Also known as IT inventory management, IT asset management is vital to keep operations running smoothly at any company.
It’s essential to devise systems for cataloging existing technology at organizations and recognizing when you need to make changes, whether that involves retiring outdated assets or custom software development of new systems and devices.
Ultimately, the goal is to cut costs while keeping your software, hardware, and digital assets up to date.
Because IT asset management is such an important part of your operations and touches nearly every area of your business, efficiency is key. So, how do you create processes that are effective, reliable, and productive?
The structure of your IT asset management strategy must align with the overarching goals of your organization. Determine what you need your software, hardware, and other devices to contribute to and how they can augment the work you do.
Consider how they will add value to your operations. You don’t just want to have a new gadget because it’s trendy — it should actually offer something tangible.
When formulating goals for your technology assets, establish measurable outcomes and benchmarks to evaluate their efficacy. This will help you determine whether they’re meeting your expectations or if you need to reassess.
Perhaps a goal will be to increase output by a certain percentage or reduce time spent on a certain procedure by a number of hours. These are solid aspirations because you can easily assess whether you’ve reached them.
Use an electronic, centralized system
Having a centralized system for keeping track of your assets will help you stay organized. In this repository, you can record purchase or development dates, contracts, and your goals for the materials.
You can also set up alerts letting you know when it’s time to assess how a certain piece of technology is performing or when it might be time to update your equipment. You can also keep track of upgrades you’ve implemented.
Establish criteria and guidelines
In addition to formulating goals, you should create clear guidelines for acquiring IT assets. These might include:
- The process for researching and comparing equipment
- Evaluating the cost-effectiveness
- How you take stock of what assets are needed and existing holes in your organization
- How you determine when it’s time to retire your hardware, software, and other materials
Identify which aspects can be automated
Though there are certain parts that can’t be automated, IT asset management is not one of them. While a manager should oversee the process, you should identify which pieces of the process you can automate.
For example, you might set up a system for combing available technologies and doing a price and cost comparison analysis to figure out the best choice for your organization. You can also automate aspects like cataloging and managing licensing requirements and details.
Make it an ongoing process
Because your business needs are constantly evolving and new technologies and models are emerging every day, IT asset management must be an ongoing process. You’ll need to continually evaluate how your assets are performing when it’s time to upgrade, retire, or replace them, and how to make the most of what you have.
Have a plan for retirement
Most IT assets become outdated or no longer useful at a certain point. As part of your plan, you should devise a system for determining what to do with them when this happens, as well as how you figure out when they’ve reached that point.
For hardware, this will likely involve physical disposal, so you should look up the rules and regulations regarding what to do. For software and other digital assets, it may involve updating licenses, terminating contracts, upgrades, and other procedures.
While IT asset management isn’t the most glamorous of operations, it’s a vital one for your organization. Increasingly, businesses are depending on their digital and technological resources, so it’s important to ensure that your equipment is up to date and adding to your processes.
Ultimately, having goals, systems, and plans in place will keep your asset management strategy efficient and productive.