Today’s connected, cloud-based business environment places enormous demands on IT departments. There are devices to track, support tickets to resolve, and software licenses to renew. All this needs to be handled while keeping your IT department operating within budget and reducing unnecessary expenses.
IT Asset Management (ITAM) software can help. This software can streamline your management process, increasing efficiency and reducing downtime and costs across the board. Choosing the right asset management software can go a long way toward improving all of these IT processes.
In this article, we’ll introduce the concept of IT asset management. Then we’ll explore six tips to help you get the most out of it.
An Introduction to IT Asset Management
IT Asset Management (ITAM) is the process of tracking and managing hardware and software. This can include laptops, mobile devices, software licenses, subscription services, network devices, and any other technical equipment your business needs to operate.
The goal of ITAM is to keep tabs on these assets in order to make troubleshooting, technical support, and inventory management easier.
IT asset management software attempts to streamline these processes by automating asset discovery and centralizing asset data as much as possible. It may also include additional features to improve IT management, like help desk support.
6 Tips for Ensuring Top-Notch IT Asset Management Processes
It’s clear that IT asset management software can vastly improve your operations and efficiency. Let’s explore six tips to help you get maximum benefit from it.
1. Choose the Right Tool for the Job
Our first tip involves choosing the right IT asset management software. You’ll want to look for a tool that provides the functionality you need now, while allowing for future scalability, without overspending on unnecessary features.
To help find this tool, you should ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you need to track hardware, software, or both?
- What’s your budget?
- How important is ease-of-use? Do you need a simple tool, or does your IT staff have the knowledge to work with something more complex?
- Do you need a fully-fledged IT help desk solution, or is asset management enough?
Answering these questions will help narrow the field of software options down to the ones that best meet your needs. In turn, this will let you to get the most out of the software without breaking the bank.
2. Manage Your Software Licenses Effectively
Software licenses are one of the trickiest IT assets to manage well. They’re recurring expenses, but they often renew on different dates. This is compounded by there usually being several different subscriptions to services, along with licenses from multiple vendors, as part of a business.
To streamline the process of renewing software and keeping tabs on expenses, you should add your subscriptions and licenses to your IT asset management program. This will enable you to easily see how many licenses you have, how many more you may need to order, and how many are up for renewal. You can even set up alerts for renewals so that you don’t have to manually check.
3. Automate Your Support Tickets to Reduce Downtime
Some IT asset management systems come with full-featured support desk software to automate support tickets. If yours does, you should definitely use it – it’s an excellent way to integrate your entire IT management stack and streamline support.
To get the most out of this integration, you should tie users together with their assigned assets. That way, when you receive a ticket, you can immediately see what hardware and software they’re using, as well as whether you have any replacements on hand.
This not only eases the burden on support staff, it helps ensure your users get their issues fixed quickly and efficiently, reducing downtime and frustration for everyone. To further increase efficiency, you can also have support request emails automatically converted into tickets.
4. Utilize Advanced Reporting and Analytics to Make Smarter Decisions
Thanks to all the data they hold regarding your hardware and software assets, ITAM applications can provide powerful stats and analytics on your entire operation. For best results, you’ll definitely want to leverage this info to help you make more informed decisions regarding your business.
For example, you could reference software renewal data to create a more accurate budget. You could also review data on ticket processing times to determine if you need to hire more support staff.
5. Track Your Inventory to Control Expenses
Hardware is often one of the most expensive aspects of IT, especially items like business laptops or specialized industry equipment. Inefficient hardware spending is a quick way to exceed your budget or use money that might be better spent elsewhere.
By adding each piece of hardware to your IT asset management software, and tracking which devices are assigned out to team members, you can monitor inventory levels at a glance. For example, you can keep track of exactly how many laptops you have in inventory. As such, you’ll know how many you need to order for new hires to ensure they all have the equipment they need.
6. Minimize Hardware Loss and Theft
Theft can be a major problem for many small businesses – and this includes data theft. Add in the inevitable accidental damage or loss of equipment, plus the downtime associated with it, and you can quickly end up with a significant hit to your bottom line.
You can use IT asset management software to help minimize these problems. Some systems offer tamper-proof tags for hardware that allow precise geolocation, so you always know where your equipment is. The ability to remotely deactivate or wipe stolen equipment quickly can also prevent loss of critical business information or customer data. Tracking IT assets within your ITSM platform also allows you to account for devices within the offboarding process, ensuring every company-owned device is returned.
Whether you’re completely new to IT asset management or you’re looking to streamline your existing processes, ITAM software can be a huge help. However, with so many different applications and features available, the landscape can be a bit overwhelming.
To get the most out of your IT asset management software, follow these six tips:
- Choose a tool that balances your needs and budget.
- Track your software licenses to streamline your renewal processes and minimize downtime.
- Automate support tickets to increase efficiency.
- Leverage advanced analytics and reports to make smarter business decisions.
- Keep tabs on your hardware inventory to help control expenses.
- Utilize hardware tracking to reduce the impacts of loss and theft.