What is IT Asset Management?

An essential part of any growing organization is appropriately managing its IT assets. With the proliferation of devices, software licenses, and services that modern businesses rely on, keeping track of everything can become a daunting task without the right tools. This is where IT asset management (ITAM) software comes in. ITAM software provides a centralized platform to catalog all IT-related hardware, software, and services an organization uses. It helps automate many routine asset management functions and provides visibility into software licensing compliance.

Inventory and Discovery

One of the primary functions of ITAM software is to create and maintain an up-to-date inventory of all IT assets. This includes desktops, laptops, servers, printers, networking equipment, and more. An initial discovery scan identifies everything currently in use. As new devices are added or old ones retired, the inventory is dynamically updated. Asset information like serial numbers, purchase details, warranty status, and more is recorded. Regular scans ensure any assets missed during initial discovery are also accounted for over time.

Software License Management

In addition to hardware, IT Asset Management (ITAM) software facilitate management of software licenses. They integrate with activation systems to reconcile owned vs. installed licenses. Any over-deployments or under-utilized licenses can then be identified and addressed. Features like license pools and assignments allow optimal software allocation across devices. Automatic updates to license data keep things accurate as software is upgraded, replaced, or removed from systems. Detailed license tracking and reporting supports software compliance audits.

Asset Lifecycle Management

IT asset lifecycles encompass initial procurement, deployment, use, and eventual retirement or disposal. ITAM software provides tools to manage assets through each stage. Purchase records, warranty details, and configurations are documented. Automated check-in/check-out functionality aids deployment to end users. Condition and usage metrics help determine optimal upgrade/replacement cycles. Secure data wiping and asset transfer/retirement procedures ensure policies are followed at end-of-life.

Contract and Vendor Management

Monitoring software/hardware maintenance agreements and support contracts is simplified through integrated contract management. Expiration date alerts prevent costly lapses in coverage. Contract and vendor details are archived centrally. Purchase order creation, invoice processing, and payment tracking functions streamline procurement activities with suppliers. Comprehensive spend management visibility allows strategic sourcing of the best vendor relationships.

Reporting and Analytics

Actionable reporting dashboards provide a bird's eye view of the entire asset portfolio. Configurable reports analyze inventory, licensing, contracts, costs, and more. Analytics reveal utilization and spend trends to spotlight under/over-deployed resources. Benchmarking against industry peers offers opportunities for improved efficiency. drill-down capability aids troubleshooting of specific issues. Customizable templates facilitate regular executive-level updates on IT asset performance metrics.

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