How to Formalize Your IT Asset Lifecycle Management Process
The Importance of Structured IT Asset Management
In a previous article, we discussed proper IT Asset Disposal methods that are secure and keep businesses compliant. In this article, we’ll be peeling back the layers on IT Asset Management (ITAM). A formal process of tracking and managing business IT assets throughout their lifecycle. This process uses data to understand the status of each asset throughout its lifecycle, including finances, contracts, and inventory.
ITAM is vital for effective asset management processes. In this guide, we’ll discuss the importance of ITAM and the benefits of a formalized process.
This includes six stages of the ITAM lifecycle and tips on how your business can build an ITAM Lifecycle plan. You’ll be on your way to maximizing IT investments, enhancing security, and aligning resources.
Let’s look at why a formalized ITAM is so important for businesses. Several reasons that ITAM bubbles up to the top of the priority list for businesses include:
- Rapid changes in technology forces businesses to consistently upgrade tech assets to keep pace with their own operations. This includes industry competitors as well.
- All IT assets, active and retired, are highly susceptible to cyber-attacks if not properly managed and protected.
- Decision-makers in business require full transparency into the status of every asset. This safeguards them from cybercriminals and loss of protected data.
- Without complete understanding of the IT asset values, it’s difficult to make informed decisions. This relies on determining needs to achieve business goals and how to allocate each asset.
- Running a smooth operation requires businesses to maintain compliance. As well as manage software licenses and address security risks linked to unmanaged assets.
What are the Benefits of Managing IT Assets in a Formalized Process?
Attempting effective management of IT assets throughout their lifecycle would be ineffective without a formalized process. Consider the number of hardware and software assets most businesses have. This includes the duration of use and how to ensure a secure disposal.
That’s quite a bit to manage without a formalized process and management solution. After implementing you formalized process, you’ll reap the benefits listed below.
- Financial Accountability: Simplifies cost tracking, reduces unnecessary expenditures, and provides accurate budget forecasting for future IT investments.
- Increased Productivity: Preventative asset maintenance delivers optimal performance, reducing downtime.
- Security and Compliance: Prevents security risks through proactive monitoring and enables compliance with industry regulations.
- Improved Decision-Making: Provides data-driven insights for strategic planning and facilitates informed decisions about asset acquisitions and retirements.
What are the Six Stages of IT Asset Management Lifecycle?
After covering the benefits of a formalized process, let’s look into the actual stages of the ITAM lifecycle. With this information, you’ll begin to understand how IT assets move through their “lives” and the steps that drive the progression.
- Request: Decision-makers collaborate to identify the need for new assets.
- Fulfill: Purchase and deployment of assets and begin software license management for compliance. Develop a tactical integration plan for deployment.
- Deploy: Begin integration of assets into the existing IT infrastructure and establish asset tracking for monitoring and security.
- Monitor: Develop proactive maintenance and preventative strategies and use asset management software for lifecycle monitoring.
- Service: Consistently address issues during the asset lifecycle and apply efficient maintenance strategies.
- Retire: Ensure complete and secure disposal of decommissioned hardware and software assets at the end of their lifecycles.
Creating an IT Asset Management Lifecycle Process for Your Business
Every business is different. When you’re thinking about setting up an ITAM process, keep that in mind and make sure the process fits your business needs. Here are five tips to consider as you begin developing your process framework.
- Evaluate Existing Assets: Inventory existing IT assets throughout your business and identify gaps and areas for improvement.
- Document Policies and Procedures: This is an important step in purchasing, using, and retiring new hardware and software. This documentation will be your roadmap. Make sure it’s thorough.
- Choose IT Asset Management Software: Fully understand the capabilities of secure software meets the needs of your business.
- Training and Implementation: Deliver training to all employees involved in the ITAM process. Then, implement the ITAM program across your business.
- Continuous Improvement: Schedule periodic reviews and updates to policies and procedures, including feedback from decision-makers, for ongoing optimization.
The only real constant with technology is that it’s always changing. Guarantee to get the most out of your investment with proper ITAM. If you need assistance developing your Asset Management Lifecycle process, give the pros at GCI a call.