What is IT asset management?
Asset management, broadly defined, is the professional management of a company’s portfolio of investments. The term usually refers to a system that can monitor and maintain things of value to the business in question. The process is an important part of an organisation’s strategy and you may have inadvertently carried out similar checks in your own working environment. However, you can be forgiven for being completely unaware of the role that asset management plays in the world of IT.
As countless pieces of research predict investments in IT to scale further, it’s little surprise that companies are now turning to IT asset management to locate, control and manage their connected devices. Tablets and smartphones are at huge risk of theft largely due to their ubiquitous nature and price tags, while the increase in portable systems, spawned by initiatives like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), has presented a host of obstacles for the modern day IT pro to overcome.
Many workers around the world have enjoyed the convenience of being able to manage every single device from the comfort of their own desk, with tasks like large-scale software installation now taking minutes rather than hours. However, if you’re still wondering what is IT asset management, here’s a spot of information of the areas it covers and its more important roles.
Types of IT
IT assets such as hardware and software go through the same property life cycle as other assets and require the same attention as the operation they aid. Commonly, IT assets are divided into two categories for hardware and software. Hardware will usually include systems like computers and laptops, along with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Any web hosts, data centres or servers are also included in this group.
You then have software, which encompasses any operating systems and applications used by your organisation. Effective management of these two forms of IT via asset management has been proven to eliminate unnecessary purchases and wasted resources, saving both time and money.
The most important part of any IT asset management system is its scanning function, which provides a birds-eye view of all assets connected to your network. Once the devices have been discovered, you can go about efficiently monitoring and managing them. This could involve you checking the location of a misplaced device, or securing any sensitive data it may contain. Certain programs will also include patch management software, allowing you to automate the deployment of security patches and services packs across a whole network of devices. You can wave goodbye to the tiresome method of manual installation, therefore.
Conducting a review of your inventory using IT asset management software as a great way to find out how much each element of your network is worth. You can use the program to discover the total cost of ownership of an asset and, using the software as a consultant, uncover savings through suggested replacements. This will keep your inventory fresh, with cutting edge software offering you that much-needed competitive edge.
Ensure policy compliance
In addition, IT asset management is used to assign policy relating to organisation, machine, platform or department and update settings when a change has been made. The process of creating and remotely applying IT policies to a group of systems can be done through the company’s management dashboard, which ensures that consistency and compliance is apparent throughout a network. Any system that falls foul of policy guidelines can be remediated, again, through the same asset management tool.