Asset Management: Why it Matters and How to Select a Software + Setup

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Asset Management Must Haves

Enterprises have embraced hybrid workplaces post the pandemic. Employees are collaborating from in-office and distributed locations in real-time. Organizations continue to leverage several licensed applications and state-of-the-art hardware components to empower employees with a productive and secure work environment at home as well as office. One of the biggest emerging challenges is the increasing complexity of managing these licenses and assets across their lifecycle.

What is IT Asset Management Software?

Examples of IT assets include laptops, hard drives, operating system licenses, software, and peripherals. Enterprises use IT Asset Management (ITAM) software to track, manage, and optimize their hardware and software assets, including their licenses. It is a centralized store of all IT asset data. It helps govern these assets end-to-end across their lifecycle from procurement to allotment, deployment, maintenance, and disposal.

ITAM software helps organizations optimize their technology investments, minimize security risks, ensure contractual compliance, and maximize the business value of sourcing decisions.

Why is Asset Management Software Important for your Organization?

1. Cost Optimization

Per Deloitte’s 2021 Global ITAM Survey, cost optimization is the top driver for ITAM, as per 74% of the respondents. Asset management systems help in saving costs by eliminating overheads and maximizing asset utilization. It enables strategic inventory planning by helping you forecast your procurement requirements. It ensures you plan your procurement budget correctly and eliminates unnecessary expenditures.

2. Vendor Portfolio Optimization

ITAM software offers visibility into the running costs associated with each supplier. It also provides usage analysis helping organizations understand which suppliers are providing the most value. This information can help organizations decide which suppliers to prioritize in negotiations and which to phase out.

3. Proactive Compliance

Tracking software installations and usage is necessary, especially in hybrid work environments. It is to ensure you have the correct number of assets and licenses in compliance with your software agreements. The ITAM software also helps trace maintenance schedules, ensuring that all assets are up-to-date and secure, reducing the risk of data breaches and improving disaster recovery.

A Step-by-Step Process for IT Asset Management

Having formal ITAM processes is a prerequisite for automation. Here is a step-wise plan to begin your ITAM journey.

1. Undertake a Discovery Exercise to Create an Inventory List

Start by creating a comprehensive inventory of all enterprise hardware, software, and other technology assets. It entails identifying assets, assigning unique identifiers, tagging procurement details, current locations, and their present status.

2. Classify and Prioritize the Different Types of IT assets

Classify your assets based on value, risk, and criticality. It helps prioritize which assets you must track more closely and which you can manage less intensively.

3. Create Approval Workflows for Requisition and Procurement

Create approval workflows with which employees or HR Teams can request assets from the ITAM teams. IT Assets may be bought, built, licensed, or leased. Define a standardized IT procurement process for procuring IT assets from suppliers or service providers with the best quality-cost fit.

4. Track Deployment and Maintenance Schedules

Asset deployment involves installation, integration, and providing user access and technical support. Establish formal processes for tracking changes to your asset inventory, including additions, deletions, and updates about deployment status. Once deployed, ITAM teams must ensure software license renewals, regular maintenance, and adherence to upgrade schedules.

5. Create Checklists for the Asset Disposal Process

Establish a process for retiring or disposing of assets no longer needed due to damage, loss, theft, or end-of-life. It should detail data erasure and secure disposal methods.

6. Design Customized Reports

Develop and implement a reporting schedule to deliver information on the status of your IT assets, including inventory, compliance, and usage. This information is critical for decision-making and planning.

How to Choose Asset Management Software for Automation?

Per a recent Allied Market Research report, the global IT asset management solutions market was valued at $1.3 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach $3.5 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 11.1%. HR Teams are preferring cloud-based ITAM applications as they do not require upfront capital investments and are modelled based on industry best practices.

Here is a list of the key features and functionalities you must keep in mind while choosing an ITAM application,

Asset Management
Asset Management: Why it Matters and How to Select a Software + Setup 1

Key Functionalities of ITAM software

  • Asset Discovery and Inventory Management: The ability to bulk upload and track all hardware and software assets in a central database with categories, subcategories, and unit details.
  • Management of Software Licenses: The ability to track software licenses, and renewals, including vendor contracts and usage.
  • Hardware Maintenance Tracking: The ability to track hardware maintenance schedules, including warranty expiration dates and maintenance contracts.
  • End-of-life Management: The ability to manage end-of-life for technology assets, including secure data erasure and asset disposal.
  • Contract and Vendor Management: The ability to manage a vendor database with company and contact details, contract documents, and supplier portfolios, Including contract renewal tracking and vendor performance monitoring.
  • Asset Tracking and Monitoring: The ability to track and monitor assets, including location, usage, and criticality and ownership information.
  • Mobile Device Management: The ability to manage and track mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets in real-time.

Key Features of ITAM software

  • Reporting and Analytics: Out-of-box reports and analytics, including cost analysis, usage analysis, and vendor performance analysis, with options to configure and customize per business requirements.
  • Integration with Existing Systems: Ability to integrate with existing enterprise applications, such as ticketing systems, help desk software, and active directories using readymade APIs
  • User-friendly Interface: An easy-to-use, intuitive interface with clear navigation and concise information displayed in real-time

Wrapping up

Hassle-free ITAM is slated to rise as a chief component of the overall employee experience (EX) in hybrid workplaces. The increasing complexity of ITAM amid pressure to reduce costs will result in higher automation investments as organizations mature in this area. ITAM teams operating primarily as reporting functions will upgrade to decision-making roles in procurement, finance, risk management, and other key functional areas to maximize value for their organization.

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Arvind Mishra

Arvind Mishra is Director of Delivery & Outsourcing at HROne. He has substantial experience of two decades in HR automation and has successfully delivered complex projects across 20+ industries globally. His work is instrumental in scaling HR tech adoption for companies of every size in India.

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