or augmented in ways that lowers your costs and minimizes risk.
To learn more about ITAM and how it can benefit your business, check out BFG’s Asset Management & Logistics Services page.